In the beginning the world was without form…
It really was.
Writing for me is bare bones CREATION. I am not God – not even A god. I think though, when we talk about God making man (that’s non-gender specific, okay?) in his own image, I think the purist meaning of that is that we also are imbued with the ABILITY (and NEED) to CREATE.
There is this germ that comes before it’s a story – a bare seed with different characteristics depending on the story itself. It might be a piece of futuristic technology, or an idea for an alien, or an interesting picture I’ve seen, or another that’s only in my head. It could be a character who starts talking to me, a turn of phrase (pure poetry or pun), or something that really happened (or sort of.) Just this single element, alone in the formless darkness.
And from there it grows. The technology has to impact something, the alien has to be from somewhere, there are other things beyond the borders of the picture. The character takes a step and sees more of what’s in the room – or wherever else they might be reveals itself. The words continue; the darkness recedes.
It can’t be a story if this doesn’t happen. The longer it is, the more relationships occur, the more things and places and people come into being to feed it, to fill the emptiness that it sprang up in the middle of.
At first there are only hints of an outside world – in short fiction that’s all you need, as if the character is stuck inside a room and doesn’t have to show you the rest of the house. But the longer things go on, the more likely he’s going to remember something about what’s outside the room – maybe even open the door and show the rest of the house, or go even beyond that.
That’s the way writing is for me. I start out in the dark, all by myself, except for this – SOMETHING – that winds up growing a room, or a house or a WHOLE WORLD around it.
I wonder why it never stays just – DARK. Is it because nature abhors a vacuum? It’s probably just because I’m afraid of the dark (well, I AM.) Regardless of the reason, it never does stay that way.
“A Dish Best Served” started with something undefinable on a plate, which had to be on somewhere. In front of someone. For a reason. Where did the tricorn-hatted man in “Past Life” come from? Where were things disappearing to in “Bugging Out”? Each of these expanded from a tiny germ of life into its own mini-world; each surprised me with the way they filled out. All of my stories do.
But they are all nothing compared to “Swordsmaster.” I don’t know if it’s because I said “I think it’s time to write a novel,” but it doesn’t seem to matter where I thought it was going to go – there’s always more detail than I intended or was prepared for. More places. More people. More plots. More world.
Short fiction was so much less demanding.
Our featured work this week is “Cannabis Alienus ‘alien dope’” (yes - adapted from a brief experience I had after high school – read it and let me know which which part you think was real.) Here’s the link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382205?ref=NoTimeToThink
Use coupon code TW56C to save 50% off the list price at check out on smashwords. The coupon is good through July 6th. Enjoy!
“Gladius” will be ePublished this Friday (July 3rd) – follow me on Twitter or Facebook (see links below) and you’ll receive notification AND the opening coupon code once it’s online.
William Mangieri’s writing can be found in many places, including:
- His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
- Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
Connect with him, go to “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook (and LIKE and FOLLOW), at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
Or on his Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
On twitter: @WilliaMangieri