Let the Writing Begin!
Posted on February 3rd, 2011

So two weeks ago my wife, Amy, and I started our Creative Writing: Intro to Fiction class at our local community college. So far it has been an interesting endeavor. Right now we are going over the basics of story, which to me has been a little slow, but given you have to start somewhere I don't mind too much. Though as a side note, I would think anyone who has read a book, watched a movie, or imagined anything in their head would know the basic elements of story, but I digress.

Our first assignment in the class has been to come up with five short story ideas that we would keep up with throughout the class. The goal in mind is to take at least two of the story ideas and have them evolve into finished short stories by the end of the classa

I have to admit this was difficult at first, because all I've really had in my head lately have been stories related to my book series that started all of this. Knowing that I didn't want to taint my passion for my book series I decided I would not use anything from my books for my five stories… that way, if my writing got slaughtered while I'm trying to learn the craft I wouldn't feel bitter toward my story content or characters. After all, how many of us go out and buy the most expensive equipment to learn a craft? No, you start with the basics, a starter kit if you will and from there you learn and get better, then you think about that premium thing or piece of equipment that compliments your newly acquired skills.

So for now, the book series is temporarily on hold as I work on the craft of writing, hoping that I can develop the skill to properly translate on paper what goes on in my head. Though, I will continue to take notes and research as inspiration happens. I've learned that if you don't make an effort to get it down somewhere, somehow it might just not be there later when you try and go to retrieve it.

As far as the "furious five", I'm not sure what will become of the five stories from class, at least the three that don't make the cut to the final draft, but for the sake of curiosity I will at least post their working titles and a brief synopsis of each. Enjoy!

'Road to Somewhere'
A depressed man apathetic about his job, family and life in general takes an unknown road home from work and finds himself transported to an unknown place all alone. Is he alone after all, does he find bliss in the newness of life or does he realize the grass always look greener, but seldom ever is in reality?

'Dead in 30 Minutes or Less'
A young veteran has returned home to care for his problematic older brother and dependant younger sister. After settling in and finding work as a pizza delivery guy, he is soon confronted with a kidnapper who has threatened the lives of both his siblings. The only way to save them is to kills three strangers he's never met. The mysterious architect of this twisted game constantly reminding him, "Three to die so that three can live."

He's killed two so far, but can he stomach a third, and what happens when he knows his third victim? Can he continue to be the untrained assassin and save his family or will he lose them to his conscience? And who is this mysterious kidnapper and why pick him?

'Do Miss the Bus'
A group of traveling co-workers on their way out-of-state find themselves stranded in a small town for the night. What starts out as a minor setback quickly escalates to a life or death situation as the hotel's matron innkeeper attempts to kill them all one by one. Forced to flee the hotel and seek help in town, the group soon realizes the townspeople are of no help and that no building is safe. Left to wander the streets, the group soon realizes the streets are no safer as the innkeeper's crazed sister is running down people left and right in a old faded school bus. Will these co-workers learn what true team-building is all about and survive or will the town claim its next victims?

'Flood Wash'
Slipping out quietly, a young man decides to get away from his drunken parents for just a few hours before coming back to watch over his sister. A routine he finds himself in most nights, except tonight he won't come back.

Swept away by a flash flood, the young man finds himself in the care of an older couple. With little knowledge or who he is or where he came from, the young man begins to settle in with the older couple and work alongside them in their efforts to help those affected by the flood. As he begins to recover and regain his memory, the memories that seem the hardest to recover are those of his family and his life with them. Uncertain if some dark tragedy has occurred in his life to cause him to forget, the young man struggles with the idea of seeking out the truth and despite all the chaos around him he feels at home helping others and getting to know a girl he has just met. Is the truth worth leaving his new life behind and will he be the same if he knows the truth about himself and his family?

'Greg Wayne and the Green Austinite'
A sort of modern retelling of the classic Arthurian story of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' with a bit of Austin, Texas flare.

Greg is a talented, up and coming musician who jumps at the opportunity for fame and fortune by making a deal with an old hippy musician and his mysterious green 'axe' guitar. Armed with the hippy's guitar, Greg is soon living the famed rockstar life until his agreed time is up and it's time to pay the piper and seek out the mysterious hippy back in Austin. Will Greg see the true beauty of music of will fame and fortune be his undoing?

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