Over the years I’ve carefully kept up with my writing roots…those first words I penned in high school, junior high, and maybe even earlier. Over the years these items have been moved around from attic, to storage building, and back, and I’ve always been amazed when I run across them that they haven’t yet disintegrated or been lost.
Now I’ve found them again. And before it’s too late, I’m going to actually preserve them here on my website for all of you to see. So I’m starting a new series for you to enjoy called The Vault. I’ll post word for word fiction I wrote in my beginnings. Some of it is very short, some of it is in the form of poetry, and a few things are quite long, in which case I’ll have to serialize it. I may make a few minor changes here and there, but only if it is obvious that my execution failed my intention, and I’ll only adjust it for readability purposes. Otherwise, all word choices, grammar, sentence structure, ect. will remain unchanged. Finally, each item will be given an approximate date and my age when it was written. Hope you enjoy a glimpse into my early writing brain!
So, this is really sort of an update to what’s been going on, where my writing career might be leading, and what you can expect from me this summer…since I’ve been Mr. Bad-blogger and not posting very often or very personal.
At the end of may I finally finished a four year journey to complete a Master’s degree in Theology. I’m not quite done yet, though. With so many electives and leveling classes, I came up just twelve credit hours short of a full double-master’s. So I’ll soon be picking up those last classes (part-time per my wife’s orders) to finish up a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies. After that…maybe PhD. I haven’d decided yet. Still praying about that one. Meanwhile, I’m still settling in to my new role as a full-time pastor. We have a fledgling website, which I’ll soon be building to awesomeness here – http://mageescreek.org. The FB page is a little better maintained at http://facebook.com/mageescreek.
What about the writing? There’s so much going on, things I want to do, that it’s hard to know where to begin working, much less know where to start telling you.
If you read the previous article on Micro Stories, then grasping the concept of Episodic Reduction should be very simple. It also helps to remember the Five Stage Plot, though not necessarily required.
What is Episodic Reduction? It is the reduction of the overall plot into self-contained episodes. Each episode becomes essentially a micro story, exhibiting the various sections of story development common to an entire story. In other words, each episode has exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement, per the Five Act Structure. But, the resolution of each episode should lead directly into the next episode. Episodes should build on each other and often reflect the Five Stage Plot that I mentioned above. Yet at the same time, each episode builds upon the overarching plot.
Let’s outline this a bit to better explain, using the Five Stage Plot as a template.
**WARNING** The following blog is a vent session. If you’re allergic to venting or have the propensity to consider any public vent session as “whining,” then please do not read. I don’t want to hear you whining about my venting. Thank you.
Being an author is a fickle ambition. It is full of ups and downs…mostly downs, because it’s never exactly what one might expect after breaking the glass-ceiling of publication. And every time I get a glimpse at just how hopeless the career seems, it never fails that people come out of the wood-work to tell me to “remember why I started writing” or “remember who I’m writing for” or “it’s not about being successful, it’s about doing what God tells you to do.”
For those who have told me that at one point or another, allow me to respond in this way: Stop telling me to compromise on my dream!
And you shouldn’t compromise either.
Being a musician, when I got into the writing business it didn’t take me long to realize the music and writing industries have common threads. It seems that the writing industry is mimicking the music industry in the way it is developing, only that the writing industry is about five to ten years behind. If one wants to “predict” whats next in the writing industry, they have merely to take a close examination of the music industry and discern how those changes might be applied to writing.
About ten years or so ago, music made a wholesale switch from being a CD standard industry to a digital MP3 standard industry. People were ripping CDs and sharing songs, pirating music on an epic scale. The industry had growing pains, struggling to decide what file format should be universal. Digital music players typically only played one format. Eventually, standardization occurred. Lawsuits settled the piracy issue mostly, by allowing songs to be purchased a la carte for a universal price of about $.99.
We’re seeing this very thing unfold now and over the past five years with writing. Books are going digital. EReaders struggle to settle on a standardized format. Even now lawsuits are being reviewed concerning the pricing of eBooks. And like the music industry, standardization is coming…indeed, it is almost here.