Part of the disused Ryan Speck internet empire; a place for writing, complaining, and procrastinating. (For everything else, check ryanspeck.com.)

Posts Tagged: writing

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In an attempt to drum up a little bit of interest and give back to all those people (all three of you) who have “supported” me for these past five years, I wanted to put up a free short story collection on Amazon. Then I remembered that Amazon doesn’t allow “free” (or under $.99) anymore. So I tried to put it up at Smashwords. Then I discovered that Smashwords fucking suuuuuuuuuuuucks the cock at allowing you to upload cleanly formatted e-books and, instead, forces you to upload .doc files formatted to their fucked up standard that is no way for a normal human being to have to type anything, which is then badly formatted into e-book formats I already made. So fuck them.

Giving up hope on rational human beings allowing me to put up a free e-book (without charging me anything for the privilege), I have thrown up on my website that nobody looks at the fruit of my labors, The Charles Whitman Sampler, containing five short stories totaling around 15,000 words of reading for you. Or, in all likelihood, 250 words of reading, followed by 14,750 words of Recycling Bin.

I hope someone enjoys and, if not, at least I only wasted about 10 hours of my life dicking around with e-book formatting.

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I’m trying to actually be productive, but I’m regularly failing. I mean, how can I possibly fill my time with writing (or something) when there are so many games to distract me, so many movies to watch, so many YouTube videos, so much of Reddit left to read? I know, I’m intensely lazy; you don’t have to tell me. But, even when I’m not working on anything (which covers pretty much the past 4 years), I’m still thinking about projects. Of course, I’ll inevitably forget those ideas and be left, like with Rudderless, sitting there with my proverbial dick in my hand when I actually attempt to write something. “I knew I had some ideas for this story,” I’ll think, immediately followed by me coming up with nothing and the wind rushing out of my writing sails.

Comedy is also a hindrance; it’s hard to be funny on demand, particularly in print. Oh, sure, a witticism or quip isn’t hard to come by, but to turn a story into something consistently amusing for hundreds of pages becomes a gigantic fucking burden that you wouldn’t believe. I really need to write something serious for a change. I think it’s time to trot out a novel (or something) that I have in mind; it was actually two ideas that weren’t quite working before I crushed them into a single idea that has more backstory than I’ll ever use or even be able to mention. That project would move along faster if I had a bit of help, particularly from some kindly native Russian speaker that could help me figure out some phonetic terms to use. That obviously shouldn’t hold me back from writing, but I like to have all my tools lined up before I start working.

Maybe I’ll get back to the grind sometime soon. At very least, I’ll probably edit a half-amusing podcast every few weeks, not that anyone listens to it.

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"Rape should never be brought up more than three times in the course of a Thanksgiving dinner."

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For those who didn’t notice, I gave up on NaNoWriMo. Oh, I could have finished the story, but it would have been forced, unfunny, and not what I wanted and needed the novel to be. I should have started something new, but, instead, wanted to get something finished. As such, I’ve still got nothing finished and only 8,000 new words to show for the month (aside from actually getting some editing and expansion done on the first half of the novel).

But, out of all this, I got the motivation to finally start my humorous fantasy novel. I’d been putting off the idea for a couple of years, because I couldn’t think of a title. Some would have just gone ahead without one, but I stubbornly wanted to post it on the internet. Initially I’d thought a page a day, but that seems a bit optimistic, given my habit of being intensely lazy. So now I’m just going to try to post what I can, when I can. And I came up with a title as I laid in bed a few weeks ago, one that I should have thought of a long time ago and is more significant than it actually sounds.

Rudderless. I don’t think most people are going to “ooh” and “ah” over that particular title. But it holds a very particular meaning in regards to the place from which the idea gestated, something I’ll keep to myself for the time being. But, having that name, I built the site and am now prepared to launch the novel out into the wilds of the internet, if I actually get around to writing something. (Well, strictly speaking, I wrote one sentence, but it was just “The ship was on fire.” I guess I could post that.)

To say a little about the actual novel, part of it is my vulgar, stupid rendition of the typical fantasy novel, combined with an overall tone of mockery that takes aim at coventions of pen & paper roleplaying games. Or at least the cliches and conceits surrounding them.

Hopefully someone will want to read it. You know how people love genre fiction. Maybe it’ll take off and get around the internet, actually leading to someone giving half a shit about something I write. But I won’t get my hopes up about it.

More details to follow, as soon as I make with the writing.

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I’ve been tempted in the past to do an audiobook of The Big Rusty Lie and release it for free on BitTorrent. Anything to promote yourself, right?

Aside from the fact that it would be a decent amount of hard work, time spent preparing, reading, recording, and editing, I’m stopped by the fact that I wrote the book using phonetic accents. They are, of course, used for comedic effect, like Madame Kreuschfach’s over-the-top German accent. It would almost be toned down by me parsing it and reading it for you. The most important thing, though, would be that I would have to verbally commit to Ching’s accent.

The thing I like about Ching’s accent is the fact that, while designed as being the stereotypical Asian accent (much as Ching is the stereotypical Asian sidekick), I’ve never fully committed to it. I’ve avoided the “me Chinese, me make joke”-ish-ness that most accents come to. Ching, through evolution and the process of actually turning a silly concept into a novel, has grown far beyond the Charlie Chan/Fu Manchu “me rikey” accent that I probably would have attributed to him.

Half of the time, Ching’s dialogue is “Yea, suh.” For the reading-impaired, that’s “Yes, sir.” I’ve almost avoided giving a strong accent and made reference to Ching and Bernardo having met in Amsterdam, because I like the idea that while you might think Ching’s accent is Chinese, I’m so all over the place and non-specific that it could be anything.

But, if I record an audiobook, I’m forced to commit. I’ll have to finally decide what his accent truly is, and I know it’ll just become another Asian stereotype.

While my books revel in stereotypes and wouldn’t really go anywhere without them, something about Ching makes me shy away. It’s the one last part of him that’s a mystery. Bernardo is a neverending font of weirdness. Ching beats people up. Once that last question about him is gone, what will be left?

Time will only tell and, as I get farther away from The Big Rusty Lie being a fresh piece of writing, I have no real intention of recording the audiobook. I could be doing so many other things, like actually finishing The Black Smoking Gun Of Temptation (which I’m well-blocked on at the moment). Maybe if there’s ever outcry to warrant reading someone my tale, then I would. But no one is clamoring for my work, so I guess Ching will keep his mystery, for now.