Writing Smarter

Writing better and having fun while ranting, raving and discussing ideas.

A short story

This is another of my short stories, I like this one a lot actually as it shows some decent inner conflict. Hope you enjoy it!

On Friday I became a manager.

That was the first time I became somebody important, if you consider managers to be important. Personally, I think everybody is a manager. We have to manage our expenses, our time, our reactions, our expectations; we have to manage everything in our lives in order to cope with the ever flowing reality of life. Becoming a manager after over seventeen years on the job is not such a big deal, it just means it was probably time for me to move up for a little bit, in order not to be cut down. They did that on Friday, they promoted me, but now that I think about it, it only made sense as they needed some sort of justification to cut two guys from the line. Increasing expenses they called it, and I was the scapegoat, I had to be the manager. I ask myself, not them as I don’t want their wrath, why wasn’t I named a manager sooner if they saw so much potential in me? They probably don’t, and I don’t know if I’m ok with it to be honest. I’m not any better than any of those two guys, I’ve worked longer, sure, but that doesn’t mean anything in particular. Thinking about it for a bit longer I realized that those guys were younger than me. Did management do me a favor? Am I that pitiful in their eyes that they cannot bring themselves to fire me? Maybe I am, just don’t know it yet. I’ve worked for seventeen years in the line dammit! I know all about the system and how everything works; I know people from other departments and know what’s right and what’s wrong.

Those two guys didn’t deserve to get fired, not Billy whose wife had a young child, not Tom who was still paying for his small rundown place. Increasing expenses. Increasing expenses could be stopped if they stopped wasting so many resources and committed themselves to run a more efficient workplace. And what the hell happened with Fred? Was he not managing the line alright? The problem is not with the line, the problem is with the entire operation.

Now I have to go to work on Monday as a manager again, officially this time. Look at everybody in the eye and tell them what’s going on, how we’re going to make things better, how we have a plan to achieve more results and get bigger. Weren’t we working hard enough already? What we means is the guys from upper management, those suits who have no clue what we have to face every day in the line to make sure the quotas are filled. How on earth am I going to tell them that we have to work even harder? Nobody ever listens!

I like doing my job and getting good results. They didn’t have to promote me for me to keep doing my job. Why the hell did I have to be promoted to manager?

Have a nice day!

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Working around a Structure

I think that one of the most dangerous pitfalls a new writer can fall into is an easy one: feeling that one must obey a certain structure when writing a story.

It is true that most stories have some sort of start, conflict or drama, a climax and an ending. That is because as readers we like what we are used to and we like our stories to have nice and tidy endings. I still remember the time when I saw a film where the villain survived in the end. I was shocked because I had never seen anything like it before.

Truth be told a story never really starts at the starting line, everything is told in media res as otherwise we would have to start the story by describing the Bing Bang. There are many neat concepts like starting from the end, or even cut the chapters and spreading them around the story. I’m not going to tell you that this works in romance, but why couldn’t it be applied to a thriller? or a mystery?

Look at tv shows these days, they always make sure that the characters end with each other, why couldn’t a character end up alone? Why couldn’t the major twist be in the very last page?

The rest is up to your creativity. Say your major twist is in the very first chapter. How are you going to squeeze the juice out after an early bomb? You can make sure that the twist is the present and have the story be about the past, or you could instead center the story around the repercussions. Like I said before, it’s up to creativity.

Experimenting and finding out what works and doesn’t work is a priceless step that you need to take in your writing adventure. It’s good to make mistakes and to change your works, as it’s the only way you can truly improve.

The bottom line of this post: don’t feel trapped or that you need to write this way or that way. A story’s structure is a key piece but not a rigid one.

Expect a short story tomorrow!

Have a nice day!

Status Update

First of all let me apologize in advance for not being around for the past couple of days.

My dog got sick and spent these days in the vet healing, fortunately he’s back, but still not 100%, so not only my work requires more of my concentration, but also my dog.

I feel safe in saying that tomorrow posting will resume normally.

Thank you for your patience and attention.

See you all tomorrow and have a nice day!

A Haiku

To celebrate the first year anniversary of my first post I decided to give it another go and write up a Haiku.

Her hair flew as the

Wind raced from behind and smiled.

What a nice morning.

Free Story – ?

Let me tell you something my friends, sleep deprivation is no joke. I feel just so tired I could fall to the side at any moment. I still have the energy to give you another free story. It’s not one of my best, but I’ll let you guys and girls be the judges.

The Ritual

Yash Batra grabbed the herbs that were on the nearby table and started to rub them all over his body. He got the book his father had given him a few months back and started to look into the passages. He barely knew how to read them, as the archaic symbols had not been converted to the common tongue and he began to utter the words in hesitant fashion. In the altar was his goddess and the look on the statuette did not appear pleased. It had been a long time since India was no longer India and traditions evolved, as did religion. In that summer afternoon the weather had made him even hotter than he was used to, the humidity also made everything stickier somehow.

In the midst of that apocalyptic madness what mattered the most was to make the transition and to stay true to his religion. In Maasai culture lion killing is acceptable, in fact it is seen by the outside world as a rite of passage to adulthood. It is true that many warriors slay lions, but it has a different purpose than the one that is assumed. It is to control the lion population and to stop their cattle from falling victim to the mighty predator. Of course the warriors use that to convey their strength and might and it does prove one is now a man, but those rituals are more of a way of life than anything else.

In another table the Indian leopard remained still, the effects of the drug had not dissipated yet and Yash allowed himself some time to make sure that the ritual had been done properly. After grabbing the knife he proceeded to stab the animal in the heart and again in the neck, slicing its throat from side to side. The bowl was on the floor and received the animal’s blood. Next thing he had to do was to separate each of the animal’s innards and make sure they were cleaned and dried before they could be thrown into the fire pit.

Yash did his job diligently, but carefully, not to miss any part of the ritual. After soaking some of the herbs in the blood, he ate them and used the blood to put out the fire. A few more words were all that was left to complete his mission. He searched the book again, read a couple of lines and closed it. The ritual was now complete.

After setting one foot outside of his makeshift tent, Yash was greeted by his relatives and congratulated on finally becoming a man and the true shaman of the sect. He smiled mournfully as he knew that he could not pass his duties to another until he died, that would take quite a long time as he was only fourteen years old.

It was the 3rd of September 2047. The last living specimen of the Indian leopard, a female that had been pregnant, had been killed. That, of course, meant nothing to the rest of the world.

That’s all for today folks, have a great day!

Enter the New Year – Writing Smarter

After a bit of a break I log in to get a message that today marks one year since I’ve began to use WordPress, my first post was on January 5th, and my oh my it has been close to a year since I wrote my very first post.

As I’ve been having some computer problems I just came to inform you that the short stories are going to take probably a day or two, at least that is what I hope. I’ve also been planning a novel, and I wanted to discuss this bit with you as I’ve hardly been talking about actual writing these past couple of months.

I came up with what I thought was a pretty good idea, but that idea lasts only about three chapters. The thing is, most people get put off by writing because of things like these. I didn’t let those three chapters worry me, instead I focused on having those three chapters introduce the overall story. Next thing I did was also simple: you create character arcs. If you create character arcs and intertwine them with the overall story you end up having plenty of chapters and material to work with.

All of this is due to brainstorm my friends, you work with multiple things at once and can get some interesting results.

I’m afraid this post is going to have to be cut short, puppy has been giving me the signs.

I’ll talk more about this tomorrow and maybe throw in a haiku and a story.

Have a nice day!

Happy New Year

I wish you all a happy 2015, may it be full of success, love and happiness.

See you again next year.

Julius

A Year in Review

Hello again everybody!

Holiday season is still underway but I figure this is probably the best time for me to reflect upon my first year blogging.

First of all I want to thank everybody that has been following, liking and commenting on my posts, it has been a big boost for my ego and manages to keep me going strong. I won’t name any names, I think that would be unfair, but some people were indeed an inspiration and I loved reading some of the things they wrote.

This experience has been both fun and challenging as I got completely overwhelmed sometimes and in other occasions I just had some health setbacks. It was my first time blogging and although the first birthday is only January 6th (that day is going to be special) I think I can consider this a success. It changed a couple of my views on books and people, I read some amazing poetry and loved to share the very little I know.

As of late I have been releasing some short stories and I think I’ll make it last a while longer, my creative juices have been flowing nicely and short stories are going to be a nice break from the novel I’m starting to work on.

I want to keep pushing forward, I want to give you more information and I want all of us to have fun!

My initial goal way back in January was to write a post per day, I don’t know if that is going to happen next year, but I’ll try to keep things fresh and interesting.

Again, thank you all for the experience, it’s been a blast!

Merry Christmas

natal-enfeites-dourados-wallpaper

As I know I won’t be around here for a couple of days I want to take this moment and wish you all a Merry Christmas, may you enjoy these days with family and friends and be happy!

The last Haiku of the year

I know there’s still quite a few days until the year ends, but I think it’s safe to say that this is probably the last Haiku I’ll write this year.

Another year ends.

Experienced marvelous

Things. Want more next year.