On sharing, #amwriting, and cereal (or is it serial)

I’ve been told that sharing is an important part of any artists process.

After all, we don’t create in a vacuum. At some point, one must make the leap between thinking an idea and creating that idea. Invariably then, one must also make the leap between completing their creation and sharing it. Even if its only being shared with your mom, and even if that still feels scary.

So this week, I’ve decided to share the first 500 words of my WIP — a YA Mystery with some magical realism laced throughout. I generally am opposed to “meets” but I can’t argue with their usefulness. My new novel – Monstrous Things – is Veronica Mars meets the X-Files.

Lastly, before I sit at the typewriter and bleed before you all, I wanted to get some thoughts on serials. I know prior to The Martian being published, it was serialized via blog with great success. I also know, despite blogs being very well suited to serialization, for some reason authors haven’t exactly used it to platform their writing. What are your thoughts on serialization? Do you think it is underused? What’s your theory on why it hasn’t really taken flight in (keyword) genre fiction?

Also, I did buy a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch last week. It was delicious.


Without further ado – the first 500(ish) words of my new novel! Feel free to comment below!


1 – Gordon’s Bag (Present Day)


Nineteen-year-old Stanley Gordon Windfall sat in a room holding a pen – handcuffed to a table.

An FBI agent and two local cops from Nowheresville, Minnesota exited the doorway toward the hall, letting a cool draft into the oven-hot enclosure.

                “We’ll give you some time to think about it,” the FBI agent laughed as the door started to shut.

Gordon mumbled in response. The local cops disappeared from view, but the FBI agent paused.

“What’s that?”

“I said you’re a know-nothing.” Gordon’s voice came back stronger, “You’re just a know-nothing parading around like you know something.”

The FBI agent slammed the big metal door.

Gordon leaned back in his chair with a painful groan and twirled his pen around his finger. Four cities in four years with four violent crimes, heck, he was starting to believe he HAD killed them. Truth be told, he might have. Stranger things had happened.

He looked at the paper again.

A confession. Start to finish, a swelling vilification. The good detective and his posse of police from all over the US had written it. They just needed Gordon’s signature, and he could live out his days peacefully behind bars.

He set his pen to the line, letting the ink of the ballpoint drain into a murky puddle. Signing it, the easy way out.

He looked up at the mirror where no doubt they watched, or more likely cheered – awaiting one swift black stroke to end this charade.

Gordon chuckled, swearing and shaking his head. He flipped them the bird and then he flipped over the page.

He wrote down six words and he held it up.

*The truth is in the bag.*

An irreverent thing to say – given the morbid double meaning.

The FBI agent stormed back into the room. Without warning he reared a hand and slapped his suspect across the face, cursing. Gordon spit red crimson onto the floor and looked back at the agent with a smile. His scarred and bruised knees, battered side and wounded scalp raw with the memory of previous abuse. All wounds collected in the course of justice – but every injury served to strengthen his resolve.

                “You can’t help it, can you?” The FBI agent scoffed, looking at Gordon like he was less than human.

                “If I’m gonna sign a confession, It’ll at least be one I wrote,” Gordon grinned.

                “Maybe another night in this room will change your mind. I don’t care how long it takes. What you did to those people… those kids…” The FBI agent spit on the floor, sliding his chair hard into the corner before he whipped around, prepared to devour Gordon like a jungle cat. His voice was low and even now, “I’m gonna get that confession, kid. You better believe I will. Whatever it takes, I’m gonna get you to say the words.”

                Gordon smirked, “You said it yourself, right? I’m just a *kid*. What do I know?”

The FBI agent kicked the chair again, storming towards the door and swinging it open, ablaze with anger.

                “Find the bag, detective. Find the bag and you’ll find the truth.”

And then the door slammed for the night.




4 thoughts on “On sharing, #amwriting, and cereal (or is it serial)

  1. Hi, Brian, and good for you for putting your work out there. I’ve considered doing the same on my blog but I’d like to do it with a piece I have no future prospects for and I don’t have one of those yet. 🙂 I have, however, done it at some writing sights in the past, so I know the exposed feeling that ensues! This intro was strong. It seems like you’ve had feedback on it since it starts at a good place and includes some interesting hooks (the handcuffs at the beginning and the mysterious proof in the bag). The only changes I suggest is to remove ‘red’ from ‘red crimson’ since it’s redundant and to put the period within the asterisks on *kid.* (Periods and commas always go within other punctuation.) Also, a question: are they really leaving the kid in their overnight? Either way, well done.

    • Great advice Eva!

      I appreciate it!

      And you’re right – it’s a strange thing to put art of any kind out there when people can actively respond to you.

      And yep, our detective friend has gone “off the rails” so to speak. 🙂

      Thanks again for reading and commenting Eva! 🙂

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