My roommate got me into watching Chuck on his Netflix, so I didn’t get as much writing done in the past few days as I would’ve liked. So I’m going to take this opportunity to discuss something I’ve noticed lately before the clock strikes twelve and a new year begins.

Sometimes I look at the rough draft of Video Rage I have in front of me. I look over what I’ve written, I nod at the points that I think are good, I edit something when I see that I’ve made an error or a mistake. And then I ask myself, “Did I really write this? It seems so much better than my work has been in the past.” And that’s not me praising my own work (though I’m happy to do that most days of the week). It’s me wondering who’s actually writing this story.

Let me try to explain this without sounding like I’m trying to toot my own horn. The other day I was writing a scene for Video Rage where a very important world leader points out several flaws in the story the antagonists over at the Parthenon Company have been telling about the West Reborn Hydras. I’m looking over the chapter and I think to myself, “Are you sure you wrote this, Rami? It’s a lot better than  scenes you’ve written before, it reads like a sci-fi version of a scene from Scandal, and it’s almost good enough to be of that quality.” And looking over the entire novel so far, I’m noting a quality in the writing that puts it a level above its predecessor Reborn City. I especially notice these differences in portions where I expand upon the world of RC, in scenes dealing with the interpersonal relationships between the characters, and in those moments when I add items or elements on the spur of the moment that vastly change how I see the scene playing out.

And it’s not just in VR. Two nights ago I had an idea for a short story. I’m writing the idea down so I don’t forget it, and I’m noting how I’d like to write it, how I’m going to be drawing on elements or techniques I noticed in some of the short stories I read this past semester, how the man focus of the short story is going to focus on the inadequacy of the male lead. And as I finish writing the idea down, it hits me that the idea is a lot simpler but also a lot better a short story than anything I’ve ever written before.

I’ve always written short stories like novels, except I’ve got to figure out how to tell the story in less than 10,000 words, so it better be a brief story. Not the best method for writing short stories, is it? In fact, I’ve realized that for ages, but I didn’t know any other way to write them, so I’ve been writing them that way for years. The way this short story goes is very different though. If I had to describe it, it’d be taking an idea, telling a simple story based on it, and centering the focus on the reactions of one character to events around him, drawing on the numerous short stories I read this past semester and the techniques that those authors used to tell those stories.

Trying to explain it here, I know I’m not doing the best job of it. But that’s the closest I can come to. And I know that if I can figure out how to write this short story and others like it, I might be able to step my game up a little and become a much better writer.

And as I write this, I wonder if I’m getting closer to the writer I want to be. One who is able to tell a deep, meaningful story, one which draws the reader in, holds them in terror and in awe, makes them feel for the characters a deep attachment, and causes them to think about the story long after they’ve finished reading it. I’m still a long way from that author I’d like to be, but I’d like to believe that I’m making some headway to that goal based on the maturation  I’ve observed in my writing.

Well, I guess editors and reviewers to come will tell me so if I’ve made any headway to that goal. In the meantime, I’ve got three chapters of Video Rage left, and I’m going to try to finish them before school starts up on Monday. Wish me luck.

Oh, and before I forget, I want to wish all you Followers of Fear a Happy New Year. Your continued support makes it possible for me to keep writing, blogging, and publishing, and it’s your continued support that makes it a bit easier for me as I work to achieve my dreams and become a successful horror author. I wish you all a great year in 2014 and I hope everything goes your way with all your goals and projects.

See you next year!

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