It should be easy. You can conjure people and make them do what you want. And money isn’t a factor. Your story can be as big-budget Michael Bay as you want. Your story can cost $500 trillion if it has to.

Today was gonna be the day. I had eight hours in the office to get that novella revved back into gear. Nothing came out. Because creation can rarely be scheduled. Lately I’ve been typing characters who are just me but with a different first name. When I try to diversify it feels like my imagination has been vacuumed out of my head. In these moments you can slide into a deep tar pit of depression that makes you want to take a nap. I looked at words other people had made up. Wondered how it was possible. In Harry Potter there are non-magical people who live at Hogwarts. They are called squibs. Best result they can hope for is shooting sparks out of a wand. Meanwhile there are motherfuckers riding past the windows on brooms and the squibs just have to watch.


Fred’s Book

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Author: Fred Colton

Fred is just another guy online.

16 thoughts on “Fictioneering”

  1. I’ve only read the 1st Harry book so thanks for the spoilers – GOSH!

    Jk, this piece is really good, glad to know I’m not alone in these feelings every now and again. I won’t always be writing with my dad so I better get good fast! Thanks again.


    -The JO in JoMarkCreative

  2. Hi Fred! I like your post, it’s very honest. Let’s be friends. I’m bursting with ideas and my passion for words is so high that I burst into rhyme and song every chance I get. I am working on getting some prompts and exercises up on my blog soon – but I would like to share one with you right now. Read this poem by Mark Strand called ‘Keeping Things Whole’ – here’s a link,

    Then, after reading it, take a few minutes to write about the character who is narrating the poem. Do this using very specific concrete terms. For example, pretend you just met this person at a party. What do they look like? What would they say? How would they act, what are their mannerisms? Is there something they wouldn’t talk about? Would you want to spend time with this person or run like hell? Why? Why not?

    I find that this is a great way to get to know new characters. Maybe just pick a random poem you’ve never read and see how it strikes you – and imagine what the character reciting it to you is like. I recommend finding persona poems for this exercise.

    I did this too once using ‘Keeping Things Whole’. It would be interesting to see who you come up with as the narrating character of the poem. We could swap characters.

    Hope I could help! I love to help.. Good luck!

    1. Enthusiastic. I like it. You could probably be a writing coach. I’ll have to dig into this when things settle down for the weekend. Thanks for sharing that poem with me. I appreciate it!

      1. You’re welcome, it’s my pleasure. I’d love to be a writing coach, or a creative advisor, if you will. Perhaps one day I will be, but I would feel I would need to be published first so I have some credibility to add to my skills. Thank you!

  3. If depression only made me want to take a nap i’d be in much better condition, me thinks. “Imagination vacuumed out” – awesome phrase. And, unfortunately, another place I’ve been.
    As for chewing pencils … it must be better than bashing your head on the keyboard over and over … maybe. You are on-center with “creation can rarely be scheduled”. i’m finding the only things that can be scheduled “firm” are the things i don’t want to do in the first place.

    1. That’s why work is so annoying. Ready or not, you have to go.

      Depression is quite the wily little bitch that can come for any of us at any time. And that can’t be scheduled either–but I’ve found that having puppies around helps.

      1. i so completely agree! puppies have always been able to turn my life upside down … which, considering where i usually am – – put me at the top of my world 🙂

  4. I just saw an article informing all of us “old” guys about the sad news that the Roy Rodgers museum is closing. Out of business. Even the baby boomers are now too young to remember. Roy Rodgers was good vs evil. The life lessons we learned from his movies (30’s and 40’s in e-runs on TV) and his 50’s TV show were not just about the songs he sang but the plans of the bad guys foiled and the maidens’ virtue saved. a dusty knights tale with cactus and boulders (I think the same ones in the California film locations showed up in most of the filming). Land grabs, railroad right of way swindles, water hoarding and of course, cattle rustling from the out of luck rancher with the pretty daughter. Morality in a fringed cowboy shirt. You can change the genre, the location, even the century but the plot returns time after time. A good old fashioned save the damsel from the railroad tracks drama, with a goofy sidekick for comedy relief. You young kids don’t know what you’re gonna be missing. And don’t even get me started on Sky King.

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