Photo by: Photognome (flickr.com)
When the novel/short story/novella you're working on is going really well and you're happy with it, proud of it, thinking that, hey, you might be good after all, might be a real writer, might have a writing future ...
Do you read it aloud to yourself? While doing different character voices? Do you read it silently, picturing cool, fascinating, frequently hilarious author Neil Gaiman's voice as he reads it aloud? In front of a huge audience at the WhateverTheHeckCon? And they love it, and laugh in all the right places? Do you imagine running into the awesomely awesome Stephen King at a 711 in Bangor, Maine, where you strike up a conversation, and he asks to read this almost-but-not-quite finished, first draft, work-in-progress? And he reads it, and he loves it, and says it's amazing?
Guess it's just me, then.
Maybe you should try it, though. It's a blast. ;-}
Photo by Claude Robillard
At last the wait was over.
The popcorn bowls were empty. A few crusts were scattered in otherwise empty pizza boxes. Customized, zombie-shaped cupcakes had been devoured. So had the cherry, blood-colored Jell-O shots.
The Superbowl? Meh.
The Oscars? Seriously?
No, this was THE WALKING DEAD PREMIERE.
And it was awesome.
Fan(atic)s have a variety of reasons why they love the show. The high-quality writing/acting/directing. The characters whose personalities draw us in, and whose fates shock us. The surprising but undeniable appeal of crossbow-toting Daryl Dixon. There's a reason why the show's action figures cost between $25 and $30, but Daryl's goes for almost $300. Female fans could explain it to you. But then they'd have to kill you.
Anyway, Season 3's first half cliffhanger had left us hanging, desperate for closure, for months. How would the brother-against-brother forced gladiators-in-the-Colliseum-ish battle turn out? Would the writers kill off our beloved Daryl? They'd better not. But they could. Well, THEY'D BETTER NOT. They had us on pins and needles for all those months, knowing that, with this series, anything goes. No one is safe. And who knew what completely out there plot twists were waiting for us. Expect the unexpected.
But mostly, expect a totally kick-ass episode. Every week. And that's what they gave us. Like I said, awesome.
And now, here it is! One day away from another episode! And the truly fanatical fans are getting all tingly. They're comingggg ...
Walkers will be shuffling into our living rooms once again.
Will Rick get any wackier? Will Carl pull a coup and put dear old Dad out to pasture? (Not literally, of course, because there are hungry zoms out there)
Will anyone in the group actually miss a head shot? (These are the best amateur shooters in the world. Ok, in a world with hardly any other people. But still.)
Can Daryl possibly look any hotter balancing that crossbow on his shoulder? Will he and Carol have another “moment,” complete with self-conscious little laugh?
And, most importantly, how many new ways will the writers come up with for squishing walker heads?
You know you love it.
Even as you say, “Ewwww!”
Fellow writers, concocters, middle-of-the-night scribblers, coffee addicts ...
Which comes first for you? Characters or plot? Genre or POV? Time period or location?
I ask because I realized recently that, for me, it's characters, always. They pop into my head and sidle up to me, saying, “Do you like me? Aren't I cute/exciting/impressive/fascinating/did I mention cute? And they entice me with a strange little scene, one that has so many possibilities, as if they know I won't be able to resist. And of course they're right.
I'm wondering if that's common, or if everyone else comes up with the plot first. Whether my methods are typical, unique, or weird. Whether wondering about it is weird.
And do other writers do it one way consistently, or does it vary with the story-to-come?
These ponderings are the result of a new short story I started less than a week ago. Yes, it started with characters — two kids — and a verrrrrry vague idea. I wouldn't even use the word “plot” because, really, there wasn't one. Then there was, sort of. But the “why” was missing. Yes, this is happening, but who or what started it? Why is it happening?
Then, this morning, ta-da! It came to me. A (hopefully) unique explanation/plot/whatsis.
I suspect this method is totally bass-ackwards.
As are so many things in my life. ;-}
But, hey, it works for me.
It's a new year. We get to start over again. Which, as writers, means we can leave behind all those things we did wrong last year, provided we learned something from those literary oopsies. I had my share of mistakes. Okay, my share and the shares of the entire population of Guam.
It was in some ways a good year for me, in that I created several short stories I'm proud of, and brought to life a few characters I love (even the little cutie who has a tendency to zap people and send them to a very strange place). And I stuck to my promise (to myself) to write much more during 2012. It wasn't an actual New Year's Resolution from last year, and maybe that's why it was successful. There's something about making an official Resolution that pretty much guarantees I'll blow it. And so, instead, I just wrote my ass off.
It was, writing-wise, also in some ways a bad year for me. Self-doubt I'd never before experienced began gnawing at me like dozens of tiny, toothy, alien creatures. Writing-wise, humor eludes me at times now, and has never quite been the same since my cat Scully died. We shared a life for close to nine years and, yes, she was my furry baby. I do have my moments, but I miss those carefree, crazy-ass, the-world-is-so-damn-funny-I-have-to-write-about-it days. Of course, as tough as this year has been for so many people in so many situations, I'm sure this is not a unique feeling, wishing things were like they used to be, and that we felt the same as we did back then.
People say you should be honest and open in writing blog posts; that readers, especially regular readers, want to get to know the real you. I'm not entirely sure that's always a good thing (had Ted Bundy blogged, it probably would have been in his best interest to keep his hobbies to himself), but once in a while I blurt out something. I don't come from one of those share-your-feelings-with-the-world kind of families, so it doesn't come naturally to me.
But I was supposed to learn something from last year, right? And keeping things bottled up did not help in 2012, so a little unbottling may be in order. For just a minute or two.
So here goes.
Do I find it cool that when I post a new story I've written, I sometimes get 400 or even close to 500 hits a day? Hell, yes. Does it give me a little thrill? You betcha. Do I take a screen shot of the stats to keep in my records? Absofreakinglutely. Am I then confused and a wee bit hurt when, with rare exceptions, only two people (who are friends, not just followers) ever leave a comment? Oh, yeah. Especially the confused part. I mean, okay, maybe the stories aren't as good as I think they are. Maybe I fell in love with them and can't see them objectively. But even then, wouldn't you think that out of all those visitors, someone would leave a comment that says they think the story sucks like a freakin' Hoover? Not that I would look forward to that, but if no one loves them and no one hates them, that leaves only, “Ho-hum, this bored the shit out of me but I won't hurt your feelings by telling you.” Which is kinder than “I hated this %$#& thing!” But I'll never learn what it is that people like or don't like or are fascinated by or bored by, if there's just this utter vacuum.
On the other hand, before computers and the Internet, writers had only family and friends to go by when they were first starting out, and how objective and honest could that have been? How would Ray Bradbury or Michael Crichton or Andre Norton or Thomas Harris or Anne Rice or countless other authors we've all grown to admire have reacted to instantaneous web comments (or the lack thereof) at the very beginning of their career, or at the point where it was just a hopeful future? Would their self-confidence have kept them going in the exact same direction, resulting in all those same creations that have enthralled us all? Or would their earlier selves have changed something in response — their style, their characters, the tone of their stories — to please others? We'll never know. But we wouldn't want them to have changed, would we? Their masterpieces will always be that, in our minds and in the minds of countless generations after us — masterpieces. And we wouldn't want them to have changed a single word.
And does that apply to me? Holy shiitake mushroom! I have no clue. We live in such a different world, I do in a way envy the simplicity and slow-paced peacefulness that surrounded those authors back in the day. But I also recognize that their talents were so immense, the urge to write no doubt overwhelming, and their eventual success evidence that they would have put the pedal to the metal ... er, the fingers to the typewriter or pen to the paper ... and ignored all outside distractions, to bring out those unique worlds that existed in their heads, creating short stories and novels out of the sheer necessity to do so, to bring their “baby” to life. They would have been successful and those stories would have been told, in any time and any culture. Whether those stories would have turned out exactly the same ... who knows? But they would have been awesome.
Do I have awesome in me? Not their kind of awesome, I have no doubt about that. But, yes, awesome enough to make me happy when I create a story I enjoy the hell out of, no matter how many times I read it. And that's good enough for me. Today. At noon or so. I may feel differently by 8 tonight. Or tomorrow while I'm eating breakfast. Or next Tuesday. But that's just me. ;-D
In all, what I learned from 2012, I actually learned from Ray Bradbury. Write. Write, write, write, and write some more. The more you write, the better writer you become. Not real complicated, is it? And it's already helped me, so I will continue to do so.
Bradbury also said that if a story you're working on is hard work and you can't get it right, set it aside (or outright dump it). He said writing should be fun. You should have a blast.
So that's what I did with my latest short story, Horror U. I started it before Halloween, finished it, in as much as I typed THE END ... but something was not quite right and I was not happy with it. So, after I came thisclose to pulling my hair out by the roots and running down the highway naked while singing the theme from The Sound Of Music over and over, I set it aside and started to write something else.
And out of that came my story, Survive, which I love, and which will probably always be one of my favorites, no matter how many others I write in the future. I loved every minute of writing it. Yep, I had a complete and utter blast doing it. Ray Bradbury knew, and bless him for sharing that advice with the rest of us.
I did go back to Horror U, and with that break from it, I saw what the problem was and fixed it, posted it. I like the way it turned out. I don't love it, but I'm happy with it. Especially because, without Horror U driving me crazy awhile back, Survive would never have come into existence. Things happen for a reason.
And also, Ray Bradbury was a frakkin' genius. ;-}
Copyright ©2013 Nik Barnabee. All Rights Reserved.
As I sat here trying to think up a blog post subject, I glanced at the shelves across from me and thought, “Weird? Me?”
It was the figurines, toys, and other collectibles atop, in front of, and beside my DVDs, CDs, and videotapes. My bookshelves, on the other hand, don't have much on them other than books. Two little action figures — Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock — and a small stuffed penguin. But the video shelves ... that's another story.
Here's the list:
- Smiling stone skull wearing a bow tie
- Metal skull with snake curled around it, and many tiny skulls at its base, as it bites its fingernails (I know — I wasn't aware skeletons had fingernails, either)
- Cemetery gate with skeleton leaning over it, and a raven in front sitting on a skull
- Plastic Centrosaurus dinosaur
- Ceramic white longhair kitty (what's THAT doing in there?)
- 3 smallish stone gargoyles
- A little yellow glow-in-the-dark alien
- Benji, a ceramic, glazed little critter that looks like it's bashful, made in an arts & crafts class by a friend when we were kids. I think it's probably the only thing I still have from childhood other than books (we moved a lot and things got lost)
- 2 cute little stone donkeys I gave my mother when I was a teen
- 3 Hot Wheels cars, including a VW bug and a Mustang
- A ceramic lizard with missing toes (they're delicate and I'm a klutz)
- A medium-sized metal toonish cat with springy legs
- A BIG gargoyle, about a foot high. (See photo above, and there are more photos of it with bothmy cats Ally & Buffy in CatWorld on my website)
- And, last but not least, a big, glass snowglobe on top of a ceramic castle, with a wizard inside the globe. The castle plays music if you wind up the key on the bottom. I forget what song it plays.
That's not weird, right?
Look at it this way — I'm a writer who has written about gargoyles and zombies and aliens and creatures that munch on Santa, so my collection could be considered necessary items for inspiration, couldn't they?
And you probably have lots of unusual stuff on your shelves or desks, surrounding you as you write. Or, you know, some. A few? Come on, humor me, before I get a complex.
Never mind. Truthfully, I enjoy my peculiar collection. And I'll probably add to it right after Halloween, when the coolest strange items go on sale. I'll let you know what I find.
So what's on your shelves or your desk? Things that inspire creativity, childhood nostalgia, family memories? Items unique & strange, or cute-as-a-button? Or are your shelves and desk and living quarters neat & business-like and doodad-free?
Now, THAT would be weird. ;-}
I have a love/hate/I'm-addicted-to-it-so-they've-got-me-where-they-want-me relationship with TV.
The new TV season is just around the corner, and I'll bet that, just as I am, you're wondering what the networks & cable channels will be foisting upon us. Er, I mean, so generously offering to us.
After a summer of reruns and occasional appetite-whetting new episodes of cable series, we're ready to pounce on anything brand new, aren't we?
Something like ...
A former con artist who works as a consultant with the police, assisting the rogue detective, both of whom trample evidence at crime scenes, move things before photos are taken and sketches made, and rifle through the victim's pockets, changing the body's position with no regard to future forensics testimony during a trial.
Already been done/being done/going to be done again, many times over.
Ok, how about ...
A sitcom where the dopey husband acts like he's twelve years old and the snarky wife treats him like he's four?
Dig through that deep, slushy pile.
Or yet another ...
Ritzy-celebrities/sort-of-celebrities/who-the-hell-ARE-those-people? who have cameras follow them around day and night while they run into situations they coincidentally never ran into back when cameras didn't follow them around.
If we had a buck for every one of those ...
Then again, could there be some of this ...
A not-so-distant-future/post-apocalyptic/marooned-on-a-strange-island/prehistoric past where zombies/Blackwater-type paramilitary units/smokey monsters/dinosaurs roam the land and a small band of survivors must try and, well, survive?
NOW you're talkin'!
Give me Jericho, Lost, The Walking Dead, or Terra Nova any day! I know, I know. They're just as similar to each other in basic plot as the other genres. But it's my kind of plot, so I don't care. Of course, networks being what they are, they've already axed 3 of those 4. And don't even get me started on last season's Alcatraz.
But don't worry. The screwy-forensics/dorky-hubby/that's-a-celeb??? shows are hanging in there.
I hear there will be a few unique new series in the 2012/2013 season (Revolution, 666 Park Avenue, The Neighbors). I wonder how many will still be around, this time next year? Every season when they cancel my favorite new shows, I swear I'll never let myself get attached to another cool/strange/adventurous series again.
They'll dangle some sci-fi-ish/strange-fantasy/futuristic series in front of me and I'll sink my teeth into it like Bruce the shark.
Like I said, they've got me where they want me.
Where did my science-fiction short story & its sequel ― Poof! and Poof! 02: Princess ― come from?
A cute-as-a-button four-year-old girl. A jellybean-shaped alien gizmo. A reoccurring vortex into which anything as small as a grasshopper or as vast as a city might disappear, sucked in like a dust bunny vacuumed up by a Hoover.
All three of these things popped into my head a couple weeks or so ago while I was reading a classic science fiction short story from the 1950s. The story contained nothing remotely like them, but you know how writing works ― a little inspiration and your imagination goes wild; your muse starts flinging words or phrases or images at you. No images for me right then, just two separate story prompts. The first: a little girl finds an alien gizmo. The second: A small, swirling vortex with a man inside, clinging to the edges by his fingertips. Nothing more came to me, so I filed them way for future reference.
Then, a few days later, I was working on my newest crime fiction novel, which has only a first chapter so far. At the end of the last scene, a new character arrives ― a medical examiner who is into the 1960s hippie look. Among other things, she drives an old VW Beetle and tie-dyes her own shirts.
And as I read it, I didn't see her, I saw a little bitty girl with blonde curls, wearing a grownup's orange, tie-dyed t-shirt with a purple peace symbol on the front, so big on her that she had to keep hitching it up to avoid tripping over it. She was standing in front of a swirling vortex ― a frightening hole-in-the-air ― watching curiously as a desperate man inside tried to hang on.
Not two separate stories after all.
I wrote Poof! in a few days. But I had so many leftover ideas, I just had to do a sequel, which took more like a couple weeks. Now I'm thinking that doing another sequel ― focusing on the suspicions of police detective Ryan Lee and the further disappearances caused by the reappearing vortex ― would enable me to eventually combine all three phases of the story into a novella.
And it all began when I was reading those old sci-fi stories.
Reading, reading, and more reading. It's not always easy to find the time, but it's still the best and easiest way for a writer to feed their imagination until it bulks up like The Hulk.
I know, we've all heard the quote from Stephen King about reading and writing, and if you don't do the former, you can't do the latter, yadda, yadda, and there have been times when I was so overwhelmed with work and taking care of my house/property, shopping, and of course, CATS, that I felt like saying, Hey, Steve, easy for you to say -- I'll bet you don't have to waste your time and energy scrubbing the toilet. Just for a second. No more than that. Because, after all, he is my favorite author, his MISERY inspired me to try writing my first novel, and I have a warm place in my heart for him. He rocks.
Plus, he's right, of course. Reading is the fuel that feeds the fire.
Anyway, back to how I wrote my story. Basically, the little girl in the story pretty much took over, writing herself, making her less the little innocent I originally pictured and more of an accomplice to the alien behind the everything-gobbling vortex. Such a tiny, dimpled cutie-pie, causing disaster wherever she goes.
So, a discovery for me. If your character knows who and what they are (even if they're so little that they sleep with a Spongebob Squarepants nightlight), let them run with it and see where it leads. That's what I did this time, and I'm extremely happy with the way it turned out.
By the way, If you haven't read Poof! or Poof 02: Princess, just click on the "My Short Stories" tab above. And if you'd like to read my crime thriller chapter with, yes, the hippiefied medical examiner,you can read that by clicking on the "Nails, newest crime thriller" tab.
Oh, and I actually OWN that orange, tie-dyed t-shirt, although the peace symbol is white rather than gaudy purple. I didn't tie-dye it myself, however. I have no clue how to do that, and let's face it, I'm too lazy anyway. I just bought it off the rack last summer. But, given that it helped inspire my favorite piece of writing (ok, a writer's newest is always their favorite, their baby, that's true), it's now my favorite t-shirt. Yes, I like it even more than the shirt with the gargoyle on the front. ;-}
10) You'll get into Heaven (or, if not, at least into one of those trendy clubs you like, the next time a bouncer debates about letting you and your not-really-cool-enough-seriously-you've-got-to-be-kidding outfit in the door. Really. You will. Because Karma works that way.)
9) You will ensure that the blogger will not cry. Today.
8) You'll avoid feeling guilty about making bloggers cry.
7) The blogger may be so grateful, he/she will put you in their next novel/short story as an awesome, heroic character. Conversely, if you read a post and don't leave a comment, he/she will find out (oh yes, yes they will) and may also put you in their next novel/short story ... where you will die a coward, hiding in a port-o-johnny which then explodes, spewing forth bits of you mixed with ... well, you know.
6) The blogger may, after they become well-known, well-read, well-loved, and disgustingly rich, invite you to stay in their beautiful condo! In a space station overlooking Mars. Yes, for some of us it may take that long to hit the big time. But we'll get there!
5) You'll get practice at writing, which can always come in handy. Such as someday when you need to write out invitations for your wedding to a multi-bazillionaire member of British Royalty, who asked you out only because he/she saw the fascinating, kind, insightful comment you left on someone's blog.
4) Every time you leave a comment, a fairy gets its wings! No, actually that's bullpucky. A gargoyle gets its wings. And fangs. And claws. (And they like comments. Needless to say, you wouldn't want to make them angry.)
3) Because (hopefully, anyway) the blogger will return the favor. (They should, because it's widely known that gargoyles find blogger guts especially tasty.)
2) Because if you don't, the gremlins in your computer will be tempted to pee on your video card, and streaming movies will become like the olden days when people "watched" radio.
AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON IS ...
1) The blogger may finally be able to get his/her mother off their back by pointing to the many comments on their blog and saying, "See ― I AM SO a writer!"
Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award? Me?! How cool!
I've not paid a lot of attention to awards outside of the Oscars, maybe because I've never been nominated for any (I'm still holding out for an Oscar nom sometime in the future, when Hollywood makes a major motion picture of one of my novels and I cut a deal to star in it, along with George Clooney. Hey, it could happen. Ok, maybe not the Clooney part ... or the me starring in it part ... Sigh.). But I do get excited when friends and fellow writers get nominations for various awards, and even win, and I can picture them jumping up and down in front of their computer, feeling happy and proud.
Well, I can no longer say I've never been nominated for anything. Lovely new friend and amazingly versatile blogger herself, Doreen "Dody" Cox ( @mothersitting on Twitter), was kind enough to nominate me for this award that I especially like because versatile, to me, means being fascinated by many things and compelled to write about them all.
Or maybe I just have a short attention span. ;-}
Anyway, thanks so much, Dody!
I write novels and short stories in several genres, and on any given day my blog might be about ... well, anything. Yes, my brain does bounce 'round and 'round, landing on whatever I find interesting at that moment.
There are a few requirements to this award, such as adding a list of links to your favorite blogs, as well as that of the person who nominated you, and I shall try and fill them all. But I would actually be more qualified for the Versatile-But-Technologically-Inept Blogger Award. I had been thinking about adding a list of blogs I read, but had trouble figuring out how to get the links on there. But I will find a way, hopefully by tomorrow. And I'll add Doreen's beautiful blog there as an actual link, as well as the other blogs I enjoy.
Another requirement: Listing 7 things about myself. Where do I begin?
1) I grew up reading classic sci-fi, from when I was barely old enough to read. My two older brothers collected it, and I liked to swipe their books. I skipped Cat In The Hat and went straight to H.G. Wells and Robert Heinlein. I didn't always get it, but I loved it.
2) I am totally fascinated by manta rays. Big, spooky, awesome undersea flyers, that look like they could just as easily be gliding along on some distant planet, or through deep space itself. During Shark Week 2011, the Georgia Aquarium had a week of live streaming video of their 6 million gallon tank, complete with a half dozen mantas and two gigantic whale sharks (also way up on my list of ultra-cool creatures). I swear I watched it about 20 out of every 24 hours, every day. When they turned it off, it broke my widdle heart.
3) I used to be a sculptor. I did fantasy & science fiction — mid-sized figurines and tiny gaming figures. Sculpting is what i do best and what I love most. But serious sensitivity to the materials (among other symptoms, I couldn't breathe) forced me to give it up.
4) I'm a vegetarian and almost always have been. I remember being maybe 3 years old and finding out that the shrimp I was eating were not veggies at all, but little bitty creatures from the sea. I freaked out, in an ewwwwwwww! sort of way. That should have been a clue right there. I still ate some meat throughout childhood — a minimal amount — plus tuna, but by the time I was about 14, I went totally veggie. Not because of any social views or to be trendy, or because someone says it's a healthy lifestyle. I'm not a cow-hugger. I just find it, well, icky.
5) I could not live without TV. There, I said it. I've loved TV ever since I was little. I love that the characters from my favorite shows visit me every week. Of course, the more I like them, the more likely it is that the networks will banish them to Cancelville.
6) The first time I watched Stephen King's THE STAND on TV, I instantly developed a huge crush on Gary Sinese. I figured it would go away as time went on. Nope.
7) I love potato chips so much, aliens could probably entice me onto the mothership with a can of Pringles.
BLOGS I ENJOY READING:http://doreencox.blogspot.com/Doreen writes about love and commitment and many other things touching and unique. I love her humor and her humanity and of course her love of cats.http://chicksinlit.blogspot.com/I was introduced to this blog by my friend Cindy Schuerr (@cswriter59), who is one of its contributors. At Chicks In Lit there is writing, promotion, reviews, and support for writers.http://www.neilgaiman.com/Neil Gaiman
, one of my favorite writers and one of my favorite members of the human race. In his blog, he's shared much with his fans
-- married life while on the road, his thoughts about writing, his love for his pets, and more about beekeeping than we ever thought we'd know.
http://shellijohnson.com/blog/http://kristenlamb.org/Again, thanks for the nomination! It's nice when you hear that people enjoy what you do. Especially when you enjoy doing it. :-}
As writers, we're told by the best/most successful (and you know who you are/were, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Anton Chekhov ... and no, he was not on the Starship Enterprise ... etc.) not to TELL what's happening, but to SHOW it. Sometimes that's easy. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's not something visual, but something auditory, and to show it would require a sound effect.
In one scene of my not-yet-pubbed novel, a police car slams into a vehicle during a chase, and I just wrote, "Wham!" That works for me because, in my mind, and I think in the minds of readers, it tells you that here was a collision — it was sudden, it was loud, and it was unavoidable.
When I had a scene with multiple gunshots (and it is a pivotal scene near the end of the book), I also wanted to have it just happen, not to say, "... and then gunshots rang out." And in my very first draft — which I wrote so long ago, Lincoln was President (ok, maybe it just feels that way) — I wrote "Ka-blam! Ka-blam! Ka-blam!"
For many drafts, it looked fine to me, and then one day I realized, holy &$@%!, that looks like it belongs in a Marvel Comic. Along with "Kapow!" and "Zap!" and "Bam!" in an exciting, colorful font. Yikes, yikes, and double-yikes.
On the other hand, being able to notice it tells me I've improved as a writer, over the years. Yay me.
But I still needed a sound for that scene. A major character MUST get shot, several bullets whizzing out of a gun barrel, and it needs to be sudden and dramatic. If it were a big, powerful weapon, cannon-like, I suppose "boom!" would do. But this is a handgun.
I eventually settled for a generic "Bang!" (I searched a bit and did find at least one famous author who used that sound effect for a gunshot). But who knows, maybe I'll change my mind before actually self-pubbing it.
There should be a writers' dictionary of sound effects, don't you think? So we wouldn't have to rack our brains late at night trying to come up with something that works perfectly, conveys the sound we want, but doesn't look like The Hulk might be crouching nearby, ready to pounce on an evil villain?
Do you have trouble with sounds in your novels/novellas/short stories? Explosions, snores, coins dropping on a sidewalk, a wheel rolling away from a disastrous car wreck, a victim's last choking sound before strangulation does them in, a drawer slamming shut ...?
And if you hadn't thought about it before, now you have yet one more reason to sit up till the wee hours, fighting to find exactly the right word. Sorry about that. Pour another cup of coffee. It's going to be a long night. ;-}