Archive for inspiration

Zombies… Pressure/Opportunity…

Posted in Life..., Morpheus Tales Magazine, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2011 by stanleyriiks

I was recently asked to contribute to an anthology of original dark fiction. Great, you may say, but then I found out who else was going to be in this book. The list was hideously. It sent cold shivers down my spine and made me feel a little nauseous. Two of my favourite writers were on that list, and the rest were pretty damn good too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing and when things are going well I feel like I belong up there with Stephen King and Clive Barker. But when things are not going so well, I fear anyone will read the dross I come out with.

Massive opportunity. Massive amount of pressure.

I waited for inspiration to strike, I waited and waited as the deadline loomed closer. Slowly but surely the deadline crept up on me and inspiration failed.

Having been a bit rusty in the fiction-writing department, I had thrown out a couple of stories for practice and to try to get a bit of a rhythm going. Managed to knock together a couple of zombie stories, one, at 60,000 words, the longest  I’d written in years.  Editing that down to the 10,000 maximum was too daunting a task, so I thought I’d adapt an old idea I’d had lurking around for a little while.

A futuristic warrior lands on a zombie infested-planet…

The basic concept needed sorting out into a plot with characters…

With the deadline ever closer I had no choice but to start writing, my brain had no more time to let ideas percolate. If things worked out marvellous, if they didn’t… Well, I didn’t want to think about that!

The story was written, twelve thousand words later, weeks worth of writing and I was done. But the story hadn’t turned out how I’d wanted it to. The editing job it needed would be enormous. I could certainly polish it up into something respectable, but editing isn’t exactly my idea of fun and it would take a lot of work.

With the deadline just around the corner I had a decision to make, and virtually no time to make it.

A personal post-apocalyptic tale I had written before I knew about the book had turned out pretty well, I was happy with it, as happy as us sensitive creative types can be that is.  I put it forward to the editor, on the deadline. He snapped my hand off, gave me a nod of affirmation and later emailed me confirmation that the story would be included.

Now I sit and wait, hunched up and trembling with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and fear…

A Pint of Bloody Fiction – Featuring MY story!

Posted in Life..., Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by stanleyriiks

A couple of months ago I hadn’t written anything for ages. A couple of months, I thought, but when I checked it turned out to be almost a year. When I saw a call for submissions of 200 words by House of Horror for their new anthology A Pint of Bloody Fiction, the urge was irresistible. I whipped up a 200 word story in half an hour, and then spending twice that long editing it!

I sent it in, and the acceptance wasn’t long coming. Why isn’t it always that simple? The grin on my face stayed for over a week; anyone who know what a miserably bugger I normally am can testify this is an extremely rare event.

So my story “The Blade Bites Deep” appears in the collection, alongside some other stuff by some other writers. (Who are actually pretty good too!)

This burst of confidence also unleashed a six week write-fest, where I wrote something every couple of days. About twelve stories were produced in that time, and now the inspiration seems to have taken a backseat I better get to editing and submitting the buggers before my own version of writers block (life in general, grrr!) starts getting in the way again. So wish me luck!

And go get yourself a copy of  A Pint of Bloody Fiction and tell them I sent you!

Within the pages of this book of nightmares you will find horror stories in small doses, just enough to quench your bloody thirst. From an insomniac vampire to a library filled with human skin bound books, this collection will take you on a wild ride of chills and thrills without you even having to leave your seat. With each story being no more than 200 words, this collection is only a fraction of what these writers can do. Forty-Two chilling tales from many talented authors, trust me you will not want to put this book down.

Available now from House of Horror, and coming soon to Amazon.

Inspiration! The Seeds of a Story…

Posted in Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2009 by stanleyriiks

Inspiration hit me in the face like a brick this weekend, repeatedly bludgeoning me into submission. It was a bank holiday in the UK, so a nice long weekend. Perfect, you would have thought, for doing some writing…

I’d just finished editing my review of Emma Westwood’s Pocket Essentials Monster Movies (coming soon to Morpheus Tales #5!), bloody good book btw, and was well into reading Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, more of that later.

I’d done my shopping and preparation for the rest of the week, a handful of ham and mustard sandwiches for lunch at work, and I’d made sure I had enough food for breakfast, so the chores were out of the way.

On the train on my way home on Saturday from my nephew’s second birthday (the joy, a kid’s party! at least I got a goodie bag so not a completely wasted journey down to Kent) I went past this house with a huge Union Jack and massive shed at the bottom of the garden. [Inspiration 1.]

Perfect place for the Unibomber, I thought. [Inspiration 2.] While listening to Papa Roach’s Had Enough on my ipod, connotations of Columbine planting seeds in my brain. [Inspiration 3].

You can’t ignore a trilogy of ideas. Although I did try. Monday was virtually clear, so I could write all day, after letting my inspired ideas become more fully formed on Sunday. Except I swapped things around and decided to go to the cinema to see Wolverine: Origins. Similar to the other X-Men films I was left reasonably entertained but mildly disappointed, I’m more a Sandman or Preacher fan myself. Although his wife is bloody gorgeous! I think I’m in love!

So the cinema, then some more reading Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box. It is one of those really annoying books. One of those you pick up and don’t want to put down. One that for a writer is hideous, in that it doesn’t provide any inspiration or ideas that you can steal, instead it gives you the fear. The fear that you will never ever be able to write that well, that you will never be able to evoke emotion and tension and excitement like that. The same effect that Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Joe R. Lansdale and Stephen King all give me.  They make me want to give up because I can never be that good. Can I?

Having put off writing anything for long enough I decide to watch some porn and then have dinner. It’s now half way through the evening and it’ll be bedtime before I get any writing done. I’ve almost managed it, I’ve nearly procrastinated long enough!

Then I stop. I sigh with resignation and open up a blank word document, I take a sip of my cloudy lemonade, turn 30 Seconds to Mars up until my ears bleed and I start to type. Half a page in my word document dies on me. Some kind of fucking error. I almost give up right then and there. I open another document, listening to The Pretender by Foo Fighters. [Inspiration 4.] I have a title. I type, I save after every breath.

A hour later I have a 1000 word story called The Pretender: two school kids shoot up their school and then go back to the arms dealer who sold them the gun to get help. Only he’s not as helpful as they’d hoped….

Now all I gotta do is edit the bugger!