brain vomit

Brain Vomit: Creating and Editing Stories

There comes to me to be two great parts of writing. The Creating and the Editing.

Creating is fun because–well, why is it fun? Is it that we’re bringing to life these splendid, and sometimes not so splendid, characters who, in a way, are foggy representations of ourselves and those around us? Is it that we can meet people without even leaving our office? They are real, really! Or is it that we have a drive–an insatiable hunger–to produce   stories to change the world and spread global peace and cure the hunger epidemic and hand out Nobel Prizes like Hershey chocolate bars?

I think that applies to all but the latter.

I can create for who knows how long. One novel took me nearly six months to complete–and that was the first draft, currently it is in its second draft. My other novel took me four months; and, truth be told, it was harder to write. So, it depends. A single short story may take you a month. A single novel may take you five years, make it six if you want to beat Tolstoy and Hugo.

Then–[lightning sounds and a hissing cat]



Yes, scream, scream and bang your heads against the wall! The dreaded editing monster has returned to wreak havoc on your precious little writing brains and hands–and, worst of all, your time!

But I don’t have an hour and a half to spare! 

Wipe up those tears, crybaby, and make it ten minutes a day! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Side note: I was having fun just inserting those laughs, had to force myself to stop.

Editing was a hated task of mine…when I was fourteen. I’d finish a story, usually between fifteen or twenty pages; read it to my family, who sometimes fell asleep during those times; and stuff it inside a binder or send it off to a publishing company.

Random House, here I come! What? A piece of shit? Excuse me? 

Now, quite obviously, I have seen the error of my ways and am editing constantly. Seriously, dude, it’s an eight hour grind, totally not tubular or radical at all. I finish a short story and start the editing process the night after. For me, the whole set of writing and editing one of those takes near to nine days; some of you may be different, and that is A-okay.

What works for you, works for you.

Yeah. I can feel the inspiration surging through us. Go Writers. Blow the trumpets.

You can be a Creator or an Editor, or you can be both. But those guys are nerds, am I right? Eh? Anyone want to laugh? Who honestly edits and creates? It’s too much of a chore. Everybody knows the surefire way to becoming an excellent writer is by watching crap loads of television, pouring grape juice on your manuscripts, and shouting at your computer because it won’t invent the story of the century at your command.

Sure, I know that club. It’s called Dead End.

Think daily, 

A Southpaw

Note: We made it to eighty posts! Let them eat cake! Thank you for staying with me so long!

And I don’t really have cake. That was a joke. Sorry.

Brain Vomit: Pantsers and Seaters

All you writers out there; yes, I am even talking to you, Man Who Uses A Fountain Pen On All Of His Manuscripts, I have a revelation–writing is a flooding of the mind, the gates open and the brain is drowned in tidal waves of words.

That sounds badass when I put it that way, not to toot my own horn–

Any who…

All of us have varied methods of writing, some like to write a certain number of hours or minutes–two hours is a good amount for me–and others prefer a trusty word count limit between 1000 and 2000 words…some go to 6000, those are the outliers…don’t tell them I said that.

Whatever methods we use work for us; well, they have to–what the hell is the point of organizing all this writing shit if it turns out to be Dumpster material in the end?

Of course, organization can take its own forms. Most like to call them Seaters or Pantsers–I am wondering who came up with those because the latter seems like it was meant to sound immature…I identity with the Pantsers, just unbuckle that belt–but I am kidding…in reality a Pantser could not give two coal heaps about a written plan and decide to, like the Hippies of old, go with the flow, dude–cause, why not?

In a world of Seaters I have been criticized as a Pantser–not many like to take a leap of faith and rely on the good ole’ Muse to supply with them a Pass Go and Collect $200 dollars card. Those who do know how relaxing, and, unavoidably, how stressful, it can be. For Chrissakes, you’re writing in your underwear, how can it not be more stressful?

But I am not here to convert writers to the dark Pantser side of the Force.

Sometimes, and this has happened frequently to me while writing novels, I curse my Pantser beliefs and decide to migrate to the realm of the Seaters; but each time I get freaked because I’m worried the story is going to suffer from my change of perspective.

It is difficult to plan out a novel, let alone a short story, and I commend the writers who take the extra time to do so. Being a Seater means sketching out the characters and the setting and the conflict all before actually writing the first draft–I wonder they don’t get bored from figuring out how the story ends and who the characters are inside and out so early.

See, for every fifteen Seaters, there are thirty Pantsers.

The writing world has to have both perspectives to ensure different types of literature; one can never be the same as the next, as they say.

Because repetitiveness is just plain dull.

Writers reading this, tell me one thing–when you are Pantsing, that sounds bad, or Seating, your stories, when does it get to the point where you ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing?” and change faiths on a dime? Or does it ever get there?

Now, if you’ll excuse me–I have to get back to Pantsing.

Think daily,

A Southpaw


Brain Vomit: How To Write

I am a writer. Shocking news…I know; please, don’t all of you have a heart attack at once–I cannot stand writing induced heart attacks. Look at all those other writers who caused heart attacks: Stephen King; Guy De Maupassant; Bram Stoker…Dr. Seuss. It goes on for a while…

I am a writer and I like writing.

Enough said.

Time for the “Think daily”–what’s that? I didn’t talk about writing? Of course I did–I mentioned how writing is an escape route; and, in a story, it is not you who controls the characters but the characters who control you. Dun Dun Duunnnn! Excellent B-horror movie material for all you fledgling movie directors…enjoy, be merry; but remember I accept checks of up to 200 dollars. Toasters just ain’t that cheap any more, folks.

Not as if I wrote a list or anything: I may have some pointers; but, listen, I’m a seventeen year old–what the hell do I know about writing? You put a pen on a paper and let your brain vomit. I really can’t say more. Okay…maybe you scrape off the vomit–the little carrot giblets– and spread some tofu on that sucker, adding a bit of tasteful flavor to your literary work. I forgot–then you turn on a box fan to the highest setting and spray paint your artist studio in tofu vomit…it’ll be hard to tell the difference…Whatever picture shows up, be it a portrait of Jesus Christ or the McDonalds arches; that is the personality of your story.

Then…if you feel up to it…you take a fork from your silverware drawer, a nice thick fork; and walking up to that beauteous Michelangelo-died-of-shock wall stab those prongs into the glob and pile it into…a manilla folder–for storage.

What, did you think I was gonna say your mouth?

Get your head out of the gutter.

Think daily,

A Southpaw