Tag Archives: Writing

NaNoWriMo 2019: Week 1

Hit Word Goals This Week:

  1. 1100
  2. 3000
  3. 8
  4. 500
  5. 500
  6. 606
  7. 3451

Above, you can see my word counts per day so far. The seventh being the count from today as I stopped. I can see looking at them my start was strong, but by the third day I was lucky to get anything done. Day three fell on my ‘mental health day’ (Read: I Took A Mental Health Day), but I’m still happy that I got even those eight words out. I got five hundred out two days and a row; I set myself a goal to hit in the least five hundred and hit the goal. Reflecting at my numbers I wanted to push myself today. I wanted to well than I had before.

So far, I’m doing well I think. I have seen that others are smashing their word counts. My going into this was a training/test of myself. I used to kill word counts with the best of them, but over time my everyday writing tapered off. I hope to finish my story with in the month, but if not I want to at least get back into a good habit of writing every day.

I believe a writer should write every day; I know they should. Blogging has helped me do this, but I want to get back to the powerhouse writer I once was.


I shared my spotify playlist I used today. I have a playlist that has always helped me focus while working.

NaNoWriMo 2019: First Impressions

Beginning this new challenge I was unsure of myself, but as soon as November 1st hit I calmed. I am balancing several things at once. From editing to writing and back. I’ve not become overwhelmed as I’m taking care of my mind and body. It’s helping me greatly.

I am writing in the middle of the night as I’m usually waking up at midnight and up anyway doing work so this is when I’m doing my nano-writing along with writing on other projects. My plan is to write more throughout my day as I handle chores and do the things I need to.

Total Words Written So Far:

  • 3500

This is the project for Nanowrimo I’m working on, check out my profile to see what I’ve got going on over there.


If you take part in NaNoWriMo, good luck from yours truly, but don’t be afraid to add me as a buddy! Let’s support eachother and this month long adventure we’ve both decided to be on! My Profile

How is it going for you? Have you already given up? Are you going strong? Let’s have a conversation!

The Word: Mike Feria Gives A Slice Of Himself To Us!

Where did all of this begin for me, you might ask? Well─ in an unlikely way. When I was a child, my imagination was a wild one, and much to my satisfaction, I’ve managed to keep most of it. Living back in South Florida, we lived in a neighborhood filled with other kids, and we spent the majority of our time outdoors thinking up ways of keeping ourselves entertained. As the years went on, I was the one that most kids wanted to come hang out with, because I always seemed to come up with the best games to play. Video games were still in their infancy, so we weren’t as chained to our television screens as later generations would learn to do.

            Much of my imagination stemmed from watching multitudes of films as a child, and I still remember the first time that I watched Night Of The Living Dead when I was around seven years old. I recall in detail being afraid to look out the windows at night because I was sure that I was going to see a horde of zombies staggering toward our house.

            It wasn’t until my brother and I started going to movie theaters on our own that I realized that storytelling was something that I longed to do, whether it be vocally, visually, or through the written word. Not knowing exactly where or how these movies came to fruition, I assumed for many years that it was the movie directors who wrote them. I never really had a desire to be an actor in film, but a movie director? That’s something I could get behind. Well, as the years went on, those dreams of mine began taking a back seat, but my love for the film never subsided.

            In my adolescence, I began having an affinity toward movies that intentionally dug around inside your head; movies such as Fight Club, Requiem For A Dream, Memento, and Seven. Those types of movies began setting me on a path that I would not take for quite some time, because life and other responsibilities take precedence.

            Fast forward to August 2016, the month I took the plunge into this whole writing life. My stepson accidentally pulled his PS3 off his bedroom dresser in the middle of the night, and that was the death of it. So, instead of fighting him over the PS4 in the living room, I took a step back and allowed him to have it. I retreated to the back of our apartment, opened a word document, and started pounding out words.

            Now, I claim to be a fairly intelligent person, but at the time when I started, I knew very little about the actual craft of writing. While we went through school, we had our assignments and whatnot, but creative writing was one of those things that were more or less water under the bridge. I had no real formal experience in writing, and I really wasn’t that big of a reader either. Also, I wouldn’t consider myself to be too much of a horror buff. I mean, I have watched pretty much all the scary movies over the past twenty-five or thirty years, but I never really saw myself as one who would be defined as a writer in the horror genre.

            The idea started out simple. I work in a creepy old warehouse, which used to be a textile mill in the early to mid-nineteen hundreds. I kept getting these feelings as though something was watching me from the dark spots, which felt like eyes everywhere because much of the warehouse is unlit. Some of my co-workers decided that it would be fun to prank me and began tormenting me with elaborate schemes. They even pulled things overusing the fishing line. Once I found out, I was pretty pissed off, but it also sparked something inside of me; a story that brewed deep down that I knew had to be told. As much as I wanted to punch those guys, I must credit them with getting my cogwheels moving. The rest is history for another day.

            If there’s anything that I learned from writing my first book, Passenger, it was to never be afraid to learn or to seek new information, because there are many techniques and methods to getting a novel completed. When I first started out, I wrote my first five or six chapters without knowing practically anything about creative writing. So, to avoid stepping into a bear trap, I took a walk backward and learn as much as I could about the craft before proceeding again. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in all my life. This was also the time when all those years of watching film became more relevant because storylines stay relatively the same across the board, regardless. These movies also helped me learn when to dive and when to pull back because it’s a delicate dance of difficulties.

            Here’s the best advice I can give. There are two enemies with writing or producing anything of emotional or monetary value. One enemy is your distractions. The second enemy is YOU. When you sit down to do your work at the end of a long hard workday, unplug yourself from the social media notifications. I would say to keep your phone as far away from your station as possible. In your browser, the only thing that you should have open is the dictionary. As far as enemy number two goes, give yourself a break, and a much-needed pat on the back. You’re doing something that is dreamt of by millions of people who make millions of excuses for never doing it. Take the time to be proud of yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be tough getting other people to believe in you. One of my mottos is to be helpful, be humble, and be kind.

            Lastly, within reason, I say that you should be a “yes man.” Have a can-do attitude. If someone asks you for a favor, do your best to be reliable and dependable. Try going out of your way and dip your toes outside of your comfort zone. When the first live show I was ever a part of aired, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and this thing called anxiety was exploding through the ceiling of my apartment. It terrified me, which is strange because I’m an extrovert. After being on a couple more shows, it was like taking the dog out on a walk, and that feeling of dread was old news. Here’s a quote I heard somewhere, and don’t know who it’s from, but I’ll try to recite it as best I can ─ There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone. Best of luck to you, and happy writing.

            If you would like to know more about my debut horror novel, Passenger, I will release it in October 2020 with Three Furies Press. I look forward to meeting and talking with each one of you. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about my journey.

https://www.facebook.com/mickferia – Main

https://www.facebook.com/MikeFeriaWrites/ – Author Page

https://twitter.com/MikeFeriaWrites – Twitter

https://www.instagram.com/mikeferiawrites/ – Instagram

thrilliterature.wordpress.com – WordPress

I’m Answering Common and Uncommon Interview Questions Part Two

How do you handle literary criticism?

I understand its part of the entire industry. I’ve seen it come in several forms like from the editors of my work to even unsolicited reviewers or readers. The only thing that can be done is nod and keep moving forward.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

It depends. I sometimes have the world before writing, sometimes I write and realize I must flush out the world more. Either way, it happens and must for my characters be able to work within the limitations of the world I’ve created.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere. I’ve taken a lot of ideas from nightmares and dreams I’ve had. Some element from a show or some element from something has done or said will inspire me even if I’m not needing it. Something just clicks and the wheels turn.

Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?

I listen to rock music, dark cinematic music, southern rock, or dark ambient music. I’ve I’m writing something set at a special time, like the 1980s I’ll listen to the music of that period to help inspire the world building I’m placing my characters.

Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

I have high functioning anxiety, depression, and ptsd. Which all means I will drill myself into the ground, burn out because I’m trying to do to my best, and overly worry about things that shouldn’t be worried about. It’s draining emotionally and mentally.

If you could only have one season, what would it be?

Autumn.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Hmm. Smart, creative, and stubborn.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I’ve never seen it help a writer. Confidence in yourself and your work is beautiful, but letting yourself get a big head isn’t a quality personality trait whether you’re a writer or not. Overly confident actions that become cocky, to me, send a red flag that shows insecurities that the person is trying to overcompensate for to mask themselves in a ‘better light’.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

The first work I published I eventually unpublished it. It taught me a lot. I didn’t know much about the industry when I did this work and I learned the proper process to getting things out as an independently published author. Eventually, with all I learned because of this I approached the entire publishing process differently. I think this helped as the books to come have made their way to publishers. It changed the course of my career and perspective entirely.

What Is The Best Part Of What You Do?

Meeting fans and networking. This surprises me as I’m very introverted and a homebody, but it’s like I come alive or wake up almost around others. This side of me comes out I didn’t know was even there. I enjoy greeting fans, readers, others in the industry, and other writers.

I’m Answering Common and Uncommon Interview Questions Part One

What other genres do you enjoy reading?

Documentaries and biographies

­Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?

Yes.

Fiction or non-fiction? Which is easier?

Fiction.

How many children do you have? Do you see any young writers in any of them?

I have one and yes. He’s shown interest. From what he has shared with me I think is good for a beginner. It wasn’t anything I ever forced on him. I make it very clear to him he doesn’t have to like it or be into it the way I am, for him to be into what he likes.

What advice would you like to pass on to young writers of today?

If your dream is to be published one day work toward that. You won’t always find the support you need so you need to be your own support in that situation. Don’t give up.

Is privacy an issue for you?

I once was super worried about privacy, but it’s not an issue mostly for me. If it’s something I don’t want online, I don’t put it online.

Were you a troublemaker as a child?

I wasn’t perfect, but wasn’t out to cause trouble either.

What time of the day do you usually write?

Nighttime, I’m usually up anyway so I make the most of it.

Describe a typical writing day.

This can change depending. Mostly I handle my responsibilities to my family, grab a cup of coffee, and start working on writing. Whether it’s setting up a draft, purging out my ideas, organizing, or writing. I take breaks and handle chores on those and then get back to writing if I’m able to.

Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Yes. Best I can say is breathe. If you’re becoming stressed step away. If you’re becoming emotionally drained step away. Self-care is important and if you’re not taking care of yourself, it will affect your work and those around you.

Doing the NaNoWriMo Challenge

It’s been a very long time since I tried NaNoWriMo. I failed early by becoming distracted and losing interest, but much has changed since then and I tried again and start fresh!

I have more on my side this time, for example, the support of fellow authors, the encouragement of others, and I’m not going in blind. They have given me some fantastic advice to take this challenge this year. I also have a rough outline of an idea that I’ve wanted to do for some time. Since I never laid down an actual word for this story, I decided this was the project for this event and this year.

Yes, I have deadlines to publishers. Yes, I’ll be getting those things done. Luckily, I have the support of my family and the time to get everything done now.

If you take part in NaNoWriMo, please add me as a buddy! Let’s support eachother. My Profile

The Unwritten Stories

Over the years, I announced different projects. Works in progress that never seemed to come out. Things that readers requested either by pm or by email. Sometimes these requests would come in the form of questions that gave me inspiration such as Whatever happened to Eshu or Will we ever get information about the other past lives of Lilith? Some questions were answered if you knew where to look, for example Eshu from The Blasphemer Series appeared in Chasing Shadows by Kindra Sowder. He also misbehaved from what I was told.

Stories were announced and were written on, but never made it to publication. Sometimes this happens in the writing industry. Now, with that said, I fully planned on publishing many stories. If I hadn’t planned on it, I wouldn’t on some level mentioned or announced them. The Lives of Lilith and more on Maxwell were both written, but I had never finished them. Maxwell’s book was written with Lilith/Adele telling the stories to their youngest family members, so they would learn along with the readers. Martel, the prequel work of The Painting of Martel also got worked on, but I put a pause in it to work on more pressing matters.

I even worked on a more children friendly work, but it never came to light. My feelings on it were that it wasn’t feeling finished when I wrote all the stories for it, so feeling it incomplete I didn’t want to move forward on that project.

The Mephistopheles Chronicles a co-authorship project between me and Kindra Sowder was put on pause as both of us got busy with work projects. It’s a crossover of The Blasphemer Series and her Van Helsing characters. This project is paused, but not permanently as I’m aware, so it remains a work-in-progress between the two of us.

Many stories, upon their writing being finished, felt better in a short story format and were and are being polished to be in a series of releases, by whom I’m not fully sure, now of writing this. I can say, with full confidence, some of them are being cleaned and polished to be included in Little Lunacies. I will cover this fully in an official announcement.

This post was inspired when I began digging through older files. I then realized all of my ‘back-burner stories’ reminded me of a story I read: Fiction by Ryan Lieske. The tagline of that book is ‘Sometimes, a character is so strong, it refuses to be buried’. I highly recommend every reader check this out. All I kept thinking about was all the stories that were not finished, characters that had personalities and lives and how they were ‘living’ without being given life.

With this update I will say, in some fashion or form all that I have worked on will eventually make its way to all of you. I will make an announcement when something from The Unwritten Stories log comes to life, perhaps even a book dedicated just to the unfinished but becoming finished. The sky is open right now for me; I have no limits on my creativity, and I will take advantage of this new spark fully.

A letter to my 15 yr old self…

Dear Younger Self,

You don’t know it yet but things are going to be getting easier. I know you’re lonely, feel like a weirdo, and feel as if nothing will ever change, but it does. In the next couple of years you will meet someone that changes the direction of your life.

He will accept everything about you and for everything else he’ll tolerate it because he loves you so much. The feeling will be mutual. In fact, you’ll get married to him a few more years later and have a child. You’re still married and that child is thriving as I type this.

I know…I know…you’re thinking I’m full of it. I remember being in disbelief a lot of the time and having such an overwhelming dreadful feeling. Feeling caged all of the time and simply escaping into writing, it will change for the better. Learning patience is a challenge you’ll overcome and then must teach to someone much more important that will come into your life.

There’s a lot of things that you will simply have to learn and experience, but that’s okay. You haven’t learned yet that all of the bad and all of the good experiences, even people, are lessons to be learned.

You’ll lose touch with a lot of people, but some will resurface. It’ll be okay. I know you need to hear that, it’ll be okay. You have just started to learn things can be okay and have already learned that people come and go in your life, it’s apart of life that won’t change. You will eventually learn those that matter will be around a lot longer and that’s when you will also learn that you’re lovable and worthy of love.

There are dark times ahead. We’ve never faltered when having to face the darkness before, we just never knew that the situation was ‘dark’ at the time we just shrugged things off as ‘just another day’. I won’t go into it fully, how dark things will get because at the age I am now you’ve learned to look for the light at the end of the tunnel and the positive that comes from struggle. There is a lesson in the dark, you will find it, and you will survive even if you felt you weren’t going to.

Love, Your Older Self


What would you say if you could talk to your younger self?

The Word: David Johnson shares tips on Writing and what he’s learned so far in publishing

Digital Camera

I am from north east Arkansas. After college and moving around many years I returned to the area. My career was in music and music education. It remains a major interest for me. Science fiction and some fantasy tales held my interests from childhood. I got to view many of the 50’s grade B sci-fi flicks as they first came out. As a teen I enjoyed several of the genre’s short stories.

My writing experience is regarding graduate schools and career needs. My preference is the Chicago Manual style. So, I would certainly urge all aspiring authors to learn the fundamentals of writing/language usage.

Next, writers should expose themselves to the wide variety of styles that exist. I think that, as in my chosen field of music, the more styles you can be versed in the better your chances of success. It hurts nobody to read a poem or two, some old/new style novels and short stories, and folk tales of various cultures. I believe everyone should read some of the Psalms in the Bible. David and Asaph were great in that style and knew how to write expressively.

I told myself the stories I have published several times in my head before I wrote them. Inspiration comes from different places for all of us. I have composed two novels that need revising, of course! The first began with a scene that came to mind while on a long walk during a winter night. Colors and sound often grab my attention. I envisioned a snowy scene of a bright blue flag, the image panned downward to a line of people with a primitive and brassy fanfare sounding. Then I began wondering: who were they, why were they there, where were they, and why? The second book built on the first.

Most places and characters I use are based on who/what I know. My first story, “The Night at Amos James’ Cabin”, is rooted in a family story passed to me by my maternal grandmother.

The second one. “Glork”, reflects my interest in what would happen if alien visitors desired to become Christian. Something would surely go wrong, and it does.

Write so that you show what is happening, rather than just telling it.

Study some history like the events you wish to write about. I can’t imagine writing on warfare without knowing about the World Wars and the Civil War, etc.

Write a lot. Consider it as practice, which everyone needs.

Finally, find an editor you trust, as well as accurate beta readers. Edd Sowder of Burning Willow Press has been such an editor for me, and one of our sons, Ben, is a creative writing graduate and helps when needed. My wife, Cindy, is also a valuable “sounding board”. It is often mentioned to not use family in
such projects, but since mine have the credentials, I do not mind doing so.

Check Out David Online:

Amazon Author Page

The Word: 5 Tips That Will Improve Your Stories and Writing

Many people struggle with writing, I get it sometime it gets hard, but never give up! Here is a list on how to improve your storytelling! These are tips I have shared for years to help everyone wanting to write stories or even improve their literary role-playing and storytelling. It’s time to bust out your thesaurus or your online dictionaries for what they were meant for!


5. Research

The saying goes: write what you know. I agree fully, but what about everyone else that love writing new things, things they may not know? To that I say: write what you know because research will teach you. If you’re unsure of something fully exhaust yourself researching about a subject. Of course, go fully legal in your research and harm no one.

4. Comparing

The best way for a writer to explain something is to compare it to something more familiar. Recently, I wrote a short story and inside of it I described a UFO as a ‘silver donut’ Seems very simple, but you now know exactly what I’m talking about right.

It’s good to be descriptive, but sometimes simple gets the job done. If you’re writing descriptively enough throughout the story comparing something unfamiliar to something that is recognizable is a great way for the reader to see in their mind what you’re trying to convey.

3. Know Your Characters/World

The best way to write a character or world is to fully flush them out. It may be tedious, but it can help very much during writing. This is also where the jokes authors make of ‘my character wouldn’t let me’ or ‘they told me how they felt’ come in. It’s from, I hope, them flushing out personalities, histories, and all of that before hand.

Ask yourself questions and answer them. Who is this man or woman? Did they overcome what they went through? Did it damage them in anyway? This is also good for world building.

Fully flush out everything, enough of everything at least. I’ve met writers that have gone above and beyond creating interesting worlds and some that have done enough.

2. Pull From Your Own Emotions

This seems easy enough, but sometimes isn’t utilized properly. I have become well known for my ’emotionally driven writing style’ and the secret is this. If I’m writing something more horrific than what I’ve been through I use how I felt to write what it is and try and add upon it.

For example: I’ve never been possessed, but I’ve written about it (Human Ouija, The Blasphemer Series: Harvest, and The Painting of Martel depict different styles of possession). I imagine the worse possible feelings I’ve gone through, wrote them, and then thought more about the character’s situation. Feeling invaded, feeling overwhelmed, and perhaps confused.

1. Remember Your Five Aristotelian Senses

The key to really pulling someone into your story and improving your own writing is remembering the 5 ‘traditional’ senses (also known as the Five Aristotelian Senses). These are touch, taste, hearing, seeing, and smell.

Ask yourself questions.

Touch/Feeling – Is it cold? How does this character feel about that? Can they feel the warmth of their coat or perhaps they feel the chill because they’re not properly dressed. Perhaps your character has picked up something, how did that object feel. You can even describe simply if it was heavy or lighter than expected.

Tasting – Is the food salty or sweet? Did that cause them to moan enjoying the flavor? Say they were hit in the mouth, what did the taste of the blood against the taste buds of their tongue taste like? Perhaps they expected something to taste delicious because it appeared that way, but sadly it was disgusting. You can describe the disgusting flavors, why it was disgusting to that character. How did the food look before they tasted it?

Hearing – If the scene is ‘quiet’ can the character hear the buzzing of the air against their eardrums? Perhaps they do and it’s interrupted by a sudden noise. How did they react to it? Was it a familiar sound of another character coming home or a stranger breaking in? Did they hear glass shattering of a window or a door’s wood breaking when it was kicked in?

Seeing – So much of the story can be based on what is seen or describing a scene in such a way the reader can see it too. Things can be bright, blinding bright, or dark and dim. It is, for me, one of the first descriptors as it puts color to the moment.

Smelling – Smell is said to be the strongest of our senses linked to memories. They can take us to our grandmother’s house because she baked a lot or even to a sad memory of losing someone. For example: After a funeral many bring food to the family that has lost someone. Perhaps in this situation your character cannot stand the smell of pies because they remember losing their mother.

There are all kinds of scents. Sweet, nasty, or something that reminds me of our favorite memories. Apply those to your writing. Did the apple smell delicious or has it rot? You can even mix smelling with feeling and go the route of the air smelt clean and cold. You see? Mixing the senses creates a dynamic surrounding for your character and will add to the world they’re in.

You can even go into how the smell made your character feel. Did the burger joint’s smells make your character hungry or sick because it was overpowering? Use this!

There are more senses, you can learn about them here and here. I recommend this as it can help even further!


YOUR TURN

What did you think? Did this help? Have anything to add to the list above? Do you want me to do more examples? Perhaps show these tips in action?