Staying Fresh

The novel that I’m currently writing doesn’t appear like it’ll be some 500+ page brick, and while it’s taking me a little longer than I anticipated to finish, the six months or so I’ve spent on it is nowhere near as long as what you hear from a lot of first-time authors, who sometimes require years to finish a piece of work.

But when you still put as much time into one project as I have so far, it’s easy to get distracted, or even lose some interest after a while. I’m definitely the kind of person who has a tendency to be swayed by the new, fresher idea that I haven’t been slaving over for months. The fact that I’ve come this far with my planned trilogy impresses me as it is.

A good part of that is because I’ve mixed up my work here and there. Just last night I covered the game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers from the press box inside First Niagara Center. I got to cover two other games in February, so it was three press box trips in about three weeks for me.

This year has been especially fun for me to cover Sabres games because it’s the first season where the website I write for, SabresHockeyCentral.com, has been allowed into the locker room following the games. Regardless of whether the team wins or not, it’s an awesome experience, especially for an aspiring writer who’s 22 years old and still in college. It’s a neat feeling to stand there before star athletes who you’ve watched and admired for years, and somehow manage to stay stoic and professional the whole time.

I’m also allowed to sit in for the head coach’s post-game press conference, which, depending on if the team wins or loses, can either be uplifting, or incredibly tense. Nothing more intimidating than a furious hockey coach.

For a little over a week in February, I also took some time out of my schedule to complete a short story that will be published by Pulp Empire later this year. I originally wrote the story as a screenplay for a short film almost a year ago for one of my college courses. It’s about a young, highly-touted mixed martial arts fighter who loses his first professional fight and has to regain his composure in the aftermath. I’ll be sure to post an excerpt on here as we get closer to the release date.

Working on different projects like that keeps things fresh for me; it makes sure that things don’t grow monotonous as I spend months writing the same story. What I write beyond my novel/s certainly plays a role in that, because it’s so different from a fantasy trilogy smacking with swords, knights, magic and monsters.

With the mixed martial arts fiction, I delve into a completely different kind of world—ours. Writing a realistic story set during a modern time is a whole other effort from writing some nerdy fantasy adventure. I can’t dream up my own lands, powers and creatures, I have to adhere to reality, but that’s not a bad thing.

There’s an appeal in the challenge to writing realistic fiction. It’s satisfying when you feel as if you’ve captured the feel of a real-world scenario, but still were able to inject your own creative flair to the words. I’m especially proud that I’m able to blend my vivid description of scenes and locations (as I thoroughly use in my fantasy writing) alongside developing characters who could very well be the guy next door.

Dialogue is very fun for me to work with for a realistic story. While I don’t use Ye Olde speech like something out of the Lord of the Rings for my fantasy stories, the characters definitely speak with some added class that is uncommon in today’s society (I’m not criticizing society here). On the other hand, when it came to my mixed martial arts story, I got to let loose with vulgarity, slang and unquestionably improper grammar—just like all of us speak with today.

The coverage that I do for the Buffalo Sabres NHL team needs little explanation why it’s a big change up from my fiction writing; isn’t even fiction!

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