Interviews from the Void: Episode #2 – Avrin Kelly

Highlights The benefits to regularly writing short stories. Writing horror helps us understand fear, our strongest emotion as human beings. Various strategies for overcoming writers block. The possibilities are endless. Welcome to the second episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. I’m fascinated with writing as a physical effort and the perspectives of other writers on the process itself. In this episode, I’ve asked horror writer Avrin Kelly about her writing process and where she finds her inspiration. A. Macabe: Tell me more about your #52weeks52stories journey? What made you want to start? Is it helping you improve as a writer? Avrin Kelly: So far this year, I’ve written ten stories. #52weeks52stories is something I knew I wanted to take part in because short stories are life, for me at least. They’re like literary Robot Chicken, or teleporting somewhere new for a short time. The possibilities are endless. With every story I write, I feel like I get a little bit better at the craft. A. Macabe: When did you start writing? Avrin Kelly: I’m 30. I didn’t start writing in earnest until last year. I wrote my first short story in April of 2017. It was horrible (laughs). A. Macabe: Why was it horrible? Avrin Kelly: It was horrible because – at the time – I didn’t know the first thing about story structure and the ending was confusing. So, I decided to try again – now with[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #1 – S.P. Carter

Highlights Where do we find inspiration for our horror stories? It’s never too late to start writing. As writers, we need to know when to listen, but also when to trust ourselves. Everyone loves a good scare. Welcome to the first episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. I’m fascinated with writing as a physical effort and the perspectives of other writers on the process itself. In this first episode, I’ve asked horror writer S. P. Carter – whose debut horror novel, “Unraveling” is set to release later this year – about his writing process and where he finds his inspiration in the horror genre. A. Macabe: Tell us more about “Unraveling” S. P. Carter: When people commit mass shootings and other atrocities, they don’t snap; they spiral. “Unraveling” explores this transition in a man living an outwardly banal, middle-class family life who struggles against these demons. Hallucinations and paranoid delusions give you a front row seat into a mind fighting to hold itself together, and the destruction left in its wake. A. Macabe: Where did you get the idea for this story? S. P. Carter: As a survivor of childhood trauma, I’ve grappled with people’s motivations to harm each other, and often wondered if one day, a switch would flip in my head. By exploring what I would do in a fictional world, free of legal repercussion, I had an outlet. This led to[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void

There’s a very cool project starting here at Strange World: Interviews from the Void, where I’ll be interviewing other writers – both published and unpublished – about their writing process. I’m interested in the writing process of other writers. Is writing your full time job? If not, how do you find time to write? Do you write until you reached a word count or finished a scene? Where do you write? How did you start writing? For example, perhaps a writer used to be a server at a restaurant where they worked long hours. After bar closing, the writer stays up until 4am, striving for their word count goal. This is the gritty information I want to hear more about and share with other writers. How did you find the energy to keep going? How did you motivate yourself? With three interviews lined up thus far, I’m excited to share these discussions with other writers. Our first interview will be with horror writer S. P. Carter, discussing his writing process and why the horror genre draws him in. The interview will post next Monday. Be sure to subscribe to Strange World and check it out. [Keep Reading]

The Physicality of Editing

Lots of red pen. That’s what editing looks like. Below is the first few paragraphs of Saturn: Journey to the Core, which one can use as an example for what editing physically looks like. Many of the firsts words I deleted entirely. The first sentence below isn’t in the completed story. I changed the beginning entirely when I was editing. “What do you think of going to Jupiter?” are the first words now in the story, which I wrote in red during the editing process because I didn’t like the original first line. Don’t be afraid to cut entire sentences during the editing process.  If there’s a sentence or a word which isn’t working for the story – or even an entire concept – then it isn’t working.   [Keep Reading]

10 Editing Examples – Entry #1

Editing is hard. As writers, we want every word we write to be perfectly used; etched in stone. Sometimes we must break the rock. Below are examples of my edits for my latest short story with brief explanations as to why I made the changes. I hope these examples will be helpful to my fellow writers and readers within the Void.  I must make one exception with the examples below: they apply to a short story, less than 2,500 words. If you’re working on a full-length novel, these examples won’t apply.   #1 They start to walk. EDIT: They started walking. Taking the advice of Chuck Wendig, I read this sentence out loud, and “They start to walk” sounds awful to me. Thus, to make not only a tense change but to improve the writing as well, it was changed to “They started walking.” #2 The world about my jolted. EDIT: The world about me jolted. Watch out for these. I find them all over my work during the editing process. I note this edit here because the original version “The world about my jolted” made it through three version of the story before it was caught. Even though my mind sees “my,” it still read “me.”  #3 I could now see he was a man. EDIT: I saw a man. Short stories require only the essential words. Nothing more. In the original version of this sentence, it contains a lot of extra wording which isn’t essential. The only thing I’m trying to[…] [Keep Reading]