Writer Emergency Fiasco — Setting The Stage

I’ve settled on the Road Kill playset for my mashup writing journalling project. Now it’s time to roll them dice and build a setting by applying to rolled results on the tables found in the playset — Relationships, Locations, Objects, and Needs; and their details.

After toying around for a bit, I decided that three (3) characters is enough for the first time around. That means I’ll end up with three relationships between them, and one detail to each relationship (one Location, one Object, one Need). So, I’m sticking with the basic rules from the Fiasco book.

Long story short… here are the results from rolling twelve dice (four dice for each character):Read More »

A Writer’s Emergency Fiasco (writing exercise mash-up)

(Update: Click here for a table of content page regarding this project.)

The Idea

Personal writing challenges are great. Finding one that suits myself, though, sucks.

Right now, I’m in the finishing stages of the first draft (or 0 draft) of my supernatural action-thriller novel. I’m at the point in the narrative, where I seeded all the cool stuff, blew up a bunch of things, had drama and action and loss and terror, and now I somehow have to tie it all up and make sense of it all. Fresh stories are great because you can do whatever the hell you want. Almost 70,000 words in, you’re committed, and shit needs to fall into place already.

What I have learned about my writing at this stage is that I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing. That’s not a bad thing–really, it could be worse. I’m throwing down words, smithing together scenes and closing chapters. I think–think–the story not a bad overall idea (the truth about the worth of the current story will show in the first real edit I’m already dreading). However, I find myself lacking a certain vision from time to time–especially when I feel that the current point of the narrative is lacking, and would I be the reader, I’d turn away now. You know, the point when you need to hook them again. When you need to make them crave, not starve, but hunger for more. Sometimes it takes me several days of not-writing to just *think* about how to up the pace again. How to make things naughty, make the reader want to look away in disgust, but not able to because of our all too human morbid curiosity.

You know–how to make it twist.

I recently received a product called “The Writer Emergency Pack“, designed by Quote-Unquote Press. It’s a self-help deck of cards to get back inspiration, funded through Kickstarter, and very well designed. I’ll talk about it a little more in a minute.

I also own a copy of the game “Fiasco“. A GM-less RPG, brought to you by Bully Pulpit Games.

So, what’s the idea here? I want to use both Fiasco and the Emergency Deck to create and produce a narrative (length as of yet not determined).

How am I going to do that? Read More »

Laundromat (A scene completely out of context)

[Just for the hell of it: A scene completely out of context. But I like it, and want to share it.]

Getting out from the morgue was easier than it sounds. A few flights of stairs, a shy turn away from some passing workers (the lab coat surely helped with the authenticity). Then, out on the streets. Old town, with the night-life happening all around him.

Honking cabs.

Barking dogs.

Hip Hop. Rave. Dance. Rock. One bar after the next. Lights, sound, people over people. In all its glory, the streets pulsing with life.

The city that never sleeps. Jerked up on cocaine and gluttony. Hyperactive, exploding, like an aneurism just before the sudden death.

Twenty-four-seven fast-food restaurants, always-open strip clubs, and the never stopping spin-cycling and tumble-drying laundromats for those in need of a quick wash-and-rinse. They throw their clothes into the washer or dryer and go for a quick beer or three to the bar next door.

The guy running this particular cleaning shop is anything but mentally present. Maybe a tweaker. Maybe just old and fucked up-tired. He stares at a magazine in front of him.

Adam doesn’t care.

Another guy sleeps on the floor at the end of the row of vibrating machines. Leaning against the dryer, wearing a pair of jeans with more holes than threads left. Drool runs from the corner of his mouth, and into the open palm of his odd-angled twisted hand. One of his flip-flops fell off his foot. The other one clings to the a yellow-green toe nail grown into oblivion and back. He sleeps like a baby. Rocking and shaking back and forth with the dryer.

Tumbled to sleep.

Two teens making out. Hair long, died, clipped, and either over-styled, or not washed in months. Tongue around tongue, like a snake around another snake. Pressed against another dryer set to extra-tumble. To vibrate their hips as their horny, dripping pink parts rub each other sore through thin sweatpants.

Young love — beautiful and heart-warming.

Nobody gives Adam a look. Nobody sees the man dressed in only a lab coat stalking around the shop. Like a creep ready to expose his deformed dick to the next group of helpless old ladies. The owner flips a page of his magazine. All the pages might as well be blank, or full of detailed pictures of animal droppings, because his eyes aren’t moving, reading, or absorbing anything. Hell, they’re barely open.

In its absurd state, this place is almost like a quiet sanctuary in midst the busy city life. An island of tranquility, where all worries are forgotten. Though, absurd nonetheless. Not the place Adam wants to hang out at.

Usually, this isn’t necessary. Adam knows a guy. Max — his dealer. His handler, pusher, fixer. Another loyal puppet for the keeper. The guy that gets Adam what he needs, so Adam can go and get things done. For instance: clothing. Cash. Weapons.

But today there’s no time for that. He’s behind schedule — again.

After scanning through the bountiful tumblers, Adam collects a handful of semi-dry clothes that might fit alright. Or at least look to be the lesser of the bad fits he can gather.

In and out.

Unseen. Unnoticed.

Adam leaves the shop in his newly acquired, well-worn flip-flops, with a sound slowly-but-surely driving him insane.

Flip. Flop.

Flash Fiction for Writer’s Block

[0400 in the morning. Thirty minutes before the alarm goes off. I’m blocked. Could sit there, drink coffee and Facebook my brain down the gutter. Or I start typing something. Anything. Make of it what you will.]

In one hand a cigarette, self-rolled and crooked, in the other a smoking gun. He puts it in his mouth, the cigarette, inhaling dry air. Sucking in tiny leaves of tobacco. He never liked self-rolled cigarettes. But it was all he could find in this place. He kicks over the canister. Spilling the last of the sharp-smelling liquid. Somewhere, someone moans. Quietly, dressed in underwear and agony. Another dry inhale. He fumbles for the match with one hand. With one hand, he scratches it against the barrel of his gun, then he holds both the burning match and hot barrel close to his face. Exhaling the first deep breath of relieving smoke, he tosses the burning match a few feet in front of him. He turns around, walks out the front door. Everything behind him goes up in thick, gasoline-fueled flames.

***

She waits in her car. Looking, guessing, waiting. She sits here every day, sometimes even at night. When he goes to work, she is here to see him. When he comes home, she will be waiting. Every single day. He never knows she even exists. He walks right by her, never knowing how much she cares. But she, this one she knows for sure, she will show him one day how much. She loves him. She needs him. There’s nothing she doesn’t know about him. Every detail, every moment of his life. Clippings of hair and nails, she dug from his garbage. Perfectly rolled cigarette butts. Also, what he has for supper. Kraft dinner more often than not. She smiles, thinking of their perfect life together. One day, she says, one day.

This morning, he doesn’t come out. She’s starring at the window. Second floor on the south corner. The curtains partial closed. As always. Enough to keep the illusion of privacy, but not enough to keep her from seeing him marching around in his underwear. Maybe he does know. Maybe he does pose for her, teasing her. Playing fun little games with his wife-to-be-one-day.
Today, there’s a stranger. Through the half-closed curtain, she watches him walk back and forth. He carries something heavy. A big bucket, maybe, or canister. Right in front of the window, with his back to her, he looks up. He takes out a pistol and shoots. Her heart stops for a moment. Then all her hopes explode in flames. She’s running. Past a stranger with a crooked cigarette. Self-rolled. The flames are coming closer. She runs worried. Panicked. Strangely excited.
He’s still breathing. He’s sucking in some smoke, breathing out more smoke. She crawls towards him, ducking under the burning ceiling. She holds him tight. She is here for him. Nobody else, just the two of them. Together in the heat of the moment. Now he has to love her.