Finding Time to Write


Finding Time to Write

By Adam Huddleston

One of the greatest barriers to an author is finding an appropriate time and place to write.  Our busy lives have us running all over creation running errands and seeing to the minutia of life.  Some writers require peace and quiet in order to crate.  Others can happily type away while the Apocalypse is happening all around them.

I’ve always felt deep inside that I leaned toward the former requirement.  I tend to be distracted rather easily and usually need quiet in order to write.  However, having a full-time job and being the father of five makes that extremely difficult.  Fortunately, since I basically stare at a computer monitor all day in the pharmacy, I am able to find time every once in awhile to jot down a few lines in Google docs.  From there, I can send them to myself or print them out if they’re complete.  

It may sound cliché, but every writer must find what environment works best for them.  I hope this blog helps in some small way.

Happy writing!

Finding Time to Write


Finding Time to Write

By Adam Huddleston

One of the greatest barriers to an author is finding an appropriate time and place to write.  Our busy lives have us running all over creation running errands and seeing to the minutia of life.  Some writers require peace and quiet in order to crate.  Others can happily type away while the Apocalypse is happening all around them.

I’ve always felt deep inside that I leaned toward the former requirement.  I tend to be distracted rather easily and usually need quiet in order to write.  However, having a full-time job and being the father of five makes that extremely difficult.  Fortunately, since I basically stare at a computer monitor all day in the pharmacy, I am able to find time every once in awhile to jot down a few lines in Google docs.  From there, I can send them to myself or print them out if they’re complete.  

It may sound cliché, but every writer must find what environment works best for them.  I hope this blog helps in some small way.

Happy writing!

More Idea Origins


More Idea Origins

by Adam Huddleston

As I’ve said before, I get a lot of my story ideas from places I’ve visited on while I’m on the road.  Other idea-starters are things that I hear.  

One of my favorite (unfinished) projects began years ago when one of my children wanted to play on my phone.  My wife told them they couldn’t because “Daddy’s battery is dead”.  She obviously meant my phone battery, but a story began to immediately gel in my brain about a future when all fathers are androids.  When said parental unit’s battery dies, the mother simply orders another from a catalog.  In this tale, the dying father unit’s artificial intelligence kicks in and he discovers that he doesn’t want to be replaced.  Thrills and violence galore.  

So, sometimes a truly interesting story can find its origins in a rather mundane statement.  A good writer will pay attention to everything around them and use their environment as inspiration.  

Happy writing!

Where Do Ideas Come From?


Where Do Ideas Come From?

by Adam Huddleston

Ah.  The ultimate question for all writers.  The granddaddy of them all.  Where do ideas come from?  Where can I go to get inspired to write?  How do the literary greats get their works started?

The answer, I suppose, differs from writer to writer.  In fact, I’m sure there are as many answers to that desperate question as there are writers in the world.  Where do I get my ideas from?  I’ll tell you.  But remember, this is coming from an author with only a handful (and small at that) of published works.

I get my ideas from what I see around me.  For example, although I eat better now, I used to spend quite a lot of time in fast food drive-thrus.  A few of my story starters arise from there.  Also, the eight-hour drive to visit family in east Texas (when the kiddos are actually quiet, and I can think straight) provides many opportunities to create story ideas.  I have two or three tales that center on interstate travel.  One about a ghost that haunts a specific exit ramp, the other about a man hired to clean off roadkill.  

Other ideas come from things I hear, whether while at work or from my family at home.  My next few blogs will center on those.

Happy writing!

Horror Story Settings


Horror Story Settings

by Adam Huddleston

Since today is Halloween, and I am a horror story fan at heart, I wanted to share I list of popular settings for scary tales.  I know most are cliché, but if you are interested in writing a horror story, some of these locations are probably going to end up in your work.  In no particular order:

Cemeteries

Haunted buildings

Forests

Rural location (cabin, farmhouse, etc.)

Hospitals/Asylums

Hotels/Motels

Schools

Amusement Parks

Open Water (oceans, seas, lakes, etc.)

Outer Space/Planets

Hope these help!  Happy writing!

World Building


Here’s a world building blog I posted on 4-30-15.  Enjoy!

 

World Building

by Adam Huddleston

 

For writers who set their stories in the world as it exists today or in the past, the concept of world building may not be quite as important as it is to folks like me; the fledgling sci-fi/fantasy author.  Real places with real people populate their work so they simply write what they know (or could find out through a basic internet search).  What happens when you want to set your story on the planet Xynon in the Gordita galaxy?  Or what if the country of your protagonist’s birth happens to be Fargan, where it rains peanut butter and jelly?

Mountains of books have been written on the subject of world building.  I would highly recommend “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy” by Orson Scott Card, author of “Ender’s Game.”  He takes the major facets of world building chapter by chapter and explains them very well.

Once you get a feel for the different aspects: geography, peoples, history, religion, flora/fauna, etc. it is just a matter of developing them into a cohesive environment.  Generally speaking, the deeper you delve into each part of world-building, the richer your work will be.

Another bit of advice: If you are going to create something that does not exist in the real world, you must make it relatable to something that is.  What I mean is, the reader needs to be able to understand what it is they are reading about.  For example, if you say, “the warfle crawled along the ground” give a good description of it so the reader won’t be lost.

Along the same lines, use real adjectives and verbs.  Don’t say “the warfle cavadered along the sand.”  Your reader has no idea what “cavadered” means.  Just use crawled, slunk, etc.

Hopefully these suggestions will give you a jump-start in the practice of world-building.  Happy writing!

Settings in Science Fiction


Settings in Science Fiction

by Adam Huddleston

Last week I wrote about settings in the fantasy genre.  Creating a fantasy setting can be a huge undertaking.  When it comes to science fiction however, the approach to world building is a little different.

I would venture to say that most science fiction stories are set either in our world, or in what we know of outer space.  In these cases, the author doesn’t have to create a new setting, just assure that the elements of the setting are practical considering what we know.  In other words, the environment, peoples, flora/fauna, etc. of the story’s world may be our own.

It is perfectly acceptable to bend and stretch the natural laws of this world (it is fiction after all) but sci-fi still lives in a basis of reality.

Fantasy Settings


Fantasy Settings

by Adam Huddleston

 

The blog topic this month is “settings”.  The first thing I think about when I think of settings is fantasy fiction.  In my opinion, no other genre (save maybe science fiction) can boast of such robust and imaginative world-building as fantasy.  When it comes to make-believe worlds, not even the sky is the limit.

The joy (and sometimes overwhelming fear) of the fantasy writer is that they often place their story in a setting of their own creation.  This means that the author must imagine the world’s landscape, inhabitants, and history and then place a believable tale within it.  This is not as easy as it may seem.  The setting must complement the characters and plot of the story, without drawing too much attention away from it.

To give a quick example of my own work, one of my fantasy stories I’m working on exists in a world surrounded by a huge, vertical sea wall.  The actual border of their circular, flat planet ends with a wall of water that is hundreds of miles tall.  Since gravity must pull the water away from the land, it causes everything (and everyone) to slide sideways toward the world’s border.  This allows for some exciting, dangerous action scenes.

No matter what your favorite genre to write is, I highly encourage you to try setting a story in a fantasy setting.  It is very fun and definitely strengthens your world-building skills.

Happy writing!

Popular Novels and Their POV


Popular Novels and Their POV

by Adam Huddleston

 

This week, I just wanted to provide a short list of popular novels and what point of view (POV) they are written in.  If you’ve never read a story in a particular POV and would like a starting point, you could do a lot worse than these tales.

First-Person

  • The Hunger Games Series
  • The Twilight Series
  • The Divergent Series
  • Gone Girl
  • The Percy Jackson Series
  • Paper Towns
  • The Catcher in the Rye

Second-Person

  • Choose Your Own Adventure books
  • Bright Lights, Big City
  • You
  • A Prayer of the Dying

Third-Person

  • The Lord of the Rings Series
  • The Harry Potter Series
  • A Game of Thrones Series
  • 1984
  • Animal Farm
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Brave New World