L is for Laughter

Posted in On Writing on April 14, 2015 by Craig Snider

Originally posted on Writing Wranglers and Warriors:

Portrait

This post by Craig Snider.

When I think back on all the best books, movies, and stories I’ve ever been exposed to, there is one thing that stands out no matter what the genre may have been. Since you’ve already read the title, you know what that thing is.

Why is it that laughter has such an impact on us? Simple. Our brains are hardwired to reward certain behaviors, like food, sex, laughter, and anything that releases endorphins. Because, when we get right down to it, our brains are like a spoiled little three year old on sugar-crack that throws a tantrum until it gets what it wants. And, when it gets what it wants, it gives you a treat to

“Oh, banana. You so funny.”

keep those things coming. Okay, so it is more like a drug dealer that will hurt you unless you try their stuff, then you…

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Mysterious Stranger

Posted in Fictions, Dreams, and Horrors with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2015 by Craig Snider

Stranger

Mysterious Stranger

If he’d known it was his last night, he wouldn’t have stayed so late at the office, working a proposal he knew would get denied. Work filled the gap left by an obvious lack of friends, family, or love interests for company. He didn’t mind so much, but if he’d known dying was on the agenda, he would have made some changes.

He had rushed to get home after work to watch the last episode of Pushing Daisies. It was an old show, but he’d never seen it, and he wanted to find out how it all came out. The thought of never being able to touch the person you love? How terrible. Though, he never touched anyone, much less someone he loved, so he supposed he could relate. This thought had occupied his mind so completely he didn’t notice the shadowed figure as he topped the stairs to the platform. For a moment, neither of them moved. Though the air hung slack around them, the figure’s hair flowed languorously, as if submerged in water. It was a woman in black clothes. Yet, the harder he looked at her, the more she faded. Every time he blinked, she was that much nearer. As she approached, the air around him began to chill, then turn to ice, his breath bursting out in steaming jets.

Now that she was close, her face mere inches from his own, he could see her eyes, a deep shade of blue, the entire eye. Her blue lips touched upon his, freezing them at their touch. In those last few, wonderful moments of the kiss, and his life, as he sank into darkness, he wished he had known. He would have brushed his teeth.

I Am a Closet Narcissist…Or a Writer. Either One. Maybe Both…

Posted in On Writing on January 13, 2015 by Craig Snider

“Ooh, I look like a writer!”

All writers are Narcissists. I mean come on. We put our thoughts down on paper, sometimes loosely camouflaged as a story, send it off and expect people to pay us money for it. Would you pay the homeless guy that hangs out under the bridge money to know what he thinks about the world? Probably not. How are writers any more qualified than lives-under-the-bridge-Paco? Well, they probably aren’t. Sure, some of you are bristling, saying “but I put a lot of time into my characters, and really researched this or that.” Yeah? Well, Paco’s been living under a bridge for the last four damn years. I bet he could write stories that would strip the spray-on tan off a Kardashian. Continue reading

Which Would You Choose?

Posted in On Writing on December 23, 2014 by Craig Snider

Craig Snider:

My post from Writing Wranglers & Warriors

Originally posted on Writing Wranglers and Warriors:

PortraitThis post by Craig Snider

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where the character must make a decision in a difficult situation, and when you thought about it, you had trouble trying to decide what you would do if you were in their place? For example, in the book and movie, Sophie’s Choice, a mother of two children is in a concentration camp, and the nazi doctor tells her she must choose which of her children will die, and which will continue to live in the camp. Whoa. Who would want to have to make that decision? And, if you did, which would you choose? There are lots of different justifications for every choice, including not choosing at all and risking the possibility of something worse happening to all three of them.

This is called an Ethical Dilemma (or also a thought experiment), defined by Wikipedia as:…

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Closure, Organic, and Bell Curves

Posted in On Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2014 by Craig Snider

Hello writers! The time since my last post has been long, and the days grow short. The sun is low in the sky–Why am I talking like Tonto?

“What you looking at? You think bird on head or something? Weirdo…”

Anyway, I try not to post unless I have something to say. That being said, I have something to say.

As writers, we constantly strive to understand the mechanics of storytelling. Each writer finds their own way in doing so, finds their own process and techniques for conveying the story they have to tell. Some writers like to outline every detail of their story, characters, and settings, down the the number of hairs on each character’s head. Some prefer to take up the pen or keyboard, armed only with an idea, concept, character, or image, and begin, taking the journey right alongside their characters. And, most people fall somewhere in between. Continue reading

Where I am now–update on my journey.

Posted in On Writing with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by Craig Snider

When I finally (after ten years of trying) received my degree, I was thrilled. And, deep down I still harbored the thought I could one day use my degree for its original intent, other than just decorating the wall of my library. But, living in rural West Virginia, opportunities are few. I started this blog with the intent of providing a kind of journal about my attempt to become a published author. So, here is what has happened thus far, just for the record’s sake.

Typically, I don’t write about personal items on this blog, as it is intended to be a guidebook of sorts. But, I’ve come into a couple of things that have really helped move me forward on the journey. The first thing happened long before I even thought of doing a blog. I went back to school to get my degree.

While a degree in literature or writing is certainly not a requirement for becoming a writer, the measure to which it helps is immense. Not only do you learn the basics of good writing, you also get feedback and exposure to people and opportunities difficult to access or find on one’s own. Continue reading

Clone Wars–“Someone wrote my story!”

Posted in On Writing on November 13, 2013 by Craig Snider

“Hey, you look familiar. Do I know you?”
“Huh? Me? Uh…nope. Not me…”
(Photo by David Eger)

Perhaps you’ve been brainstorming all week, or maybe all month, on a story idea. You’ve worked out all the details, and you have all your characters ready to go, and the plot twist at the end makes you happier than a midget in a platform shoe store.

But, then you happen to pick up a book of short stories and begin reading. Then, it happens. You read a story that could have been a carbon copy of your story idea. DAMMIT!

So, what do you do? I’ll tell you. Write it anyway. Continue reading

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