Abandoning a WIP: "I Hate, Therefore I Am"

I’ve decided to scrap my current work in progress, I Hate, Therefore I Am. It was originally meant to be a means of catharsis for me after experiencing my first heartbreak. Unfortunately, what helped me cope at first has become a hindrance to healing. Each time I sit down to write, it only dredges up old feelings that I just want to leave behind me. Though I have no plans to ever complete the LGBT-themed novella, I’m still attached to the opening two scenes.

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Short Story Time: "The Scribe"

I may never finish this side project, but here’s the beginning of a short story I started a few months back, The Scribe. Inspired by the New Testament miracle of Christ healing the centurion’s servant, I began to imagine what it might have been like for a 1st century scribe to record the memories of a Roman centurion who encountered Jesus of Nazareth, and became witness to His glory.

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Organizing Your World

When I think of science fiction or fantasy, I immediately imagine expansive universes, diverse worlds and peoples – a fantastic realm birthed out of the human mind. Even a small-scale sci-fi or fantasy world can carry the weight of something much larger, as it still requires the reader to expand his mind to accommodate new, perhaps completely alien, concepts and imagery. For the reader, this is a marvelous thing. However, for you, as the author, organizing all those elements that make your world wonderful can be a headache.

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High School Memories: "My Life at the Drive-Thru Window"

I found this forgotten gem in the bowels of my cloud drive, and couldn’t help but laugh. I wrote this comical poem in high school around the time when I was reading Milton’s Paradise Lost. It’s written in iambic pentameter and somehow won me an English award in my senior year, despite how absolutely absurd its subject matter is.

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Short Story Time: Levi

Levi Thompson was originally a support character in a sci-fi horror novel I toyed with for a few months. When I tossed that project aside, I made him into the protagonist of Devils in Sunday Hats, but retained much of his background as depicted in this short story, with some notable adjustments. Much of this short story became the opening scene of Devils in Sunday Hats, and was my first step in writing my novel.

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Short Story Time: Reggie

Here’s another short story that I came to adapt for my novel Devils in Sunday Hats, this time featuring Reggie, a malicious drug addict. I actually used this short story as the foundation for a scene in the novel. I ultimately used Reggie’s name for the patriarch of the Skinner family, and changed the character below into Gabe Skinner, the main antagonist in Devils in Sunday Hats.

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Short Story Time: Valerie

I wrote a number of short stories in the past that eventually became elements of Devils in Sunday Hats. This one follows Valerie Fleitman, who over time became Val Skinner, the white trash mother of the even trashier antagonist Gabe Skinner. She and some of my other short story characters ultimately became incorporated into the novel, but this is Val’s earliest appearance in my imagination.

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Building a Universe

Readers pick up a sci-fi or fantasy novel as a means of escaping the real world. Often, the fictional worlds they enter when they open a book are drastically different from what a real human being is used to. Without a proper introduction and context, they could too easily get lost. It’s your job as the author to help welcome them into your universe, not overwhelm them.

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Conlanging 101

The Aetherverse wasn’t my first attempt at building a grand-scale fictional universe, but it was by far my most successful. I have a lot to say about the subject of conlanging for a creative project. My primary piece of advice would be to take a minute and think about what you’ll need it for. There are three scenarios you could find yourself in, all of which will require a different level of detail and functionality for the conlang you’re about to build.

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