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The Creative Process: An Eye for An Eye

11 Jul

So yesterday I published a story that hopefully anyone reading this post has read called “An Eye for an Eye.” It was a short horror narrative that took a look at what was currently taking place with American immigration policy. Now with many of my works, I’ll often get asked on how I came up with something and what was the process I took to create it. Usually I don’t have a great answer but I thought for today’s post I may sit back and try to break down the process of writing this creative piece.

Now one of the first things I did was contemplate the night before on what genre I wanted to write in. Although I fancy myself a good enough writer to be able to cross into any genre, I’m also not entirely foolish to ignore the fact that my strengths lie in science fiction and horror. With that in mind, I had decided I wanted to show off my skills within one of those genres.

Now the next part may seem simple or even funny for many, but a lot of what I write on creatively is inspired by the media I take in. Some days I’ll get online and see a particular post on social media or a news article that gets me motivated to write. Other times it depends on what television shows or movies I may have watched throughout the day. On Monday night, when I was trying to decide what genre to write in, my influence came from Westworld. Now if you’ve read my piece from yesterday, you may begin to question how Westworld influenced what I wrote. This is where the breakdown gets tricky.

I had went to bed that night thinking about how I wanted to write in the horror genre, and then what horrifying thing could I write about. I tried to imagine various things that would make me want to run screaming from the house if I saw them when the lights came on. The one that stuck in my mind was having a body with a head that spun and kept changing faces. I thought next on what could make it creepier. That’s where the influence from Westworld came in. What if they had a blank stare or could be different people in the same body. This may be a stretch to anyone that has seen the show, but that’s how the idea came about. I fell asleep thinking about this and how to build a story around it.

The next part of how my story came to be took place the next day. I had went through my morning routine of eating breakfast, walking the dog, showering, and all the little chores that go along with keeping a house looking nice. I still pondered how I was going to make this creepy concept come together in a story. I thought about having it be a mass murderer facing his victims in Hell, but it felt close to what AMC’s show Preacher did in season 2. I thought maybe having it be a lousy lawyer that faces down all the people he “helped” in a nightmare may do it but I didn’t think I knew enough about the world of law to have a coherent story.

I finally discovered what the subject would be of my piece while scrolling through Twitter and watching France vs Belgium in the World Cup.  I had been looking for posts from Barstool’s Big Cat, as his hot takes on soccer, specifically the World Cup, have been hilarious to read while the match takes place. While I was scrolling, however, I saw an article get retweeted from Newsweek that made me gasp in horror at the headline. It read “Pregnant women detained by ICE miscarried and did not get medical care, report claims.

Now when reading this, I want to give a disclaimer that I had not read the article, nor fully believed it, due to the headline using “claim” in it. However, the idea that this could happen in a country where I lived was something I couldn’t fathom. I then knew how the story would unfold. I won’t go into great detail through the entire plot, but that article seemed to have a neon light hanging over it as to what I should make the story centered around.

I’d say the rest is history but there are a few minor things that I will talk about before ending this post, just parts of the writing that may or may not be of importance. One of the things that I did, and something I love about writing in the twenty-first century, is that I googled for simple symbols to use in the story. An example would be at the very beginning where I compared the light flickering with that of a moth’s wings. In a quick Google search, I found that moths are considered a symbol of death and it was that symbolism I wanted early on in the piece to foreshadow what was coming later. I also did the same with blood red lights, although the color was supposed to be multi-faceted. I wanted it to show the amount of blood that is on the hands of Daniel, while still illuminating his endless anger in the face of a horrific event. Finally at the end, which as I begin to publish more quick works of horror for everyone, I chose to have him smile to try and emulate the fact that people are always the scariest thing to deal with.

Hopefully this blog will give you an idea of how I handle my creative process. Even as I go back and re-read this out loud for mistakes, I still find that at times my explanation can seem convoluted or hard to follow. Maybe this is because I’m trying to convey a process that I don’t totally understand, or maybe this seems off because I feel writing shouldn’t be that easy to breakdown. No matter what the case may be, I hope you at least have some idea of how I write and enjoyed learning about it.

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Update: Where Have I Been?

9 Jul

Hello all!

Let me first start off by giving an apology for my disappearance over the last two weeks. As I sit here and write this post I realize that there hasn’t been anything posted in the last two weeks so I thought I would just give an update on where I’m at and what I’m doing.

First and foremost, if you haven’t heard yet, Kylee and I recently made a big move to Champaign. It’s been pretty exciting and I personally can’t wait to explore this town and see what all it has to offer. That is essentially the main reason for my mini hiatus. We spent a bit of time getting things packed up, then of course moving it, and then finally going through the usual long and boring process of unpacking. Now that we’re settled in however, I plan on getting back to writing and posting content daily.

During this off-time however, I had been thinking of how I’m going to format this blog. The first week where I wrote about millennials for a few days was fun, but I don’t believe having a weekly theme is going to be as great as I initially envisioned. Instead, I want to be more hands on with my approach. I want to be able to reach out to my audience and see what YOU, my readers would like to see each day. My plan is to ask each morning for a topic to write on and if I don’t get any responses, so be it. I’ll find something myself. No matter what though, expect some new work to be coming your way each day.

One thing that will stay the same from my initial idea is giving free creative content each week. When I started, I had one creative piece entitled “The Old Man and the Millennial,” which if you haven’t read it yet, give it a look, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Much like my regular blog posts, I will crowd source during the day to see if anyone has a particular story, setting, plot, etc, they would like me to take a swing at. My goal is to try and do this every Tuesday and Thursday so if that’s all you want to read, keep an eye out for it then.

Finally, since my primary writing style is creative writing, I thought I may share just a tidbit of what creative work I’m currently doing. The big project that I’m taking on, with the help of my buddy Jurgen, is an expansive YouTube universe. I’m currently in the process of writing several scripts, which we hope to continuously film over the next several months. We even started our own page and production group called Pantheon Productions, and if you like the page this week you’ll get to see a nice introduction video that will go into greater detail of what we’re working on and what to expect.

So that’s it for this post. If you have any questions or ideas for my next post, feel free to get at me on this site or on my Facebook or Twitter. Have a great one everyone and expect some fun things to head your way!