Bigsoccer Writers Thread

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by Michael K., Aug 5, 2002.

  1. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I know there's a few of you out there...published (nice one, irvine), unpublished, and just a little published (ah, that's me). I figured I'd throw this little thread out here to see who else is ruining his lif.....I mean, aiming for immortality via the written word. Or just trying to make a buck or two.

    So...talk about whatever you like here re: your work, what kind of stuff you do/want to do, general bitching and moaning. Blatant self-promotion is perfectly all right by me too....

    FWIW, I write some short stories ('literary fiction' - a catch-all term that basically describes a genre in which no story can have a happy ending), a couple of which have been published here and there (mostly online)...I'm looking to write a novel, but at the moment that prospect looks only a little less daunting than jumping over the moon. I write some travel pieces as well, which I'm trying to get published at the moment. Working on a website, which I'll have up relatively soon so you can get a look at what I do, if you're so inclined...feel free to drop a link to yours, as well.
     
  2. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

    Apr 4, 2000
    Plymouth, MI, USA
    Published, but in a minor-league kinda way. I had two short stories published in Future Wars magazine, a fanzine for MechWarrior players, back in the late 90's.

    I ended up as their layout and graphic design guy for a few issues, and did the cover art for three, before it folded.

    I also had a horror short story accepted for publication by a magazine which then went belly-up before ever publishing. I wonder, do First North American Publication Rights revert to the author if the magazine never goes to press? If so, I should resubmit it somewhere else.

    Actually, come to think of it, I've written two books that have sold tens of thousands of copies--unfortunately, they're computer software manuals (distributed with the program) so that doesn't really count.

    I've been working on a novel now for years, but it's awfully slow (especially when you've trash-canned it three times.)

    I haven't posted any fiction on the web, but some of my 3D artwork is on my site, in the art gallery on http://www.whirlwindproductions.com
     
  3. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    I write a ton of stuff in a few different genre's. My short fiction is mostly influenced by the work of DH Lawrence (if you haven't read his work, do so, as he creates incredibly strong characters.) Nothing published there, but I haven't submitted anything, so that should explain it! I did post a bunch of stories in one of the FFA threads on Bigsoccer, but they were wiped out in one of crashes. I'm currently working on my first two novels (when I get slow with ideas or don't like what I'm writing on one, I'll switch to the other). The 1st is a sort of coming of age story, where a grown child of a broken home receives a wedding invitation from his estranged father, and goes through the kids life leading up to his decision to go or skip the wedding. The 2nd is a piece of metafiction (a style of writing where the author uses other fiction in the story. See: Flaubert's Parrot and Wide Sargasso Sea). It's basically a modern rewrite of the Canterbury Tales. In my version, all of the religious pilgrims have been converted into their modern counterparts, and all of the completed tales will have a modern spin. The basic premise is that instead of a bunch of people on a religious pilgrimmage, the story is set around a group of people stuck on a bus in a traffic jam, on their way to the bank (ie: money is the new religion). The ending devised by myself and a friend is great in my oh so humble opinion, but I'm not going to give away all of my secrets, and you'll have to buy it when it gets published to find out!! :)

    JMac
     
  4. irvine

    irvine Member

    Nov 24, 1998
    S. Portland, ME
    The guy with the BigSoccer name Scribe is a working screenwriter.

    Whirlwind: if the mag folded, the story is yours again. The same thing happened to my wife about eight years ago.
     
  5. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

    Apr 4, 2000
    Plymouth, MI, USA
    Irvine: Thanks for the info. Congrats on your book, too, by the way.

    Jacen: Best of luck on the stories. Don't know if you've read this one or not, but a great novel that is also a redux of Canterbury Tales (in a Sci-Fi motif) is Dan Simmons' "Hyperion." If you're like me, though, you'll then have to buy the next 3 books (Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and Rise of Endymion.)

    So, I presume you guys also have full-time jobs...and some soccer involvement, or you wouldn't be here... so when do you make time to write?
     
  6. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    As I posted in the original Hamlet thread, I had my first publishing credit earlier this year on a small upstart website. Good news about that -- the story just got picked up by a little bigger, more established magazine for reprinting (Circle Magazine). It'll appear on their website, the aptly titled circlemagazine.com, and I'll know by the 15th if it will appear in their print edition (2 in 15 or 16 chance). Getting a second place to offer is a good feeling -- you realize your first credit is not just a random fluke or one person's taste.

    The most important things to know about my writing:

    1) From college, when my interest really developed, until about two years ago, I wrote pretty standard short stories in a sort of satirical comic vein. I wasn't having success, and I took an honest assessment of what I did well and what I did not. I realized I can write beautiful and very original sentences and paragraphs, I'm very good at observation, but I had a huge shortcoming creating fictional characters from whole cloth and making them real. So I decided to switch things up and play to my strengths, which led to ...

    2) I break the first rule that you're taught in intro creative writing -- don't write about yourself. I write about myself and my life very directly (although not completely directly). That makes up for the shortcoming of creating characters -- it's a lot easier when you're dealing with people you know, and a lot more convincing. And since I'm a journalist, I have a pretty interesting day-to-day life or at least it's very interesting from time-to-time. The style also has the value of being very connected to its author, and can lay claim to an intense feeling that a lot of the canned MFA clones that get published today can never muster.

    3) Anyway, the finished product is a dreamy sort of prose poem. It tends to get described as "unusual," so one of the proud things I can say is that my writing is whatever the quality, it's very original and unlike what others are writing.


    As far as time, Whirlwind, i don't get a lot, but I tend to go through a long formulation process inside the old noggin, so it's not so damaging. I have plenty of time right now, and I have some good ideas in my head, but frankly after getting my first credits, i'm in no hurry to run back to getting rejection letters. It's the first bit of success, and I'm a little bit reluctant to risk ruining it. But sooner or later, i will pick up the pen again, probably sooner.
     
  7. Alex_1

    Alex_1 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 29, 2002
    Zürich
    Club:
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Nat'l Team:
    Switzerland
    An official Alex_1 secret revealed:

    I've written three novels. OF course, none unpublished - never had the guts :p. But I did some work with Chet Raymo and a few others. Only genre I really specialize in is a realistic fiction. Not really violent, not really depressing. Just stories about life and making it through in different situations. It's a release.
     
  8. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I've published one interview (with three more in the works) a dozen or so essays and reviews, and about 150 poems. I've also had three publishers go out of business while waiting to publish a chapbook of poems (well, these were small presses, so in two cases the word "publisher" can be replaced by the word "guy."). And I just found out I'll be teaching an undergraduate fiction-writing workshop this fall, too, so that's incentive to revise a novel that is currently drawing flies in a closet. My manuscript "Shots and Saves: The Collected Bigsoccer Writings of Dr. Wankler" is searching for a publisher.
     
  9. fiddlestick

    fiddlestick New Member

    Jul 17, 2001
    The 4 8 0
    I've written a lot of good stuff since I figured out that writing after going on a severe Hemingway kick makes you write bad Hemingway.
    I've done the prerequisite short stories and am in the process of doing something longer rewriting the origins of Christian history (political conspiracy in the rise of Christ and "borrowing" an idea from a friend involving Christ's 3 days in the tomb and extraterrestrials). Not for the severely devout. In fact, I can only hope it succeeds to the point of excommunication!
     
  10. irvine

    irvine Member

    Nov 24, 1998
    S. Portland, ME
    Small presses are always dicey, but I like them. I had a chapbook, Rossetti Song, come out in July from Small Beer Press, and another one, called Down in the Fog-Shrouded City, is due out in a month from Wormhole Books. Also I guess I recently became a small press, along with my friend Thom--we just published a zine called The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives. http://mothaxle.com/JPPN.html

    Where can I find your poetry, Doc W.?

    I've been finishing a couple of short stories people asked me for to put in anthologies, and now I'm working on a new novel. I still write short fiction every chance I get. If you're interested, a story I think is one of my better efforts can be found on the Scifi.com webpage, in the originals archive. Go to http://scifi.com/scifiction and there should be a link. Very good stuff generally on this page, and I say that not just because I finally landed one there.

    Fiddlestick, have you seen Christopher Moore's most recent book? A humorous retelling of the life of Christ. And speaking of that, I wrote a short novel a few years ago that involves a guy whose mom thinks he's the Second Coming. There's also a weird conspiracy, aliens, etc. All of that stuff goes well together. Good luck and have fun.

    Hemingway is one of those writers who if he gets into your head takes months to escape.

    This is great, a writer's hutch on BigSoccer. Excellent idea.
     
  11. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    Post links where available, guys, and any gals. I'm curious about yoiur work.

    I'll post mine when one becomes available.We're in the in-between phase at the moment.

    In the meantime, someone needs to develop a secret handshake.:)
     
  12. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    Frustrated writer here.

    I can come up with decent dialog, I can create characters around themes, but I can't come up with a coherent storyline to save my life.
    Any tips?


    Hats off to anyone who's actually written a complete novel, especially if you've gotten published.
     
  13. jamison

    jamison Member

    Sep 25, 2000
    NYC
    Oh MY god, it's George Lucas!
     
  14. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So true. I by and large got through this stage in high school, but I reckon most people who write go through it at one point or another....
     
  15. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland

    Best thing I can tell you is basic stuff. Know where you want your characters to go, and write a story that gets them there. The ending is the 1st thing I come up with when I write a story, and, as Poe said, the first sentence should be an arrow that points the the last word. Once you know how to end your story, everything else usually falls into place.

    JMac
     
  16. fiddlestick

    fiddlestick New Member

    Jul 17, 2001
    The 4 8 0
    No, he said he CAN write dialogue.

    Does, "I wanna go to Tashi station to pick up some power converters!" ring a bell?

    Or more recently perhaps, "I killed them, I killed them all."
     
  17. phats_away

    phats_away Member

    Jul 28, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga
    i'm an aspiring writer with no fiction stuff worth submitting yet. i'm writing for cybersoccernews right now, which is great experience, so i guess in that way, my coverage is being published which is really weird since i'd never thought i'd be writing about sports (let alone soccer) when i started majoring in journalism.

    my writing is pretty crappy right now. i don't have the energy to just write because of school. i just need to kick my own ass and write.
     
  18. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    Thanks. I guess there's no substitute to actually sitting down and writing (or typing, as the case maybe) away.

    I'm having so much trouble concentrating and having enough free time to write, I'm considering taking a winter job at a mountain resort outside of Denver. Since the resort's going to be closed from November to May, it'll just be me and my family up there so I'll do nothing but work on my novel/screenplay all winter.
     
  19. jamison

    jamison Member

    Sep 25, 2000
    NYC
    Bloom called this the anxiety of influence. If it makes you feel better, Jack Kerouac had the same problems early on with Hemingway. Then again, some people hate Kerouac, so don't read too much into it.

    I used to do comedy writing (usually not on soccer bulletin boards) in my spare time, and I had the same problem with P.J. O'Rourke's stuff. Spend enough time with it, and you start copying, whether you intend to or not. If you have one, I think you eventually find your own voice.
     
  20. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    This is one of the basic things to keep in mind, but it's absolutely true. One of the big problems I had is that I nearly got published at 22, but it was with an imitation story. I started thinking I was Donald Barthelme. I shiifted hard in that direction, but never really got better. I wasted several years. But in a way I don't think it could have been avoided. It's something that most writers go through. I don't know how anyone can really write a good story before they're in their mid-20s, honestly. Until that time, I'm not sure that most writers have a good enough feel for real life to produce a really quality story. But that's just my opinion. Part of finding a voice is finding out who you really are, and not in some canned, post-teenage way. But eventually you find it, I think, if you have one.
     
  21. irvine

    irvine Member

    Nov 24, 1998
    S. Portland, ME
    I'm not too worried about it. I never wrote like Hemingway, and all reading him did was cause me to have a kind of parallel soundtrack in my brain as I wrote. One track would work out how the story would go, the other would constantly perform Hemingway's version. I did the same thing with Joyce for a while, then with Kafka, then with Salman Rushdie.

    Bloom's better idea is the "strong misreading," in which a writer suffering from anxiety of influence gets command of it by executing a poem that answers not the older writer's concerns, but the younger writer's version of the older writer's concerns. I think one of the examples he talks about is Wordsworth's Prelude as a kind of reaction/answer to Paradise Lost. An interesting idea.

    To the folks who were talking about finding time to or not being able to write, I sympathize. I've got 11-month-old twins and a full-time job. Writing time comes out of sleep time, but you have to do it.
     
  22. NorthGoalGang

    NorthGoalGang Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Coventry, CT
    I did a lot more writing pre-30's, especially in/directly out of college. I spent some time as a stringer for a couple of newspapers, but it wasn't that much fun to me. I took a seminar for playwrights during my last few college years, which helped my writing greatly, especially writing dialogue, as well as the knowledge that I write better scenes than my professor. Unfortunately, the time constraints of the working world have really robbed me of time to write regularly. I want to start journaling again, because I find it really helpful in my process. I love that Lester Bangs/Hunter S. Thompson style of writing.

    Most of my writing the last few years have been lyrics for songs.
     
  23. Footix

    Footix Member

    Dec 11, 1998
    Left Of The Dial
    I think you guys would be amazed at how many reasonably well known writers, musicians, actors, and other artists post on BigSoccer...
     
  24. irvine

    irvine Member

    Nov 24, 1998
    S. Portland, ME
    Tease.

     

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