“Show Me the Glint on Broken Glass”


I’m going to babble about something I haven’t talked about in a while. And no, it’s not Dear Bones or my mythical pet giraffe (it is doing fine, by the way). I wish I could say I’m here to talk about a book but no… I’m here to talk about writing. Once upon a time, I talked about my characters for this story I had been working on back then. It involved a guy, a girl, and a mysterious and creepy series of suicides in their island. There are no vampires, no werewolves. I was aiming for creepy and supernatural but I thought vampires, werewolves, banshees, and such didn’t sit well for that particular story. But ghosts? Yes. Definitely. I wanted to incorporate that. And incorporate that I did. This was the prologue I have decided on. (Note: I made some changes since then.)

And how is my writing going? My answer is this: I am the prodigal aspiring writer who meandered down the nameless road to somewhere-people-don’t-even-write. Oh, the shame. The good news, though, is that I have managed to pull up my first draft and I’m in the process of picking up where I left off with editing it. That’s gotta be better than nothing. As an exercise, I have been writing scenes for book two. All I can say is that I know my characters better now. Also? They tend to pull a complete one-eighty on me. Just when I am all set to writing down a very specific scene, I found that their reactions are different from the ones I have in my head when I started it. I know fellow writers (aspiring or not) feel me on that one. Raise your hand and say “Aye!” if you know exactly what I mean.

I meant to publish the whole story somewhere online, once I am done with the editing. I initially posted the first couple of chapters in Wattpad but then heard about the notoriety of plagiarism there. So I stopped posting / updating there. Smashwords was recommended but I have yet to try it. I figured I could post some of the chapters right here in Foxes & Fangs. For the meantime, you can hop over here, where I dump post poems and short pieces I have created.

Going back to writing is a beautiful thing but there are times when I struggle what to write. Is this scene going somewhere? Are my characters spouting off nonsense? How will this story end? My mythical pet giraffe suddenly appearing and asking for homemade sweet iced tea is not helping. At all. You know what’s going to help? And inspire you and me both in the mystical, beautiful, lonely craft of writing? These words:

Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you. — Neil Gaiman

I am always chilled and astonished by the would-be writers who ask me for advice and admit, quite blithely, that they “don’t have time to read.” This is like a guy starting up Mount Everest saying that he didn’t have time to buy any rope or pitons. — Stephen King

If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world. — Ray Bradbury

Whenever I’m asked what advice I have for young writers, I always say that the first thing is to read, and to read a lot. The second thing is to write. And the third thing, which I think is absolutely vital, is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories you’re being told. — John Green

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. — Anton Chekhov

Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution. — Michael Moorcock

Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money. — Jonathan Franzen

Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever. — Will Self

Writing is putting one word in front of the other until that scene or thought or idea in your mind spins into something concrete. Some days it’s easy. Some days you begin to question your sanity. Other days you wonder why you even bother writing. But here is one true thing I have learned while writing: You won’t stop. Sure, you’ll skip some days or even weeks or — to an extreme — months and months or years. But you will always come back to writing. It is simply a part of you. Life does not feel complete if you don’t write. And so write you will and write you must. Do you know why? Because for us who love nothing more than writing, it’s our means not only of escape and expression but of living. Truly living. And so we keep on writing because it’s that one time we feel completely alive.



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