Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Famous! Well, Sort of...

I got a story published! It's a non-paying gig, for a free online e-zine called The Piker Press but it is an actual, real gig!It is a story titled: The Prisoner. It was originally a short story that I wrote in Junior High. Then when I discovered NaNoWriMo I took it as an idea for my novel. I was able to stretch it out to over fifty thousand words, but not without losing the real heart of the story and adding a whole lot of dirty wordcount tricks! Then, when a good friend suggested I submit something to the Piker Press a few weeks ago, I decided to get it out and dust it off a bit. I chopped at it mercilessly, down to novella size and submitted it.And they liked it! They really liked it!So it will be published as a serial for the next few weeks, each new edition of the Press comes out on Monday. So if you like my stuff, here is a chance to see my first real published story!

Monday November 17, 2008 - 05:46pm (EST)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008 - Day One...

(Image is the symbol of the SSWD, created by me...)
Tiriak woke with a start.
So begins my latest NaNo novel. Not as impressive as I tend to want my first lines to be, but I had to start somewhere. I sat there in the IHOP, at a table with about ten other NaNovelists and realized that although I had a pretty good idea about where I wanted my story to go, I was nowhere near deciding where to begin. Should I begin with the vision that my MC Tiriak has on his coming-of-age vision quest? Or should I begin earlier, in his childhood with a little bit of character development? Should I begin with some background on the antagonists the Soul-Stealing Weasels of Despair? Or should I shoot right to the action and fill in the rest as flashbacks?
I decided that the vision quest is really where the story begins, so I will start there but that is no guarantee that I won't change my mind later. That of course is the beauty of NaNoWriMo: I can just write what comes into my head and then go back and fill in the blanks later.
For November anyway, only the wordcount matters. After one day, I am at 3,352 words. Not a bad beginning!
Happy Novelling!
Saturday November 1, 2008 - 10:40pm (EDT)
© 2008 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Friday, October 31, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008!

It's that time again... Carpal tunnel irritating, sleep depriving, frustration generating, plot ninja creating, write-in attending, flickguy tormenting, 50,000 words in 30 days.
For some reason the first thing people ask when I tell them I write a novel every November is whether or not they get published. I always laugh out loud. Mostly because the dreck that I pound out to make sure I keep up with the minimum 1667 words per day would not be good enough to paper a birdcage if you printed it out on gold foil. That is what happens when you turn off the inner editor, focus more on quantity than quality, and just enjoy telling yourself a story. Characters wander around and refuse to stick to the script. Plot bunnies and ninjas drop in out of nowhere to create great gaping plot holes, and to get you out of them. You have long rambling conversations between characters about random topics having nothing to do with your story, just to meet your daily wordcount goal.
At the end of the month, you are so sick of these disobedient children and their interminably dull conversations that you upload the words to the NaNoWriMo word counter to get your cheesy downloadable certificate, and then you save it to some dusty corner of your hard drive and hope to never see it again. And you tell everyone how much fun it was. Because it was. You accomplished something. It may have been silly, it may have been useless, and you will most likely never see your name on the bestseller list. But you did it! And that is the entire point.

Friday October 31, 2008 - 09:02am (EDT)

© 2008 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Law of Average (Continued)

This is a continuation of a previous entry, which may have some potential for a complete story... (you never know, right?)
Jaime was once again, utterly disgusted. His team had won tonight, spectacularly even against their primary rivals. A thirty-point lead at the end of the fourth quarter had been the only thing that had finally prompted the coach to put Jaime in. For two plays. Then, it was back to the sideline.
Jaime reasoned with himself that he really should be glad to have played. That was better than most games, in which he didn't even get a single play. But for some reason, he felt even more depressed than usual. Worst of all, instead of just going home to feel sorry for himself, his ride to the game was staying for the customary dance afterwards. Jaime was not sure it could get much worse. He showered and dressed, and slowly wandered up through the deserted school to the cafeteria where the music was already thumping. Spirits were high, especially among the football team. To defeat the team from the next county by such a large margin was certainly reason for celebration. On top of that, many others like Jaime had gotten some playing time, and they were certainly primed for celebration. Not Jaime though. He found an empty chair in a dark corner, and determined to spend the night feeling sorry for himself.
Fish was one of Jaime's team mates, and probably one of his best friends. As far as friends go, Jaime really didn't have many, although he was generally well-liked. It just seemed like that same law that kept him from achieving anything really extraordinary also kept him from forming any really deep friendships. More than anyone else though, Fish was the exception. Tonight there was a girl with him.
(Sorry, real life intrudes. More later... I hope!)

Sunday June 22, 2008 - 08:22am (EDT)

© 2008 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Monday, May 19, 2008

August Rush

So I am going to write a movie review... I haven't had much luck with these in the past, I usually cannot remember all of the great details that a good movie review needs to have. However, I recently watched a movie that moved me more than any movie has for quite some time. So I feel a great compulsion to share my thoughts with the world at large. (Or at least whoever happens to read this, which is admittedly not many.)
August Rush is first and foremost, a fairy tale. Unabashedly, it takes us through the fantasy of an orphanage-raised boy who dreams, as most children in such a place do, of finally finding his parents. Whether or not he does in the end is almost never in doubt. It is almost never unsure of whether or not this movie will have a happy ending. Nevertheless, the tension and suspense are far greater than anything I have ever witnessed in a cinematic experience.
But first, I suppose I really should outline more of the story before I give away the climax.
Evan Taylor hears music, feels music all around him. "I believe in music like some people believe in fairy tales." And he believes that this music originates with his parents. Despite the taunts of the bullies who live in the boy's home with him, he continues to believe that if he can only learn to make the music he hears that he will somehow be able to call to his parents and they will return to him.
Through flashbacks, we learn that his mother and father are two very gifted musicians who meet only once on a magical night where music brings them together. His mother plays the cello in an orchestra, and his father is lead guitar and singer for a rock band. One night, they each have absolutely amazing performances, seperately of course. The magic of cinema however melds these two performances together into what has become one of my favorite tracks on the movie soundtrack as it jumps back and forth from the formal concert hall to the dark and smoky club joining classical Bach with a heartfelt rock ballad that really must move anyone with the smallest love of music.
After their respective concerts, the two musicians, still dazed with wonder at the intensity of their performances are dragged to a party by their friends where they meet on the rooftop where they have both gone to escape the crowd and ponder on the wonder of their music. In a beautifully directed scene, they meet, talk briefly and then, to the sound of a street performer playing Van Morrison's "Moondance" on a harmonica they fall instantly in love.
The next morning, fate intervenes to seperate them. He by his bandmates, she by her controlling father. He never knows that he has fathered a child, but continues to pine for her, even writing a song about her which is another great track on the soundtrack cd.
She carries the child to term, but before giving birth is hit by a car and when she wakes up in the hospital, her father tells her the child has died.
Both parents fall into a depression, and abandon their music. Meanwhile, Evan grows up in the boy's home, hearing the music and hoping for a chance to play it for a large enough audience to call them back to him. Eventually, he runs away from the home and makes his way to the city where he does finally get a chance to learn to perform music. Robin Williams plays an eerily insane character who is easy to love, hate, and fear simultaneously. "The Wizard" is a sort of modern day Fagin who teaches his youthful gang to panhandle for money by playing music instead of thievery.
Eventually Evan is discovered by someone who is able to get him admitted to the Julliard school where he writes the August Rhapsody as the piece of music that will finally bring his parents back to him. His innate musical genius is such that he is even given the opportunity to have the New York Philharmonic perform his work in a concert in Central Park.
Although the final climactic scene is largely predictable, I found myself holding my breath with watering eyes as Evan's music crescendoed. I think it is the music as much as anything that allows the dramatic tension to be preserved, and which keeps the viewer invested in the final scene despite its formulaic happy ending. As his parents make their way through the crowd, drawn by the music that they have both been hearing throughout the eleven years of their seperation one feels almost to shout at them to find each other, and to find the wonderful, sweet and talented son that neither of them knew that they had.
In the end, the ending is happy; and that is no surprise. But I was left breathless by this wonderful movie. Most of all, the soundtrack is the driving force behind everything good about this movie. I have nothing really bad to say about it. It is a movie that I will not hesitate to watch over and over again, if only to listen to the wonderful music.
If you have any love for music at all, or would like to, then you must take the time to watch August Rush.
You will never be able to listen to music in the same way again.

Monday May 19, 2008 - 11:11pm (EDT)
© 2008 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved