Category Archives: writing

Michael Myers ch 4

michael myers halloween

Before I dive into Michael Myers, a Halloween fanfiction, I want to remind everyone that this is pretty much your last chance to get my titles for free or at a discount via Smashwords.

The Smashwords promo ends on July 31st, so get in there now. You don’t have to just get my books; many authors are discounting their titles for the rest of July.

If you don’t have a Smashwords account, it is completely free to make, and many books are always free for download, while most of the rest are reasonably priced, so now is the best time to take advantage of Smashwords.

Anyway, back to Michael Myers, a Halloween fanfiction….

I must admit that while writing this, I ended up keeping Michael as a boy for far longer than I had intended. I also believe this little, horror, fanfiction is going to be a bit longer than I had presumed. Unfortunately, I’m having to divide my time between the Halloween fanfiction, touching up War and Glory, Lokians 3, and setting up The Dragon of Time 3, Dragons Falling (Working title).

There is also another book I’ve finished writing and will probably release that one around Turkey Day, but enough BS. Here’s the fourth chapter of Michael Myers, a Halloween fanfiction….

It had taken two days to get everything under control after Michael and the kids killed Marla, the orderly. Loomis had sent his reports to Lt. Reichstag in the meantime, and when she showed up, she demanded Loomis to show her the boy.

Michael found himself inside one of the rooms with the paper covered bed; the rooms that always had a man in a white coat. He sat on it, crinkling the paper in both hands. There was always an odd smell in the room, something light that made the insides of his nose feel funny.

Disregarding any kind of ordnance, Reichstag, a tall, blonde woman dressed in a black uniform with colorful ribbons, pulled a cigarette from a pack, placed it between her lips, and lit it. She took a long inhalation before blowing out a cloud of smoke. The scent quickly assaulted the boy’s palate; Loomis glanced at her with a wince.

“Separate him from the rest,” Reichstag ordered.

“You want him in B block?”

“A block.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” the doctor shook his head when he spoke. Reichstag glared at him. “I have to tell you, he can’t grow up to follow complex orders. He’s not the kind of patient for A block.”

“Leave that to me and Ushiro,” Reichstag was indifferent. “You just make sure he starts getting the proper dosage.”

“He’s too young! Most of A block have already gone through puberty. You remember what happened with Jones. You want a repeat of that?”

Reichstag shoved Loomis by the shoulder, her cigarette dangling from her lips. She took another drag then.

“It doesn’t make any difference. If I have to put him down, I will.”

“You don’t put anybody down,” Loomis frowned. “You have me do it….”

“Then, you’ll do it.”

With that, the woman left. Michael was still crinkling paper when Loomis pulled a stool with wheels from the corner. He sat on it and scooted closer to the boy.

Scrutinizing the gashes and bruises covering the boy, Loomis suffered a moment of doubt or remorse. There wasn’t much of an alternative; Reichstag’s superiors funded Smith’s Grove, and they had placed Loomis in charge because of his service record, and his ingenuity in the field of biology. His job was to create forms of super soldiers, but not every boy and girl was cut out for A block.

“I guess you would have gotten killed one way or another,” Loomis sighed. “Still, B block would have been better; all they do is charge and shoot whatever’s in front of their eyes…but A block…they require precise cognition, forethought, planning. You don’t understand any of that, do you?”

Michael started nodding the way Ushiro had taught him, but Loomis knew it was just an action; he had been trained to nod after a question. Loomis looked to the counter behind him. There was a jar of cotton balls; he took one and placed it in the boy’s hand. He rubbed his face with it. Loomis shook his head in dismay.

 

****

 

Months went by. Michael was relocated to a very bright room. There was a single, padded bed, but there was no space to move around. There were no other children in the room either, but he did have his very own cotton ball.

Every time the lights went out, he went to sleep. When the lights came back on, someone slid a tray of food through a sliding transom. After he ate, Loomis came in to give him a shot, and then he was led through the hallway with a few other kids; most of them were big. None of them ever made eye contact.

Finally, they were herded into a very spacious room. The lights were way overhead. The room had all kids of strange things; there were big, black, rubber tires, there were heavy, round, metal plates, big, red bags. There was even a big square that had stairs and ropes around it. Kids fought each other on it.

Every day, after Ushiro forced them to run drills, he made them fight. Sometimes, something soft was placed over Michael’s eyes; the first time it happened, he just stood there, but someone kept shocking him with the prod and yelling to move—it made sense; if he moved, he didn’t get prodded until he wound up in a spot where he couldn’t move anymore because there was something hard and smooth. Then, he got zapped again. Other times, there were blocky things, which he had to crawl over or climb onto, but after a while, Michael learned how to move without being shocked at all.

By honing his other senses, the boy quickly memorized Ushiro’s maze. One time, he even smelled Reichstag’s cigarette, and he heard her voice; she was there, speaking to Ushiro.

“He’s pretty good for a rug rat,” she said.

“Yeah, but the bigger kids still whip his ass in the ring. He’s got guts, and I don’t think he feels pain, but he sure as Hell hates the prod. Fortunately, he’s learned to stop trying to take it from me, and at the end of it all, he’s just happy to get back to his room and diddle his face with cotton.”

Reichstag laughed. “Loomis says he’s responding to the drugs, too.”

“Yeah, he must’ve already grown two inches and packed on some muscle, but I have to admit…I think Loomis might’ve been right….”

“About?” Reichstag sounded angry.

“I just can’t imagine you’ll be able to give this kid a target and expect him to deduce the best methods for hunting it down; he’s a killer, sure, and he can easily move through this maze, but what if I change it? He’ll have to memorize its layout all over again; he can’t improvise.”

“That’s really not my problem.”

Thanks for reading Michael Myers, a Halloween fanfiction Ch 4.

There’s still a long way to go, and I have a few more chapters written out. If anyone has any comments or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks again. Like, share, all that!

 

Michael Myers Ch 3

michael myers halloween

Thanks, everyone, for your continued support. I’ve been very busy working on a few different things including Michael Myers, a Halloween Fanfiction, so some quick updates, first:

war and glory lokians 3 by aaron dennis
war and glory lokians 3 by aaron dennis

For one, War and Glory, Lokians 3 has been proofed. I still need to clean up the formatting, but that won’t take more than about an hour’s time.

I want to release that particular, scifi book in September, which gives everyone plenty of time to become acquainted with the Lokians scifi series.

At this very moment, and for only a few more days, everyone can download my Lokians scifi series for free, that and a few other titles.

You can learn more about that here.

That’s basically it on the updates, to be honest–War and Glory is coming out on time, and I’ll release some excerpts here and there, but sometimes I get enough scifi and want to write some horror, which is why we’re back on track with Michael Myers, a Halloween Fanfiction.

Here’s chapter 3:

“This stringy brat,” the man with black hair asked.

“His name is Michael Myers,” Loomis said.

Michael was standing before two men in a bright room. There were blue mats all over the ground, and the walls were pristine white, except for a few blood splatters that had never been fully cleaned.

“He doesn’t look like much; beaten and bruised.”

“He fought through a dozen B’s and all for a cotton ball. He seems to like them,” Loomis replied.

“Does he understand what’s going on around him?”

“I think so, but being autistic, he must find it rather difficult to relate to normal people. What I do know is that it’s your job to make sure he understands how to fight.”

“I’m aware of my job here, Dr. Loomis,” Ushiro condescended.

“Just understand that I’ve picked Michael for Lieutenant Reichstag’s special team.”

“But he’s only six,” Ushiro sounded surprised.

“I don’t care how old he is. By the time you’re through with him, he’d better be ready for Reichstag. She’s been pressing Smith’s Grove pretty hard, and so far, we haven’t been able to give her more than three kids. If you can’t whip Michael into shape, I shudder to think at how the military will respond.”

“Whatever,” Ushiro sounded disinterested. “Myers,” he yelled. “When I call you, you look at me!”

“He won’t look you in the eye,” Loomis stated, dryly.

Ushiro shrugged. He nabbed Michael by the hair and bobbed his head up and down. “You do this when you understand. This means yes, and if you want to play with cotton balls, you’ll do everything I tell you. Understand?”

He let go the boy’s head, and he certainly nodded, but it was the mere act of bobbing his head up and down that Michael enjoyed. He just kept nodding, so Ushiro snickered.

“He’s all yours,” Loomis said and left.

“Alright, kid, stop bobbing your head and listen.” Ushiro then explained that he was the Sensei, and he taught little boys and girls how to fight. “You want this cotton puff?”

Michael reached for it, still nodding, but Ushiro hid it behind his back. “Stop nodding!” Michael did and looked up, but he was staring at Ushiro’s nose. “Close enough. Now, step your left foot out like this.”

He made an effort to teach the boy the basics of karate, but for the most part, everything was lost on Michael, so the Sensei manipulated the boy as he calmly talked him through the training. After an hour of suppressing his irritation, he handed Michael the cotton ball. The boy plunked down and rubbed it over his face. A minute later, Ushiro took it from him, and the boy attacked.

Laughing, Ushiro swept his feet out from under him, and he fell to the mats with a loud smack. He tried to wriggle up, but the man pinned him down with his foot.

“You want something bad enough, you have to fight for it. You understand?”

Amazingly, Michael nodded.

“That’s it. There’s hope for you after all,” Ushiro laughed.

They trained hour after hour for the whole day, and after Ushiro felt the boy was beginning to learn, he let him play with the cotton. Eventually, orderlies came in to sedate Michael and strapped him to a chair. They then wheeled him into the large room filled with rows of tables and chairs. Boys and girls ate their dinner before receiving more, mysterious inoculations.

Finally, Michael was taken back to the room with the cots where he fell asleep. There was something different about sleep that night. Michael saw a little girl. She was very small with long, dark hair. She smiled and played with him. He liked it when she rubbed his face with a little brush. When the man and the woman called out Laurie, she giggled and ran to them, dropping the toy brush on the ground. Michael reached for it, but then he found himself in blackness.

He felt the rough blanket over his body. He wasn’t with the girl anymore. He was with many, angry children. They constantly fought with one another, and he knew that if he fought back, there was a chance to play with cotton balls.

Not too far away, he saw a dim light bled through a crack by the bottom and top of the darkness, so he rolled out of bed and walked over to it. It was the light from the hallway bleeding through the door. He tried to open it to leave, but the handle didn’t turn. Long after, the lights came on making him shut his eyes for a second. The sound of feet drew his attention, and he stood up.

When the door opened, he saw the orderly that had broken his toy brush, and he started punching her in the legs. She took something from around her back and jammed it into his chest. Whatever it was sent such a seizure through his body that he fell back.

“You little pricks like the prod, don’t ya’?” she laughed.

He saw she was holding a long, black stick of some sort. “Get up. It’s time for breakfast.” She and two men, all wearing white, led the kids to the room where everyone ate. After they ate, they were given more shots. Michael always looked at the cotton when they swabbed his arm. He knew that if he fought hard enough, the ball was his, so he started throwing punches like Mr. Ushiro had shown him, but someone shocked him again.

It required some effort, but he managed back up to his feet. “That’s real good, Myers,” Ushiro said. Michael looked over. The man was wearing all white except he had a funny-looking, black belt over his clothes. He was standing with his arms hidden behind his back. “Are you ready for today’s lesson?”

Michael nodded for about two minutes while Ushiro gathered up two dozen kids and led them down the hall. Other men and women wearing white followed, and they made sure to prod the kids that stepped out of line. Then, they were herded into the room with blue mats. Ushiro set them up to stand in certain positions.

Some of the kids tried to wander off, but there were always people ready to shock them. During Ushiro’s lesson, he made the kids fight each other one at a time. Then, he made them fight two and three at a time. Every time Michael hurt one of the kids, he was allowed to play with a cotton ball for a few minutes. Then, Ushiro took it away, and Michael fought for it, but the Sensei was too strong, too quick.

After class, all the kids were led back to the eating room. Some of them, like Michael, had to be sedated, and after eating, they received more shots yet again. The boy always tried to get the cotton ball, but no one let him, and every time he tried, he was prodded, strapped to a chair, and sent to bed.

Sometimes, at night, in the dark, kids fought each other. When they came for Michael, he bit them, jammed his fingers into their eyes, choked, or beat them with his fists; Ushiro’s words never left him. Sometimes, at night, the people in white came into the room very quietly. Michael heard some of the kids scream and cry, but then the sounds grew muffled. One time, he felt someone grab him.

He had been seeing the little girl again, and he liked her very much, but someone had grabbed him and turned him onto his stomach. He felt a hand pin him down, and it was hard to breath with his face in the pillow. Whoever it was tore the clothes from his body and did something he didn’t understand. Like everything else, it didn’t hurt, but he didn’t like it. The following morning, the woman told him it happens to everyone, and she laughed while she helped him get dressed. Something about her laugh made him angry.

He looked right at her nose then her mouth. He hated that smug smile. He stomped her foot, and she reached behind her back to grab the prod, but he was expecting it; he wanted it. He hopped back, grabbed it with his left hand, like Ushiro showed him, and he grabbed her wrist with the other hand. He bit her and took the prod; as he began to hit her all over, she fell back, and the other kids swarmed her. They tore her to pieces before more men flooded the room.

There were loud bangs and pops. White smoke filled the room. The smoke made Michael choke and cry, and then someone pulled the prod from his hands. Suddenly, the lights went out.

Thanks for reading chapter 3 of Michael Myers, a Halloween Fanfiction. Like, share, blah, blah, blah.

Michael Myers Chapter 2

michael myers halloween

I’ve been a pretty big Halloween fan for a while, but apart from the original Halloween, I just haven’t really been impressed. I decided it’s time for me to write a Halloween fanfiction, and I’m just calling it: Michael Myers.

This horror is basically written from the point of view of Michael; he’s the protagonist, not the antagonist, and I promise you all, you’ve never seen Michael Myers like this.

Halloween is probably one of the best known horror flicks, and it’s certainly done very well, but I’m just not sure it’s aged well. Rob Zombie tried to retell the story, and don’t misunderstand, I love Rob Zombie, but I think this new version of Michael Myers is going to be better than Halloween.

Big words, I know, but here’s the second chapter of Michael Myers, a Halloween Fanfiction, by Aaron Dennis. That’s me…I’m Aaron Dennis….

No one had seen hide nor tail of Missy Myers or Tom Strode. When the police went by the house, the gruesome scene was evident; the six year old boy had killed his parents. At the police station, the Strodes were happy to take in their granddaughter, but no one wanted anything to do with little Michael Myers, who sat there, dangling his feet, wearing his bloody, green pyjamas, and holding a toy, makeup brush.

The psychiatrist on duty knew there was no home for the boy, no home except Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. By nightfall, an old man knelt down before the boy. Michael kept swinging his feet, staring at the motion.

“Hello,” the old man said. He had short, gray hair, and a soft tone. “I’m Doctor Loomis. Can you tell me your name?” Michael had no reaction. Loomis stood and whispered to another man for a moment. “Yes, Smith’s Grove will be the best place for a boy like this. Our methods yield results.” He then knelt down in front of the boy again. “They told me your name is Michael, Michael Myers. Come with me.”

Loomis stood and held out his hand. Again, Michael didn’t appear to comprehend the situation around him, so Loomis grabbed the boy’s empty hand, and he slid of the chair. Together, they walked down the tile floor, under fluorescent lights. Some of the officers gave the two scant looks, but they were all busy.

Outside the station, under an orange streetlamp, the two stood for a moment while a black car pulled around. It was drizzling, and Michael looked up to view the droplets of rain appear from within the cone of light. Then, he was gently pushed into the back seat of the car. Loomis slid in next to him. Michael began brushing his face with his sister’s toy.

“You like the way that feels,” Loomis stated. “It’s understandable. There are many boys and girls just like you. Tomorrow morning, after we get you all set up, you’ll get to meet them.”

The car drove out of the city, and down a dark road. There were no other cars, and thick oaks lined both sides of the street. It was a long ride, and Michael fell asleep in the car.

 

****

 

During the next, few months, Michael saw less and less of Doctor Loomis. He didn’t care one way or the other. The other boys and girls didn’t interest him, nor did they appear to have much of an interest in him. Some of them tried to touch him. One of them took the toy brush from his hands while he was sitting up in his cot.

Michael turned to face the boy; he was bigger than some of the others, and his face was cold and hard. Michael lunged out of his bed, bit the boy’s throat and rained down fists. They tumbled over, but Michael kept on slamming his hands down over the boy’s face. When the boy stopped moving, he retrieved his brush, sat back on his cot, and rocking his body back and forth, he traced circles over his face with the toy.

It wasn’t until the next morning that one of the women who came from time to time, one of the women who always brought Michael to another, strange man in a white coat, found the bigger boy dead on the tile floor. Since he was dead next to Michael, who was still covered in blood, the implications were obvious; she snatched the brush from his hand and broke it.

“If you can’t play nice, you can’t play at all,” she said and stood back with Missy Myers’s haughty derision, her smug smile of self satisfaction. Like a flash of lightning, Michael dove at her, but two men in white snatched the boy right out of the air. “Bad, little boys must be taught some manners.”

Michael jerked and pulled; he dragged his bare feet over the cold floor, but the men were relentless. They stuffed him in a chair with wheels, latched his hands to the arm rests, buckled his feet in place, and pulled something hard down over his face.

The chair’s squeaking sounded strange, but it was nice, peaceful; there was a certain rhythm to the sound. One turn and another began to disorient the boy, who saw very little through the slits in the plastic over his face. The way the overhead lights shone was pleasant, though. Then, everything came to a stop.

Something cold touched his arm. Something pointy went inside. His neck and shoulders seized for a moment. Finally, he felt very warm and comfortable.

 

****

 

“Michael, can you hear me?” It was Loomis’s voice. “They told me you became angry when the orderly broke your brush. I’m sorry she took your toy, but here at Smith’s Grove, we all have to get along, and if you can’t get along…you’ll have to learn to fight.”

The plastic was pulled from the boy’s face. He blinked a great deal at first; his vision was blurry, but everything was very bright. There were numerous boys and girls within Michael’s field of vision, but the only thing of interest was the feel of a cotton ball being rubbed over his cheek; Loomis was stimulating the boy.

He tried to reach for the cotton ball, but his hands and legs were still secured. Loomis pulled the cotton ball away and knelt down. He tilted Michael’s chin, but the boy made no eye contact.

“You can play with this cotton ball for a few minutes…if you can get to it.”

Loomis then walked beyond the other boys and girls. He stood by a darkened wall where there were no lights. Michael tried to climb from the chair.

“Hold on a sec’,” someone said.

The straps came undone, but before the boy had a chance to react, the lights overhead flashed like a strobe. The sight was stunning, but it quickly ended, however, the act animated the other boys and girls; they were all similarly clothed, as was Michael, in dark, green jumpsuits.

They all ran at him. They punched him, and grabbed him, and bit him. They held him down while the adults laughed and made strange comments. Some of them cheered names.

“C’mon, Michael,” Loomis yelled. “Come get the cotton ball!”

All the boy saw were ravenous glowers, contorted faces filled with wrath, but he wanted that ball of fluffy white. He thrashed, and he gnashed his teeth over someone’s hand. He threw one fist, and then another; he punched, and kicked, bit, and jammed his fingers into eyes. A bloodied mess, he grabbed a girl by her hair and slung her into another kid. He kicked one, and he stomped down over one more; all the while, he tried desperately to reach Doctor Loomis, who was then kneeling and holding out the cotton ball.

“You must win, Michael; you must beat them all, or you cannot play with this wonderful toy!”

Fists and feet struck the boy, but he felt no pain. Teeth crunched down over his shoulders, his fingers, but he didn’t care; he wanted that toy. Almost free from the angry masses, he ran while one boy held him by the collar, and one girl had her arms wrapped over his ankle, biting his leg. He pulled, and pulled, dragging himself to the cotton ball.

“That’s it, Michael, take it from me!”

He did, he got the white ball, and one of the kids tried to take it, but he smashed his fists over their head, fell onto the ground, and as the adults chuckled and rounded up the kids, he ran the ball over his face, but it got all wet, and cold, and red. In confusion, he looked at Loomis, who tried to establish eye contact.

“If you want that ball to stay white and soft, you’ll have to learn to fight better. Mister Ushiro can teach you how to do that, but you have to do everything he tells you, or you’ll never get another cotton ball….”

Thanks for reading chapter 2 of Michael Myers, a Halloween fanfiction by Aaron Dennis. Like, share, all that.

Michael Myers

michael myers halloween

I’ve been a pretty big Halloween fan for a while, but apart from the original Halloween, I just haven’t really been impressed. I decided it’s time for me to write a Halloween fanfiction, and I’m just calling it: Michael Myers.

This horror is basically written from the point of view of Michael; he’s the protagonist, not the antagonist, and I promise you all, you’ve never seen Michael Myers like this.

Halloween is probably one of the best known horror flicks, and it’s certainly done very well, but I’m just not sure it’s aged well. Rob Zombie tried to retell the story, and don’t misunderstand, I love Rob Zombie, but I think this new version of Michael Myers is going to be better than Halloween.

Big words, I know, but here’s the prologue and the first chapter of Michael Myers, a Halloween Fanfiction, by Aaron Dennis. That’s me…I’m Aaron Dennis….

 

Michael Myers was three years old and hadn’t spoken a word, uttered a single sound, not even cried for his mother’s breast. When his mother tried to enroll him in school, it was discovered the boy was most likely autistic; the way he rocked back and forth, the way he waved his hand in front of his eyes, the way he ran soft things like stuffed bunnies over his skin was a dead giveaway.

Rather than waste the effort to place the boy in special education, his mom married another man, had another kid, a baby girl. No one cared about Michael Myers, the freak, the simpleton. About three years went by before the boy snapped.

His little sister had been tickling his face with a toy, makeup brush. He liked the feeling, and he found his mother’s makeup brush in her bathroom. He stood in front of the mirror of the dimly lit, damp, and grungy room, and without an expression, he traced circles around his eyes….

 

Chapter One

 

“Give me that, you little brat,” the woman shouted.

Startled, Michael dropped the brush into the sink and turned to see the woman. She swooped down with a clawed hand like an eagle’s talon and swiped him clean across the face. His chin bounced off the ceramic, and he fell noisily onto the green, soiled rug. When the woman snatched him from the ground, his arms flailed out for balance, and he knocked over a pair of scissors.

“You a little faggot, huh?” the woman yelled as she shook him. She slapped him again, across the other cheek, shoved his face in the mirror, and the blood from the gash over his chin smeared over the glass. “You like paintin’ your face, you little girl?”

Grabbing him by the hair, she dragged him over to the toilet, forced his face down into the closed lid, and started punching him in the back. The boy didn’t make a sound. No tears fell from his eyes. There wasn’t any pain.

Finally, she stopped and stood back, with smug arrogance, to observe her punishment. Michael turned around. She was holding the brush.

The boy looked from the brush to the woman’s face; her look of haughty derision was lost on him, so he glanced at the blood smeared mirror, and back to the woman; he started lightly tapping his cheek bone, just beneath the eye. She snapped the brush in half and threw it at him. When he bent down to pick up the half with the brush on the end, she let out a blood curdling scream and slapped him over the head. Though he saw stars for a moment, he looked up. She cut the bristles off the brush with the scissors, dropped the scissors on the counter, booted the boy back into the tub, flipped the toilet lid up, and dropped the bristles into the bowl. When the boy went to look in the bowl, she flushed.

Immediately, Michael pushed past her, took the scissors from the counter, and began stabbing. He stabbed at the woman’s legs, her knees, her hips, and when she fell back, screaming in agony, he climbed on top of her and stabbed over, and over, and over again. Blood flew, painting the walls, the woman, the mirror, the boy.

Suddenly, over the commotion, Michael heard the man. He had come to the bathroom too late, but that didn’t stop him from latching fingers around Michael’s throat. He squeezed, cutting off the air, but Michael raised his hand, the bloody scissors still in his grip, and he brought them down into the man’s arm.

Crying, and scrambling back on his hands and seat, the man was thwarted by the soiled, green rug. He covered no ground, and Michael let loose all his fury. The final blow of the scissors left the tool in the man’s eye. Michael Myers was free to return to the bedroom he shared with his sister. She tickled his face with her toy brush.

Thanks for reading Michael Myers, a Halloween Fanfiction by Aaron Dennis.

That’s only the beginning–I’ve written more–you’ll have to wait until next week for the next chapter.

In the meantime, come check me out at Smashwords where, for the month of July, you can get a bunch of my work for free or at a 75% discount.

You can also check out this post to learn how to make money from selling my books through Smashwords. Smashwords accounts are free to make, so if you don’t have one, don’t wait for Michael Myers to come out…make one now, and see what all I have!

Some of it is horror, some scifi or fantasy, some fanfiction, all of it is awesome!

Thanks again, like, share, all that.

Welcome to the age of indie; mainstream entertainment is all but dead

Ash with Boom stick
Ash with Boom stick

My name is Aaron. I am a writer. Some of you know me from articles, or game reviews, or short stories, or even my novels. Some of you don’t know me at all.

My writing career really began by accident; I had written some short stories for myself, and some of the people closest to me enjoyed them, and they suggested I found a way to have them published. The short version of this story is that my journey led me to find Smashwords.

Smashwords is a great platform for the indie writer and publisher. As with every product, some of the products available from Smashwords are better than other products. The same can certainly be said for mainstream publishers, and the books written by mainstream authors.

How many mainstream authors can you name?

There are millions. Most of them have only a single title. Most of them are not earning a living from their writing. Most mainstream books are not written very well, and today, many mainstream editors are doing a very poor job.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not trying to convince anyone to shy away from mainstream authors. I’m just trying to make readers aware of a great place to find some new adventures.

Nowadays, many of the books that people buy from Amazon are indie books. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with Amazon. For one, it’s painfully difficult to list a title for free. There are too many hoops through which authors and publishers must jump, and often times, the end result is still not a free title!

You can find numerous, free, indie titles on Barnes and Noble online as well as iBooks, but just about all of those titles are originally published through Smashwords—Barnes and Noble online and iBooks are just distributors. You can even download free samples of those priced books from Smashwords.

I’m writing about Smashwords because of that reason, actually. You see, there are many readers out there, readers like you, who are tired of the “same ole’ same ole’”; you are looking for something new, and every time you find something new from your favorite, mainstream publisher, you find that it’s…not as great as they made it seem.

Did you know that mainstream publishers have their authors buy 5,000 copies of their books in order to fake their way onto the New York Time’s best seller list? Did you know they also create tons of faux accounts from which they post fake reviews? Yes, the publishers have their employees create email accounts, or the company just allocates a department, which creates email accounts, and those email accounts are used to make Amazon accounts, and Barnes and Noble accounts, etc., and they use those accounts to write fake, rave reviews. I am well aware that indie publishers and indie writers do the same thing, but that’s exactly my point; today, there is no real difference in quality of products between indie and mainstream; both have good and bad writers, good and bad books, so why not pop on down to Smashwords?

At least, from Smashwords, you can find numerous writers who release free titles. You can read their free books, and if you like them, you’ll know, without spending a dime, if you like their style. If their books aren’t free, you can always download a free sample, and that way you can see if the book is worth the price. Furthermore, very few books are priced at anything over $5.99. Most mainstream ebooks run upwards from $9.99 to even $13.99…for an ebook!

Now, I’m writing this article at a crucial time. You see, every year, Smashwords has a month long promo. In July, I will be using that promo to give away my books at a discounted price, and even some for free. This is a great way for me to find new fans, but a big problem with Smashwords is that most users are other writers. I need new readers to come to Smashwords and see just how great it is.

You’ll have to make an account in order to download ebooks, but the account is free; all you need is an email address. Then, you can download all the books you want. You can even rate and review them on Smashwords. Some of the books even have associated videos, like trailers or readings; you don’t see that on Barnes and Noble online, do you?

Come check out Smashwords. Check it out right now, and next month, in July, come download some great books. Be sure to start with mine, ‘cause, ya’ know, I’m the best.

Thanks for reading. Share with your friends. They like reading, too, and soon, you’ll all be talking about the Lokians series, or The Dragon of Time series, or The Adventures of Larson and Garrett!

Be sure to check out June is my BOOM Month!

How do I improve this sentence? A Quora question

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

Question: How can I improve the following sentence?

 

Addendum: They hence end up preferring better ways of ensuring that these issues never arise again in their counties.

 

Answer: Good question, a question worthy of an editor.

 

We certainly have an ugly, clunky sentence up there. What’s it saying? What will the paragraph explain? These are questions a writer, or an editor, must be able to answer.

 

As I’ve stated ad nauseam: When you’re writing your story, article, post, whatever, just write what you’re thinking, but when you’re done writing, you need to find the best possible way to make a point to a target audience. Write for you. Edit for an audience.

 

Let’s look at the sentence again:

 

They hence end up preferring better ways of ensuring that these issues never arise again in their counties.

 

Okay, it seems to me that they, their issues, and their countries are the points in question.

By focusing on the meaning behind the words, we learn that people have ended up ensuring that some issues never arise in their countries. The simplest expression, I believe, is this:

 

They discovered better ways to prevent the issues from ever again arising within their countries.

 

In order to make it more complex, I need to know how they came up with better ways to prevent issues from arising. If I assume it’s through education, I write a more complex sentence.

 

For instance: Due to an improved educational system, they devised better ways to prevent the issues from ever again arising within their countries.

 

Such a case can, and should, be extended within the paragraph. Obviously, this person from Quora wasn’t writing a single sentence, but an entire article or maybe even a book. In such an event, it may be necessary to simplify such a complex sentence, and write two or three simpler sentences, but that really depends on the target audience; will it be fifth graders or grad students?

 

Editing is not only about finding the most cogent way to present ideas; it is also about presenting the cogent ideas in terms best suited for a specific audience. Many ideas are too complicated for a single sentence. That’s precisely why we write in paragraphs.

 

A paragraph should contain only a single idea, and each of its sentences should only be present to support and expound upon that idea, which is why some sentences are more complex than others, and is why some paragraphs are longer than others.

 

Can your editing software handle all that? Hire an editor. Your readers deserve it.

 

BT dubz, don’t forget that June is my BOOM month. If you don’t know what that is, read about it here….

Thanks for reading. Like, share, and all that jazz.

Does sentence structure matter?

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

 

Question: Is the following sentence correctly structured?

 

“One has to draw our attention to the cultural differences thay may lead to miscommunication.” How can that sentence be improved?

 

Answer: First, thay is actually that. Second, you might want to replace that with which.

 

One has to draw our attention to the cultural differences, which may lead to miscommunication.

 

However, it’s still a bit confusing.

 

It sounds like the sentence is suggesting that an outside influence is required to point out to us that cultural differences can lead to miscommunication, or it might be saying that we should pay more attention to the miscommunications caused by the cultural differences, but then again, if these differences “may” lead to miscommunication, they also “may not” lead to miscommunication—it’s too open to interpretation. What do you want say?

 

Perhaps, a simpler version is the following:

 

Only an outside force can show us that cultural differences often lead to miscommunication.

 

That’s cut and dry.

 

The differences among cultures can lead to miscommunication. The differences among cultures do lead to miscommunication. Differences of culture are one cause of miscommunication. Differences of culture go unnoticed during miscommunication.

 

Unless someone points it out, no one might notice that differences of culture go unnoticed during miscommunication.

 

Again, what do you want to say to your audience? It is not all the same. Each sentence is very different and can have a huge impact on the overall idea present within a single paragraph.

 

Writing is all about getting the thoughts out of our heads and onto a physical or digital medium, but communication and storytelling are totally different worlds from just written thoughts.

 

Have any of you ever been speaking to friends, family, or a spouse, and someone asks you to repeat what you said, or asked you to clarify, or immediately started to berate you until you had to explain that what you were explaining wasn’t what they thought you were saying?

 

All the time, right? The way you think is the way you write, but your audience is not in your head, and since you can’t clarify to them specifically after having written whatever it is that you’re writing, you must be able to provide cogent arguments, ideas, and events to a broad range of recipients who cannot question you.

 

Writing the first draft of your book, story, blog post, etc is the easy part. After you’ve written it, you have to edit, and I don’t mean adding commas or correcting misspelled words; I mean it’s time to rewrite your thoughts for people who don’t live inside your head, so that no mistakes of interpretation can be made.

 

This is the power of words, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph form, and all facets of editing. A writer provides a sequential account of events. An editor works as an interpreter; they are someone who relates those events to a specific audience, but you can edit your own work if you learn to read your work as a reader.

 

To read your work as a reader, the most important step is to get away from whatever you’ve written for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. Then, go back and read it, and you will surely come across instances wherein you won’t even know what you were trying to say. Those will be obvious fixes, but there will more subtle instances of miscommunication, where something makes sense to you, but probably won’t make sense to anyone else, or it may just be open to interpretation.

 

It’s crazy, but no author out there thinks that what they’ve written can possibly be misconstrued, and that anyone who might misconstrue must be a dunce, so, okay, imagine that everyone is a dunce, that way you won’t leave any room for misinterpretation.

 

Everything you write, must be absolutely on point, and should leave no room for interpretation, but that means that you have to read and reread your work dozens of times, and it means that you have to scrutinize each word, each sentence, and each paragraph. Then, you have to make sure that each scene is supported by the paragraphs, and that each chapter begins and ends properly, and that no one in the world can come up with a reason that your story doesn’t work—plot holes; they’re killers!

 

If this sounds like too much work, hire an editor. There’s no shame in it. Every single mainstream writer is paired with editors. It’s how the entire publishing industry works. Do you really think you don’t need an editor? Think again.

 

Learn more here.

Barnaby, a Fantasy Musical

Remember when Lisa Simpson played the protest song?

It was the 17th episode of the 4th season and called something like Last Exit to Springfield.

So, then, this guy, Julian W. made an original song based on the protest song.

Hear it here

For some reason, the embed link is disabled, but you can just click the link to hear it.

What does any of this have to do with my latest work, Barnaby, a fantasy musical tragedy?

Well, I had that song, or the music, stuck in my head, and wrote a fantasy musical tragedy. The italicized portion of the following text are to be sung to the protest song, like a chorus or whatever….

Barnaby, a fantasy musical tragedy by Aaron Dennis

Music…by…. The Simpsons, I guess.

Written February 11th of 2017

Since it’s cool to make your own song based on the protest song, I hope someone makes an actual musical out of my story. Go for it. I don’t care, just credit me, Aaron Dennis, and www.storiesbydennis.com

Barnaby, a fantasy musical tragedy

 

Let me tell you a story, a story of friends. They were both warriors. They were both men.

Brave men can fight. Brave men can love. Some’ll remember. Some have regret.

Twenty years they were brothers. Twenty more they did fret. What caused dissention? What made them hate?

Jore has a wife. Barnus did have one, too. Jore’s son is Jorey, but he don’t have a clue.

 

The farming town of Hemm was an old community. Everyone knew everyone, and everyone knew Jore and Barnus. They had grown up together and even joined the guard in their youth, but around their twentieth year, after Barnus wedded the beautiful Leyla, the friends had a falling out.

 

Time and again, when they met in town, away from the vast fields of wheat, from the sheep farms, they crossed words. Sometimes, they crossed fists, but of late it was young Barnaby, Barnus’s son, who cast wicked glares at Jore.

 

Barnus praised his son’s courage and loyalty and taught him the sword. Still, word in Hemm was that Jore had always been the better fighter, and that was the reason for the friends’ falling out, yet others suspected something far more sinister. Finally, when insults and fisticuffs proved nothing, the two men agreed to duel in the town square at sunset.

 

When winds blew too sweetly, emotions raged on. Two friends had shouted, but none had drawn blood.

Glare of sunlight did bring all men from afar. The time for just words had gone and had come.

With teeth bared and howling, Jore pulled free his blade. Singing and laughing, Barnus stood firm.

 

All had gathered in a sweaty circle under a hot wind to watch the men fight in Hemm’s square. Jore was the first to lunge and strike with rapier, but Barnus easily parried. Back and forth, they went, time and again. One swung. The other dodged or parried. Then, came first blood.

 

Barnus grunted; the pain in his shoulder searing hot. Blood soaked into his tunic, and before long, as Jore pressed the attack, and men cheered and women cried, Barnus was sent to the ground.

 

Young Barnaby—a man as old as his father was when he and Jore had had their split—grew wide-eyed. He and his father met eyes for only a second; Barnus scurried away, got to his feet, parried a blow from behind, spun, and slashed at Jore, who easily disarmed him.

 

When Jore lunged for the death blow, Barnaby ran into the fray and knocked his father to the ground, free from the deadly strike. Quickly, he kicked his father’s sword into his grip and challenged Jore.

 

“Leave it alone, boy,” Jore admonished.

 

“Why? Are you frightened of me?” young Barnaby grinned and slashed.

 

Jore easily parried and stepped back, but Barnaby came again and again.

 

“That’s right, son. Barnaby, show Jore who the best swordsman is!” Barnus praised.

 

Some of those in the crowd cheered for Barnaby. Others scorned Barnus for letting his son fight in his stead. Figuring there was no honor in such a display, Jore demanded Barnus return to the fight, but before anything was settled, Barnaby drew blood.

 

“Let the boy have his fun,” Barnus shouted.

 

“Stop it,” Jore begged. “I don’t want to hurt you. It’s your father whose head I want. Look at him! You call him a man? He cannot fight even his own battle!”

 

Townsfolk did laugh, and townsfolk did jeer. When Jore called for peace, they only did sneer.

Barnaby was as great as his old man was feared. Now, it seemed only Barnus was scorned.

He looked at his son, a man of resolve. Shaking his head, he called it all off.

 

“Alright, Son, you’ve had your fun. Bring back my blade, and I will end it,” Barnus demanded.

 

“No, it is also my honor at stake,” the boy replied through clenched teeth.

 

A smile crept across Jore’s face. Horror washed over Barnus’s. As young Barnaby lunged, Jore dropped his sword, and steel went through his heart.

 

A young man was a killer. An old man was wronged. All those who knew; they said it was love.

Jore had then looked up, he saw Barnaby. The young man, he smiled and reveled in blood.

Barnus knelt down by his old wounded friend, and he asked him oh why? Because I have sinned.

Their life was a lie. They both knew it true. Friendship still mattered. Life was yet cruel.

 

Barnus drew his sword from his friend’s chest. Immediately, he begged the townsfolk to help him carry Jore to the doctor’s home. Barnaby remained confused and pressed his father for an explanation.

 

“I have done that which you could not,” the young man claimed.

 

“Foolish boy, this was my fight, not yours. You’ve no idea what you’ve done.”

 

The young man tried to argue, but his father remained silent on the matter. Once everyone was gathered around the dying Jore, who lied motionless in bed and barely breathing, a woman stumbled in with her young son. The boy was small and frail, but he walked over to Jore and held his hand. The woman gripped her son’s shoulders and cried.

 

“It wasn’t meant to be like this,” Barnus told her.

 

He was shedding tears as well.

 

“Father, you cry for this man, and you scorn me, yet I have upheld our honor,” Barnaby shouted.

 

Years had prevailed, years of deceit. Leyla had two loves, but bore child from one.

One wept regret, and one then swore blood. Leyla professed her child know not Jore.

Yet a man holds his love, his love in his heart. Shame is kept hidden deep down and dark.

A man and his son should parted be not. Jore preached his love. Leyla declined.

‘Twas Barnus who raised another man’s son. Anger and lies. Love, scorn, and hate.

 

During the commotion, as haggard faces revealed disparagement for Barnus, he pulled his son aside. Barnaby was so angry and disillusioned with the entire ordeal, and Barnus so morose, that he felt the imperative need to explain that twenty years prior, his mother had lain with another man. It had been kept a secret from most, but there were some who knew; Jore was Barnaby’s father, and he, himself, had never been able to sire a child.

 

Tears streamed from the young man’s eyes. Everything became so clear. He never truly understood the animosity between Jore and his father; he knew only of their hostility, and since day in and day out Barnus had upheld those feelings, Barnaby thought fighting Jore, the man who turned out to be his real father, a matter of course. Anger, sorrow, hate, love, regret, all the emotions a man harbors washed over his soul.

 

“You knew,” Barnaby suddenly said. “You knew, and you let me fight him? You taught me to hate him, and you have made me a fool, father.”

 

“I have, and I, too, am a fool, but when your mother did pass, I had to keep you blind, for my love of you is pure,” Barnus admitted.

 

Heartbroken, Barnaby turned to back to the room filled with grieving people. The young boy who had held Jore’s hand was staring; his younger brother, a boy who knew nothing of deceit.

 

“You kilt’ my paw’. When I’m big an’ grown, I’m gone kill you, Barnaby.”

 

“Hush up, Jorey,” his mother cried. “You don’t know what you’re sayin’.”

 

Betrayal and heartbreak, secrets and lies; fleeing his home, Barnaby did not cry.

Brave Jore had passed on, yet his spirit remained. Brave Jorey, he searched for a virtuous campaign.

Hemm was plagued by fear, sorrow, lies. Twenty years passed. No truth had prevailed.

People are frightened of veracity. It’s easy to scorn, weep, and deceive.

No one told Jorey: relinquish your hate. The feelings he harbored were an escape.

One day in a field in a town with no name. An old man was killed by love and by hate.

Thanks for reading. Like it. Share it. Show the world.

What’s another way of saying…? a Quora question

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

 

Question: What’s another way of saying “in my opinion”?

 

Answer: That’s actually a great question.

 

First, it’s important to note that writers are thinkers. Writers are people who write down what they are thinking, but people, all people, have choice words and phrases, which is why, despite what Stephen King says, it’s important to use a thesaurus.

Stephen King, the greatest detriment to writers
Stephen King, the greatest detriment to writers

 

Here’s what I think: While you’re writing, writing your first draft of a novel, the first draft of a blog post, or the first draft of whatever, it’s important to just write your thoughts down as they come. After you have the entirety of your thoughts, scenario, chapter, book, you need to go back through and clean it up, right? That’s when you should actually bust out the thesaurus, and if that’s what King meant then that’s fine, but we all know that he has teams of editors who most assuredly use a thesaurus even if he doesn’t.

 

Why do we need to use thesaurus, though? Is it not okay to say “big” all the time?

 

Well that depends; are we writing a children’s book, a one page blog post, an e-mail?

 

Let me tell you, if you’re writing a full length 400 page novel for an adult audience, you’d better find another word for big, but is huge the right word? Maybe, a better word is enormous; it depends, but that’s not exactly what I want to touch on here because the question was about a phrase, specifically.

 

What’s another way of saying “in my opinion”?

 

What I think.

What I believe.

My thoughts are.

I have heard.

I have been taught.

In my experience.

It seems to me.

Considering what I’ve learned.

Judging by my evidence.

According to my views.

 

The list is practically endless, but the point is that there are numerous words, phrases, thoughts, that each of us, individually, gravitate towards; for instance, I use “for instance” a lot. I also use “a great deal” quite a bit, and it isn’t so much that the repetition is stagnant, rather there are times where a certain phrase or word will work more effectively; I’ve gone through this with a post called A Word, so rather than rehashing all of that here, I just want to add something.

 

Characters, especially the protagonist, antagonist, love interest, and support crew must sound different from one another, but how can that be accomplished without learning to think from a view that is not your own?

 

Well, the answer is not quite so complex. First of all, the view has to, per force, be your own, but not your normal view. Here’s what I mean: As I stated, I say “for instance” and “a great deal” a great deal…a joke, but a true joke.

 

Now, in order to make my characters sound different, I employ specific phrases, words, and mannerisms–just a handful for each character.

 

For instance (another joke), Martinez, while speaking to his mates, may end most sentences with “ya’ heard?” Martinez might rub his nose quite often. Martinez might employ tons of hand gestures.

 

This means that Flora and Jimmer can never say “ya’ heard?” unless mocking Martinez. This means Flora and Jimmer can’t do the things that Martinez does. Flora needs to take long pauses and stare people in the eye for an uncomfortable period before speaking. Jimmer needs to chew his mustache when he thinks. Feel me?

 

Looking for words you don’t normally use by utilizing your thesaurus is what makes your story better. Listening to people speak, and trying to find new ways of phrasing ideas, is what makes your story better.

 

This doesn’t just apply to stories though, this applies to all writing. Should an informal cooking blog sound the same as NYSE blog? Probably not, right?

 

If you like this post, make sure to share.

 

Enjoyed this slice of information? Tell your friends.

 

Be sure to let people know where they can find quality information.

 

All ways of saying the same thing, but the impact varies, right? Thanks!

How to write a novel or series, a Quora Question

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

Question: How do you write a novel or series?

 

Addendum: I’ve been reading the writer’s journey and I’m curious as to how some of the authors on quora go about their writing projects – I’m not looking for their writing advice insomuch as I’m interested in looking at what they actually do.

 

Answer: I think about the story. I envision a scene, a character, his perspective, his goal, the problem, the solution. I mull it over. I obsess over it. It consumes me. I see it all. I hear it all. I smell it all. I am the character, or I am his friend, or I am the unseen sojourner beside him.

 

Then, one day, I have to commit it to paper. By the time I’m four pages in, everything changes. I stop. I reassess and re-obsess. Before long, I have to write again.

 

A chapter, two chapters in, I see a twist, or a character comes to life and takes itself in a new direction. I follow, wondering where it all goes.

 

I just write; I just get the story down. That’s all anyone should do. There is nothing else that can really be said until the story has been written to completion. Completion doesn’t mean perfection; it doesn’t mean the story is ready to be published. It just means the first draft is done, and all the basics are down.

 

Occasionally, while writing, I go back and re-read former chapters to make sure there are no inconsistencies, but mostly, I try to just keep going forwards. By the time I get to the end, it’s never what I had envisioned. Because of this, I never use writing software, I never use outlines; all that crap is a creativity killer.

 

It is my belief that stringent outlines, which don’t allow for deviation, destroy inspiration. You can’t plan a garden. You can just plant flowers, and watch them grow. You can’t predict or control how they grow. After they start to grow, you can guide them. Once they’re fully grown, you can maintain them, but you can’t possibly plan on how flowers will grow.

 

You can plan for life with a newborn, but until you’re married, and your child is born, and growing, and learning, and adapting, there is no way to know how to live your life. You can’t plan for every contingency. Maybe, your boy won’t like baseball. Maybe, your girl will be too shy for dancing. Until you’re married with children, there is no way to know what will happen. The same goes for stories; there is no way to accurately outline what will happen, when, and how; you just write, and once it’s down, you can edit.

 

The story should be alive within the writer, and should come to life during the writing process. The writer should be as surprised as the audience.

 

I can’t tell you guys and gals how many characters I thought were good guys suddenly planned, and plotted, and derailed the story, but that’s what readers love, and they think I planned it that way, but no. Sometimes, events simply occur. Other times, something new comes to mind during the re-reading/editing process.

 

This happens after I get the story down. I read it, you know, like I’m reading it for the first time as a reader, and I find nuances, which I explore.

 

Oh, look, John wants to be with Carol even though she’s with Mike. Maybe John can try to woo her, and maybe that’ll make for some cool character growth!

 

Thoughts like that jump out at me after I’ve written the first draft. I explore those thoughts. Sometimes they work out. Sometimes they don’t. The first draft of the story is not the end product and should never be taken as such. The story isn’t finished until there’s nothing else that can be added, and then it’s time to cut everything superfluous, even if I like it because I have to think about what the audience will want, and if I force them to read every single little tiny thought I have, they’ll feel as though the story is pulling every which way; it feels jumbled, disorganized, confusing.

 

I know different methods work for different people, but fierce structure and routine destroys imagination, and at the end of the story, there is an editing process during which all the mess gets cleaned up and tied into everything else, which keeps my work from becoming convoluted. An outline should be only a limited tool, a guide, a loose idea, which is there only to bloom, to be modified as the occasion arises.

 

For, say, a single novel, there should only be a single plot twist if any at all, but I mostly write series, so things can get messy, which is why I do keep a notepad handy, and in it, I jot down a sentence or two in the event that I want to add a certain event during the editing process.

 

For instance, in the newly released Dragon Slayer

The Dragon of Time Two, Dragon Slayer By Aaron Dennis
The Dragon of Time Two, Dragon Slayer
By Aaron Dennis

I had intended for Scar, the protagonist, to kill a support character, but by the time I reached that portion of the story, that action no longer made sense, so I adapted, and it will seem as though what does happen was planned that way from the beginning.

 

I promise, you’ll never who I wanted him to kill or why. You’ll never know where it was supposed to happen.

 

So, as the question was asked: How do I write a novel or series?

 

I begin with an idea, no matter how undeveloped. I think about the idea, and jot down little notes. Inevitably, more and more scenes, actions, thoughts, and emotions come to mind, and when I have enough, I begin to write.

 

Maybe, my beginning is under developed. No big deal. Maybe, my middle is shaky. That’s okay. Maybe, I planned for one ending, but it no longer makes sense. That’s fine.

 

I just write, and as I write, more and more comes to mind. Eventually, I find myself wrapping up all the events, and the story has ended. Sometimes, I have some ideas for an aftermath, in which case, I’ll hold on to it for the sequel.

 

If there’s no after math, it’s time to get away from the novel. I need to forget it because the people reading it won’t be in my head.

 

Once I’ve forgotten the tale, I read it as a reader. I correct little mistakes. I fluff out the portions, which are lacking in description, dialogue, action, whatever, and I go through it over and over, probably more than 20 times by the time I’m ready to publish.

 

While re-reading, I cut whatever’s superfluous. I make notes for the sequel. I scan for inconsistencies. I search for better ways to show versus tell. I make sure to keep from repetitious retelling. I make certain that the main characters, the support crew, they’re all different. No stock characters–they cannot all sound like me when I talk or think. I give them choice words, mannerisms; I make them living people.

 

It’s a daunting undertaking, but this is why there are whole institutions devoted to writing; publishers don’t just accept a written body of work, and print it. They normally only take a look at vetted stories.

 

A literary agent accepts a finished product. They hand it off to a publisher. The acquisitions editor reads the story. If it looks good, they send it to editors and people who function as test readers. If the story can be edited for a large audience, and it appears to be attractive enough to reach a broad audience, that story gets picked up, and then the actual editing process occurs, and I promise you that it takes a long time to rewrite the entire story from that stage.

 

There’s a lot of people out there, readers, new writers, aspiring novelists, who think that writers just sit down and write out a perfect manuscript from word one to the end. Far from it; it’s a long, arduous process fraught with editing and re-writing. Many eyes have to look over the manuscript before it can be safely published, and for independent writers, this can be a most intimidating task.

 

Fortunately, there are writing groups, reading groups, beta-readers, and freelance editors. There are also numerous writers out there who blog, who answer questions, who give advice, who show the process, and so anyone who takes the time to learn, can start their career off properly.

 

Thanks for reading. Share with your friends! Come back anytime, and make sure to check out my resources, and download my free stories.