fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
I began writing a 50,000 word novel-length fiction piece for the April 2017 Camp NaNoWriMo competition.

Currently, I am on 21,000+ words - on Day 9.

I have a goal for today: to reach 21,666 words, the par for Day 13. I don't mind not making that goal today, because I already reached the suggested daily par of 1667 words and surpassed it by at least a century.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
NaNoWriMo 2013 has begun.

Shindig

Dec. 16th, 2005 02:19 pm
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Elijah Snow Planetary)
Just come from a rather nice little party in town, to celebrate the end of the Creative Writing course's first term and Book Launch party.

You'd be amazed the number of people I:-

a) bumped into whom I knew of old;

b) bumped into whom I knew of old, who didn't know the other people I'd known of old, and who begged introducing;

c) bumped into who commented on how come I knew so many people I've known of old.

Did my usual gatecrash thing - went in wearing my favourite "I Am Not Obsessive" T shirt, tremendously underdressed but hardly overstressed - arrived ten minutes in, late for the opening speeches and the readings.

Who says I have no sense of timing?

So anyway, after bumping into the tutor who'd been a boon throughout this eleven week course and thanking him for being the only person whom I'd trust enough to accept criticism on my work - yes, really, T! 8D - I left early, while the room was still full of smiley happy people, having got this girl's mobile phone number and even an email address from a married woman ... whose husband was watching as she pressed her business card into my hand rather affectionately for a formal contact ...

In all, a nice little shindig. Though it would have been rightly topped off with a duel afterwards ;)

Right, then. That's my Toreador moment of the year taken care of. Back to being terse, enigmatic and scary.

Creativity

Dec. 5th, 2005 01:10 pm
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
I had no idea, but I think I was being hoodwinked.

A long time ago, I bumped into Terry Pratchett at a convention. He was asked what the secret of his writing success was. His reply: "Write 2000 words a day."

That was back in 1987. I've striven to achieve this goal - and in many ways, I have managed to surpass that goal on several occasions.

However, in a recent Creative Writing class, I was told that 2,000 words was "a bit much." If I managed 500 words a day, it'd be enough.

Was I hoodwinked by Terry Pratchett, perhaps throwing out 2,000 words to intimidate nouveaux writers somehow, perhaps dissuade rivals from popping up and threatening his uniqueness?

All I know is, give me a computer and if I put my mind to it, 2,000 words a day ... easy.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
I have been set the task of writing a poem for the assignment this week for my DROME Creative Writing class. The subject is a tree.

Here's my poem ...

The Sating of Flesh



Beneath the spreading, moonlit shadows
Two shadows dance; a primal rite
Of union, to the tune of gasps and moans
As Mind bows to the needs of Flesh.

Against the coarse, quivering bark they lean,
Passion competing with watchfulness,
Transmigration of forms' gross movement
Into subtle tactile ardour and tenderness.

Fear of discovery steals from their rapture.
Forbidden, these lovers' stolen fruit -
To other shadows both these shades are pledged
In bare and barren bond of habit.

Like falling leaves, the meaning is found;
Shadows once tense now slump in lethargy.
Soon they rise, and dress, and guiltily steal away
As brachiate shadows sweep the bare ground.




Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
Childhood, for me, was not so much felt as sensed. In the school I went to when I was small, pupils learned to conceal their emotions. It didn’t do to be too enthusiastic or too happy about something good, like a tower of bricks or a pretty painting, because there was always some bigger pupil nearby who’d see us enjoying ourselves creating, wander on over and trash it, just to watch our joy turn to misery and pain.

Lunch time was always a time for self-absorption. I could just about tolerate some of the food: so, in order to get as much time out of my lunch breaks as I could, I’d look for my favourite foods, pick them, find a quiet table in the corner and eat alone, listening to the chatter of the girls, the conversations of the boys, the breaking plates, the clash of cutlery bouncing off the tiled floor, the rush and clatter of the catering staff behind the scenes. Few friends and many bullies made life in the cafeteria … a little desperate.

What I remember most about lunch was the textures. As well as the tastes of mashed potatoes, bacon, sausages (they always had those thin little sausages: I never had thick bangers until the big school) and gravy, or the flavours of the chips, fish and peas, there was also the coarseness of the salt, the chunky bits of sausage meat, the crispiness of the thin slices of overdone bacon – they never could get the bacon right.

I always ate my food the same way: start with the spuds or chips. Then the peas, then the mixed vegetables – if any – and, as if it were the pièce de résistance, the meat or the fish.

I loved the fish. Either they were the kind that came with a breadcrumb coating, and I loved the way the gritty crumbs crunched between the teeth, or they had a good batter coating, with a flavour to them you just don’t have these days. Or they served the fish as little spheres coated in golden batter – I loved them most of all, especially the way they’d crunch open all moist when you cut them open. It’s only much later that I discovered that Birds Eye had withdrawn them from the market, presumably because of embarrassment caused by their inappropriate name – Cod Pieces.

Back then, I could eat chocolate freely. Before I discovered that I’d acquired a chocolate allergy in my young adulthood, that is. Back then, not only did chocolate look bigger to my developing body: it also didn’t contain enough preservative chemicals to poison a regiment.

I could eat Walnut Whip until they were coming out of my ears, enjoying the fondant centre’s texture as much as the flavour, and the strong, woody tastes and bitty texture of the walnut. I used to mystify Mum for years, because when trying to describe them, I had no idea what they were called. To me, they were simply and always “Chocolate Poo Smellies.” The only other chocolate I remember as fondly was Toblerone, because they reminded me always of Taid. Even now, they still do.

If it wasn’t chocolate, it’d be a dessert like jam sponge, or chocolate sponge cake – everybody’s favourite. The dark, rich tastes, the moist sponge, the aroma, the cool layer of chocolate in the centre were always a winner. Least favourite was semolina, which, sadly, they served four lunches out of five most weeks.

Once, for a treat, instead of the usual cake, they served something darker, richer, with a runny white sauce instead of the usual yellow. It’s odd, but that was the first taste, the first sense I ever had, of Christmas.

My school days – my childhood – I only remember as a time of pain, bullies, victimisation and the dull shrieks of fear. Perhaps it is a fitting testament to the educational value of bullying that I remember the feel of the lino on the kitchen floor of my home, the taste of school rice pudding, more than I can remember what they looked like, or even their names.

fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I found out earlier today that my name did not make it to Round Two of the White Wolf Fiction Contest.

I felt a little sad this morning. Still do. It might take a while to get the sad out of my system.

However, there's nothing stopping me from working on a World of Darkness story, even a series of them, and posting stuff to my website. It just won't be the story whose synopsis I sent to White Wolf.

Naturally.

So, since what I intend to write isn't in the synopsis, they can't touch me.

Can they?
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
The White Wolf Fiction Writing Contest, Round One, expired some time ago, more or less. White Wolf said they'd let the contestants know who's won and who's not today, May 13, 2005.

I know it's Friday 13th and all, so perhaps that's got something to do with it. But it's been pretty much all day so far, and still nothing as yet.

Chances are, the moment I put this posting off to bed, the announcement will come in. Just you wait and see.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I wanted to write a really lovely setting in my Big Story, to describe in glowing terms what an island called Anfar looked like. This was going to be the first time you and I would be able to look at Anfar in the Big Story.

The Chapter introducing Anfar was the fourth one in my book. And, until yesterday, I did not realise how badly it sucked.

Until I read it cold.

If I'd presented that chapter as the exemplar for my book, I think my Big Story would never see the light of day.

So last night I sat down and thought of a new Chapter Four for my Big Story, to match the previous three, which rock.

In the original Chapter Four, a friend of the protagonist, a man called Tarhan, dies a violent and senseless death, seemingly as a result of what i call "Plotstorm," a deus ex machina death that, in the end, made no sense whatsoever.

Last night, I wrote a different origins story altogether. I put in dialogue, interaction with people, town names, physical descriptions, a sense of continuity and a link to events taking place elsewhere in the Big Story.

But in the end, Tarhan still dies. The decision to kill off such a kindly, enthusiastic character before he'd even begun to get into his stride was a necessity, as part of the ongoing plot that Caithwynn be given something to fight against, both internal - his grief at the loss of his best friend crushing all motivation to do anything to save his land - and external, namely his fight against the authorities of Anfar for what is, essentially, an act of treason he has planned in order to save Anfar.

The original chapter was four pages long.

This new Chapter, now the definitive one as well as one of the most potent and vivid introductions to my beloved Anfar I have ever written, is fourteen pages long, making it the second longest Chapter I have written to date.

And it's a good one. It's a taster of what you will be enjoying later in the book, when all the main protagonists come to Anfar to sort out the Big Story's major story arc, whose resolution takes place there.

I am pleased enough that, barring a few minor tweaks to Chapter Ten to update it to the new writing of Chapter Four, I can now close the book on Chapter Eleven and begin work on Twelve. I might even now be motivated to begin work on the White Wolf Fiction Contest entry, and work it in parallel with this one.

Consider me a very happy man tonight.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I've just made a quick word count of the chapters in my burgeoning novel.

So far, I have written:

- Eleven chapters;

- 26 thousand words.

And I've barely scratched the surface of the story so far.

All I've done is introduce each of the players in this tale, and advance each of their stories a bit.

Admittedly, this was a long story when I originally began writing it, but with this current rewrite ... it's going to be a monster. 120 kilowords, at the very least.

New Story

Nov. 24th, 2004 11:57 am
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
At long last, my latest story has arrived on the pages of Literotica.

The story, Gas Again, can be found here.

What can I say? It's hardly Jeffrey Archer, but it beats writing soccer fiction. :)

Much enjoyment.

New Story

Nov. 20th, 2004 09:00 pm
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I just posted a submission to Literotica. I've been writing it for two or three days, now, and it's only just finished, spellchecked and polished.

Just look for the newest story submitted by "Fiat Knox."

Nighty night.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I have been working on some of my fiction for the past few days. One story I've been working on is a sequel to the first piece of fiction I submitted to Literotica.

Accordingly, I've set up an erotic story archive here on Yahoo Groups.

There are already a number of files on this new Yahoo Group, all in Rich Text Format. In addition, I've got three all-new stories to submit to Literotica, including the current project, the sequel to this story.

Nighty night.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
Through the bedroom window, I can see swallows flying past in the fading daylight. If I leave my window open, I can hear their little trilling calls, as well as watch them circling overhead: agile, tireless and unbelievably fast.

Just below the level of the bedroom, I'm pleased to say that the little extension my Dad is erecting is finally starting to take shape. The roof's not entirely complete yet, but enough of it is present that it makes a pleasing sound when the rain falls upon it.

We're hoping it'll be finished by this time next week, in time for Mum's birthday. This is Dad's birthday present to her. As always, and rightly so, he wants to make it special.

I'm sitting here, wondering about dreams, about being able to fulfil them, or whether I'm ever going to live to see even the smallest of my dreams realised.

I wanted to be a published writer by now. I desperately wanted to make it in publishing, so that I would never have to worry about benefits, about paying bills, any of that tripe, because I will have found the calling which will sustain me until I die.

You'll note, I didn't mention "retirement."

Mum told me that if ever I get a big wodge of cash, I ought to put it into a holiday: some exotic and wonderful place, such as Japan.

Perhaps I could head for the States, visit Hollywood, see the Paramount Studios where they make Star Trek; or perhaps take in Seattle and Washington State, the future site of the Sea-Tac Sprawl of the Shadowrun RPG setting.

Even drop by the White Wolf Games Studio in Clarkstown, GA, and shake hands with Justin Achilli and the staff who have provided me with so much sovereign entertainment over these years.

And, Mum said, I should do this without hesitation, before I'm too damn old to do anything about it.

But there is one place in all the world I would dearly love to visit some day, should the grace of the Great One favour me.

That place is Corpus Christi, TX; birthplace and current residence of one nyghtshayde.

You want to know what my fantasy is?

One day, I get published. My books sells hugely, worldwide. Over here, I get invited to drop by the Andromeda bookshop in Birmingham, which I do - to sign books, and also to collect the latest RPG stuff to drop in to the Dungeons & Starships store above.

Afterwards, I do more signings at Nostalgia & Comics nearby, mostly signing the comic adaptation of my story; and the following day, it's a similar deal in Waterstones in the same town, the first of many signing sessions in Waterstones in Britain.

And then, the Big Tour. The States.

In my fantasy, I get to visit Houston, TX, and perhaps look at the Space Centre, or perhaps that could be reserved for Florida instead. Either way, a small visit to Corpus, and say hi to nyghtshayde and other members of the Circle of which I am a part.

Not long afterwards, a trip to GA, and a visit to the WWGS studios for the aforementioned handshaking thing.

And so on, roaming across the States, doing signing sessions, bumping into the people I've known for years, finally dropping by Washington State, getting some coffee in Seattle, taking a few photos of Puget Sound, the Space Needle etc, and hoping that another friend of mine, Katrine "Kami" Maples, will be able to find her way there so we could meet face to face at last.

And then back to Europe, via Japan, Australia, wherever. But definitely visiting Japan. I really want to go there before the end of this cycle of my existence.

I know; it's a fantasy. But I'm entitled to one.

I have dreams of success as an author. It's what I want to be, more than anything else in the world. My dreams sustain me, prompt me to carry on. For example, I'm writing a story right at this moment. It's a retelling of a story I wrote back in 1989.

The characters are more or less the same; the setting has not changed substantially, and the plot is, more or less, the same.

And yet it's unrecognisable from the first telling of the story, because I'm biting the bullet here and adding perhaps the vital spark that turns mediocre novels into bestsellers.

And it's a story of high fantasy, told from a completely different, even novel, slant - something I don't believe has been tried for the Fantasy genre before. Or maybe it has, but certainly not in the style I'm trying to achieve.

Why am I writing High Fantasy, a tale of magic and adventure in some land not of the Earth we know from our history?

Why not? It's worked for the big LOTR movies.

And why magic?

Why not? After all, it worked for J K Rowling's books. The success of Harry Potter has given the lie, once and for all, to the assertion made by one publisher ten years ago that "there's no market for it."

The first real attempt at writing a full novel for publication, my first attempt to be a writer, began about this time in 1986. If my story ever gets to see the light of day, I will explain, here, where I got my idea from; but suffice to say that, in 1986, the germ of an idea for my first story was planted, on a warm, sunny evening in Chester, UK.

Shortly thereafter, I dreamed of the setting: and it was a place that felt so real that I could have gone there in person.

It was a setting I wanted to keep alive, and I have done, from that day to this, bringing it up to date in this potent retelling and keeping the faith of the original vision.

Dad has his house, and his extension, and the desire to make the place special and to finish it in time for next Wednesday.

I have my dream, my desire to make my story special. I want to write a story where you find yourself buried so deeply in the thing that you can dream of finding yourself in the Gardens of Astribel, to hear the gentle trilling of swallows in the long, lazy summer evening, to look up and see the flash of sleek curved wings overhead, ducking between the poplars over by the far wall; the poplars through which the setting sun shines, casting long, sharp shadows over the lawn ...

One day, I want you to feel the same thrill I felt writing that last paragraph. I want you to hear the music, to feel Torcinian grass beneath your feet, to see the swallows.

And I want that tour deal.

One day.

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