Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Inspiration part 23 - Graffiti

Welcome back,


This article will feature photographs taken earlier this year, and focus on a form of urban art known as graffiti. I discovered this location while out travelling some local trails.


**Please note, that certain areas can be dangerous and one should not travel there alone, or if the area is private property, then permission or supervision may be required. These photos were taken during the day and while in company of friends.**


Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted on a wall or other surface, and range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Spray paint and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials in modern times. A whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles; it is a rapidly developing art form with many different types and styles.


Graffiti can be used to express underlying social and political messages, or to mark territory of gang-related activities, which is why they are often in plain view of the public. Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's permission is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.


Which brings me to the first aspect of graffiti: location. The graffiti in the photos below were taken just off a bike path that passed under a bridge. The bridge itself is a simple urban location, but in these images, you can see how simply adding graffiti completely changes the atmosphere. Keep this in mind when adding this detail in a setting.


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    Then we take a look at the graffiti itself. There are virtually hundreds of different styles when it comes to this form of street art; from abstract to photorealistic, from serious to satire. The images below show a lot of abstract art, but is mainly tagging, which is the act of writing one’s pseudonym or ‘’key word’’ used only by the artists, or in some cases, the artists affiliates (i.e. gangs).


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Besides their political aspect, graffiti can be inspiration for writing as well. They can the perfect detail in a setting for a variety of stories. Perhaps you are writing an urban fiction (a.k.a. Street lit) that contains a street gang tagging their territory, or graffiti could be a background detail at a murder scene in a mystery, or maybe you could write a story about a troubled youth that expresses themselves through art. Graffiti can be very versatile in writing, and can been used in many different genres.


Hope you enjoyed today’s exploration. I had a great time, and maybe these images will come in handy for your next story. Remember to always exercise caution while exploring.  


Now get out there and get inspired!


Cheers!


Patrick Osborne

Friday, November 17, 2017

Interview 23 - Mark Alan Smith



Welcome back,
               For this month's interview, we have the pleasure of meeting published author, Mark Alan Smith. I have met Mark on one of the many Facebook writing pages. He has written many different types of publications, both in fiction and nonfiction.

               On to the interview!
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Short Bio: Former firefighter, emergency medical technician and corrections officer who also served in the United States Marine Corps. I have authored a variety of articles on a wide range of topics and I’m currently working on several writing projects. These include a non fiction preparedness guide and a fiction/fantasy series titled The Tales of Dohrya. I reside in western Oklahoma and enjoys hunting, cooking and taking part in IDPA pistol matches as I can.

Published Works: Roma Victrix (an alternative history novella) Preparedness The Basics and Beyond, The Tales of Dohrya The Southern War (Book one of a six book series)

Current Projects: I am currently writing 11 full length books and a number of short stories


When did you begin writing?

I started writing Dohrya in high school as well as original poetry and then slowly expanded my writing to included technical articles.

Did you receive any special training or attend a school?

No.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

With the poetry it was a form of therapy, I suffer from depression and the poetry was a form of self therapy. The poems were not dark, quite the opposite in fact, writing helped me to pull myself out of the depression. Writing fiction fantasy (which I was a huge fan of and still am) was an outlet for my creative side.

What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?

A key piece of advice that a friend of mine gave me years ago that I often remind myself of when I am writing dialogue is that not everyone talks the same. I had a tendency for all my characters to have the same inflection, the same syntax etc. After he told me that it was as if I was suddenly seeing the writing in a whole new light and it really helped me grow as a writer.

What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?

Staying true to who you are as a writer, I’ve written a number of different articles, poems and several books all the while not changing my core principles or beliefs. If I do that then I feel I can’t be true to who I am and therefore what I’m writing isn’t as good.

Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)

I do have a publisher.

Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?

I have changed how I edit. I formerly did it electronically, just read through it on the computer and made the changes there but with my current project (a three book series) I’ve taken to printing it out and going through the printed pages with a red pen and then making the necessary changes in the digital copy after. Yes it does take longer but for me seeing it in the hard copy printed format I am able to better visualize the story and I can do a better job of editing.  

How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).

I am fortunate to have a friend who owns a publishing company and have a contract through her.

Do you handle your own marketing?

I do some of it but mainly my publisher (Auctoritas Publishing) handles it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Stay the course (pardon the cliché’) and keep writing.

I found Mark’s life experience and how it reflected in his work to be inspiring. I hope everyone found this interview informative, and I would like to thank Mark Alan Smith for taking the time to take this interview. Your participation was very much appreciated.

Until Next time.

Cheers,

Patrick Osborne

Friday, November 10, 2017

BOOTCAMP LESSON 20: Cross-Genre


Welcome back!



This latest edition of Bootcamp will be an exercise in Cross-Genre, the mixing of multiple literary genres into one story, and how it can be applied to your work. The purpose of this writing prompt is to help us experiment with different genre combinations, and how those pairings can affect a story’s setting and characters.

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Lesson 20: Crossing literary genres


The basics of a story is a plotline which follows the exploits of the main characters as they attempt to resolve a conflict while making their way to their intended goal. A genre is a label that characterizes artistic composition of a literary work by analyzing different elements like form, style, or subject matter.


As opposed to the conservatism of most single genre fiction, cross-genre writing offers opportunities for different approaches to telling a story, which can be both fun and a challenge. In the following exercise, you will have to create a synopsis of a story that has two different genres.


So, here are today's guidelines!


  • Below is a list of seven literary genres, pick two to work with.
  • Following the basics of a storyline, create a short summary which must include;
    • A protagonist
    • A sidekick
    • An antagonist
    • An obstacle
    • A goal
  • Demonstrate how your story is inspired from the two different genres you had selected.
  • The summary must be five hundred words or less.


Genres
  1. Action & Adventure: Story where a protagonist is placed in a desperate situation while facing seemingly insurmountable odds while trying to accomplish a specific goal.
  2. Comedy: Story where the events are told in a funny or comical manner. Comedy is versatile and can easily be merged with other genres.
  3. Fantasy: Story based on magic or supernatural elements, relating to outworldly characters and settings. Good examples would be Fairy Tales, Fables and Legends.
  4. Historical: Story which focuses on a real person or event. Often used in non fictional literature like biographies.
  5. Horror / Thriller: Story where harm and misfortune risk affecting the protagonist(s), told to deliberately evoke a feeling of dread and fear, through suspense, violence or shock.  The protagonist is often pitted against an unbeatable force;  common examples are ghosts, monsters or a merciless psychopath.
  6. Romance: Story involving a character's relationships or love interest. This genre is commonly seen combined with other genres.
  7. Science fiction: Story based on the impacts of actual, imagined or potential science (be it realistic or not). Common elements are futuristic settings or alien beings. Most notable space themed storylines are those set in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes.


For those who aren’t afraid to share their entries, feel free to submit your backstories as a reply to this post. Remember, this is a game, so no posting bad comments about other people's entries.


Now go! Create! And I hope you have fun giving this exercise a try.


Until next time!


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Friday, November 3, 2017

Current Projects Part 34


Welcome back,


            October proved to be another busy month on my end. I got more artistic work done on some sculptures, made some progress on writing, and started to put together a studio in my basement. Not to mention my yearly Horror Movie Marathon!


            Other than that, I haven’t been up to much, so this update will be shorter than some of my previous ones.


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As I write this, November is only two days away. Before we know it, winter will be upon us and the holiday season will be here! I’m already looking into Christmas shopping and making preparations for holiday get-togethers. For now, however, Mother Nature is wreaking havoc, as my hometown is going through yet another rainy period. This will be the second series of floods this year.


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            The bright side to all this rain, is that I get to stay inside and do some work! In terms of writing, I have almost completed the character sheet on main main protagonist. I only have his history section left to fill out, which might be a bit tricky, since I have to coordinate it with several other characters. I also chipped away at my second chapter, so at least I got some progress made.


I’ve been doing more art recently, mostly for hanging on my walls. I will be sharing pictures once they are complete. I’m giving myself a deadline of early february, and I want them up in time for my Birthday!


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Missing Worlds Media have been busy since my last progress report, since they have released three updates in the past month! The articles covers power designs, animation and one background story. You can read the full articles on our kickstarter page:








That is all I have for this month. In closing, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to visit my blog, your support is truly appreciated. I can be reached via Facebook, Google+ or Twitter (@OzmosisCoH), so don't be shy and send me a message if you have any questions or comments.


Until next time.


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Friday, October 27, 2017

By the Book - Death Troopers



Welcome back!
            In honor of Halloween, October’s book review will be horror theme. The novel in question is entitled Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber,  book inspired by one of the most popular sci-fi opera’s out there; Star Wars. This story was meant to be a sequel to Red Harvest, which I reviewed earlier this year.

            When I went to Amazon to order some new material for my library back in April, Star Wars related content was high on my list of interests. That's when I came across Death Troopers, a cross between zombies and a popular sci-fi franchise. I later selected Red Harvest when I found out it was its prequel.

The story begins in the Imperial prison barge Purge, as it breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space. Its only hope appears to lie in a seemingly abandoned Star Destroyer, drifting nearby. When a boarding party is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back, bringing with them a deadly contagion. Within hours, half the Purge’s population die, come back as zombies and begin to hunt the survivors. In an attempt to escape, the survivors take shelter in the Star Destroyer, unaware of the horrors within.


Back of the Book:
When the Imperial prison barge Purge–temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels, and thieves–breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space, its only hope appears to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting, derelict, and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party from the Purge is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back–bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours nearly all aboard the Purge die in ways too hideous to imagine.

And death is only the beginning.

The Purge’s half-dozen survivors–two teenage brothers, a sadistic captain of the guards, a couple of rogue smugglers, and the chief medical officer, the lone woman on board–will do whatever it takes to stay alive. But nothing can prepare them for what lies waiting aboard the Star Destroyer amid its vast creaking emptiness that isn’t really empty at all. For the dead are rising: soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT

What I Learned From This Book:
  • Crossing genres: The most obvious aspect of this story, is how it crosses two very distinctive genres, Zombies and Star Wars. Each genre are pretty solid on their own, but combining the two is something that has been rarely seen. The author successfully managed to integrate both genres into one epic story. For more information on integration, visit one of my previous writing prompts on the subject.
  • Safe characters: One of the first rules of writing a zombie story, is that no character should be safe from getting killed. The promise of death should threaten all characters in a horror novel. That is why when these types of books suddenly include ‘’brand name’’ characters (in this case, Han Solo and Chewbacca), the story loses a large amount of tension, cause we know those characters aren't in real danger. Another prime example of this phenomenon is the Resident Evil movie franchise; at some point, the story loses tension because we know the main character will be back for a sequel.  
  • Futuristic vision: The story takes place aboard a prison ship. Seeing the author's futuristic interpretation of a setting inspired from a modern day establishment such as a prison was pretty interesting. It is a great example of how science-fiction writers take an idea, and push the boundaries. Please see my previous article for more details on writing science fiction

Joe Schreiber is an American novelist best known for his horror and thriller novels. His works include Chasing the Dead, Eat the Dark and No Doors, No Windows. In October 2009, Joe created his first contribution to the Star Wars universe; Death Troopers. Schreiber was born in Michigan (1969), but is currently based in central Pennsylvania, where he works as an MRI technician and lives with his wife and two young children.

For those interested in reading more books from Joe Schreiber, please check out these following websites:


In closing, I would like to thank you all for dropping by and following my blog. Your encouragement is always appreciated. Don’t forget to hit the like/follow buttons!

Until next time!

Cheers,

Patrick Osborne