On the Creation of a Story

Michaelangelo said that every block of marble has a statue inside, and it is up to the sculptor to “let it out.” Could the same be said of other forms of expression?

Inspiration is the lifeblood of those in creative fields. For a writer, this could translate into the development of story ideas, characters, plotlines, and any number of other elements that combine to form a piece of creative writing. But where do these elements come from? A likely answer would be that they come from the mind of the writer. And this is undoubtedly true but, for me anyway, it is also the case that each story idea comes with its own unique features that are inherent to the original idea itself.

I would never presume to speak for any other writer but, when I start a poem or story, I think of a general idea for any given piece of writing, usually with the beginning and ending well formed in my mind, and simply start writing. I will almost always have an idea of the major events of a story when I begin, but the smaller details will not necessarily all be worked out in my mind. For me, this is not a problem because the story exists, and so it will tell me how it goes as I go on writing. In other words, I know what a story is about and where it will end up. Then, I start writing and the details of that story reveal themselves to me as I go. For me, this is the most natural way of writing and it is just about the only way that I feel I can write (not that I have really tried any other way!). I also favor this method of writing because I feel that it provides me with a sense of security. Any time I feel like I am “stuck” and cannot continue with a story, I simply put it aside. In my mind, this simply means that the story has not fully revealed itself to me at that moment. Many times I have put a piece of writing aside, sometimes for weeks or months, only to take it up again and finish it in a matter of days at a time when I can better perceive the details of the story.

Of course, my particular method of writing definitely has its drawbacks. It is certainly not the most disciplined or efficient way of writing. If I do not feel that I can continue with a particular piece, I simply do not go on with it at that time. While I always hope that I will be able to “see” the next part of the story at a later time (and most of the time this does seem to be the case), there is always the chance that a piece will simply go unwritten. It also means that my writing often comes erratically in sometimes wildly uneven bursts – I might write one page one day and ten pages the next. And I am probably more rigidly opposed to making changes to my stories than many other writers as, to me, each work is a complete whole with features that are inseparable from that whole. As such, it can be very hard to bring myself to change even minor details such as character names as, in my perception, they are fundamental parts of the story.

I should note that by no means do I think my habit of waiting for a story to “form,” and to reveal itself in some organic manner as I write, is the best way of writing, nor do I think that it is any way more correct than any other. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong way of putting one’s ideas down on paper; there is only the way that any given individual does it. To me, the process is just that – a means for expressing oneself and recording one’s ideas. It is up to individual writers to determine what works and what does not for themselves, and to find what will allow them to achieve their personal writing goals.

The New Onyx City Writing

Though circumstances have kept me away from the Labyrinth until now, I am very pleased to be able to announce the new Onyx City Writing. This new site will be more focused on presenting my thoughts and experiences relating to reading and writing. In addition, I have updated the site to give a more streamlined look where information and posts are more easily accessible.

My blog, Labyrinths of Onyx, is now the main feature of the site. In addition to posts about writing in general, I will also update you on the projects I am working on at any given time and also share excerpts from some of my work. Information on where to read or buy my books and other writing is also available on the site. And, of course, feel free to contact me through the Contact page.

I hope you enjoy the new Onyx City Writing and thank you for your continued support of my work.

New Release: Ten Minutes to Two and Other Tales of the Sinister and Surreal

It’s been quite a while, dear readers! I know I have really been remiss about updating this site and posting more pieces for you all to enjoy. And I am so sorry about that! But I really appreciate you sticking with me, and I thank all of you for your patience!

The reason I have been away for so long is because I have been working on various projects that have just taken up all of my time. But the upshot of this is that the collection that I have been promising is finally here!

Ten Minutes to Two and Other Tales of the Sinister and Surreal

Ten Minutes to Two Ebook

Ten Minutes to Two and Other Tales of the Sinister and Surreal is a collection of thirteen short stories in various genres, from horror to science fiction to surreal fiction. The stories consider the nature of death, grief, fear, love, and reality itself. Underlying these themes is the question of just how much a person can endure, both physically and emotionally, and an exploration of the outermost limits of human perception.

Excerpts from some of the stories in Ten Minutes to Two can be read on this site by visiting the Short Stories link under the Read menu at the top of the page. This includes “Don’t Praise the Day Before the Evening,” in which a woman realizes there might be more to a simple superstition than first meets the eye, “To Feel is Simply to Remember,” in which two boys encounter a strange, old peddler of bottled feelings in a futuristic world, and “In the Eyes of a Child,” which considers the inborn drive to torment those who are closest to us. These stories and more are featured in the collection, including such tales as The Invited,” a sinister warning against answering unseen voices, “In One Second, Eternity,” a singular look into the true meaning of a life after death, and the title story, in which an old lady is almost led horribly and irreparably astray.

Ten Minutes to Two and Other Tales of the Sinister and Surreal is available now in paperback for USD$9.95 and as a Kindle ebook for USD$1.99 on Amazon.


Welcome to the Labyrinth

The year is well and truly under way and I would like to take a moment to apologize to all of you, my dear readers, for my absence. I have been taking some time to work on upcoming writing projects and, unfortunately, I have been remiss in updating this site.

I would also like to announce my new feature, Labyrinths of Onyx. Until now, I have been posting only samples of my poetry and short fiction on Onyx City Writing. This post represents the start of a new blog that I am starting on this site on writing, books, and, well, anything really that strikes me as relevant to the wonderful world of reading and writing, including more detailed news about my upcoming works. In short, thoughts, reflections, and generalized musings out of the labyrinths of my mind.

Through this blog, I hope to share, even if only in a small way, some of the wonderful process of recording and developing ideas that is one of the joys of writing. And, just maybe, this will be of interest to some of you readers and writers out there as well.

So, stay tuned for the next post in Labyrinths of Onyx. And thank you all so much, dear readers, for your continued support and interest in my work.