The Aesthetics of Editing

For those curious about what editing physically looks like, here’s a page from my short story: Saturn: Journey to the Core. It’s interesting to look back on this and see how much I crossed out. I didn’t delete just words, but entire sentences. The first paragraph was deleted in the final version as it was not essential to the telling of the story. I read this short story again and can cut even more while improving the prose here and there, given my growth as a writer in the past four years. However, I’m not ready to make any changes yet. SATURN was my first published work, and to keep it in its original form seems like the appropriate action at the moment. Perhaps it will change in the future when I return to this story world. (Yes, that means we will hear more from the OKULOUS crew in due time…)  [Keep Reading]

My First Story

Looking back on the my writing history, I think it’s important to thank the group of people who read and published my first story, Saturn: Journey to the Core. Without that first publication, it is possible I would not have had the confidence to write more short stories. I started this blog in 2014 and posted on and off until 2016. During that time, I received a comment from someone starting a new quarterly publication, and they were seeking submissions. The publication was New Zenith Magazine, featuring art, poetry and short stories of all genres. My short story, Saturn: Journey to the Core, appeared in the inaugural Summer, 2016 issue. New Zenith is no longer around, but I felt I should share this story with my readers. Thank the first person who published your story. They believed in you. [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #3 – Andrew Hope

Highlights Story mechanics and the importance of character-driven stories. Setting a goal each time we sit down to write will help us increase our productivity. What inspires us to write weird fiction. You can’t just sit down and “write a screenplay.” It’s a very mechanical discipline; a science all by itself. Welcome to the third episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I had beers with local writer Andrew Hope, bonding over movies, screenwriting and H. P. Lovecraft. A. Macabe: So, you wrote Fantomex. I understand you had to do a significant re-write. Did you feel a lot of pressure when doing the re-write on your first big project? Especially of someone else’s work? Andrew Hope: It was definitely a more conceptual rewrite than just changing some characters and elements. When Axel sent me the plot, it was a pet project of his and he wanted to get it off the ground – I suspect to maintain hold of the property, since Grant was the creator. My biggest two questions were, how closely do I need to stick to both the original plot, and Grant’s 616 creation. The answers to both were do anything you want. Which was good, because I hadn’t read X-Men since Vince left the art and if I didn’t have to sink myself into continuity that was fine with me. The Fantomex you see in the series was not[…] [Keep Reading]

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]