Opening Scene 2 – Dramatic

A woman approached a disheveled, drunken man sitting beside the front door of A city bank. She kicked him. When he didn’t respond she kicked him again.

“Hey, I’m sitting here.”

He looked up and recognized her, “Oh, it’s you. I think your starting to like me Ms. Moore. You didn’t have me arrested this time.”

“Give it time, Mr. Bridell. It’s been two years since the death of your family. What do you want me to do for you? I didn’t have them killed.”

Erik Bridell stood, with some unease, bracing his hand upon the glass doors of the bank.

“Yeah but you financed the Devil’s Gate prison, housed monsters and allowed my family to die. I’m sure you are aware of what that looks like since you lost your husband.”

“And I’m not a drunk 24/7 who blames a bank for every problem he has.”

“Not every problem,” Erik Bridell snapped, “ just one.”

“Your going to drink yourself into the Devil’s Gate.”

“Wouldn’t that be ironic.”

The woman kicked him again. Erik moved from the door as a large horse-like centaur entered the bank.

“This doesn’t help,” Erik gestured then growled as several other walked into the bank.

“Allowing these creatures into the bank now? You know they are all criminals.”

“I’m aware of the opinion of the human race to the hybrids but they are not going anywhere. They need banking service too.” …

“It is impossible,” Erik replied. “I agree. I feel you will not have to concern yourself with me much longer.”

“What does that mean?”

“One of those 24/7 alcoholic premonitions, I guess.”

An explosion knocked Erik forward and Ms. Moore disappeared from his view. Dust blanketed the air causing him to cough. Erik’s body went into hangover mode. He fought a rush of nausea as the alcohol retreated. He searched the dusty air for a place to reorient when the bank doors opened and several centaur rushed from the building.

A large centaur stopped mid-stride.

“Fuck off..” spat the creature.

“Walk away donkey f— “ Erik began to say before the world went dark.

Opening Scene 1

“Loosen these ties that bind!” Erik shouts as he struggles with his bound hands. “If not tie them like a hangman’s noose and send me to heaven.”

“Kill me now and save me the struggle of this horrific dystopian life. I do not want to be transported in this archaic way to my death. I wish to go no further to prove the world of corruption we live in.”

A large guard, clad in a black uniform, approached Erik and shoved him. This caused the other prisoners, tied to Erik, to fall leaving a mass of flailing legs laid upon the ground.

A train, spewing white smoke, blew its horn and approached the concrete floor of the train station. Other uniformed guards mixed within the flailing mass and attempted to help the prisoners.

A smaller guard with a red arm band stood next to the larger guard and shoved him but her smaller stature failed to move the larger guard.

“You idiot. Why? What is wrong with you.”

The large guard growled. “He was running just mouth again, Sargent. I don’t allow such insolence in my prisoners.”

“You run your mouth all the time Private Perry… ie why you still have a dick rank in front. Been in the BlackAdder guard four years right? Clean this up and get the prisoners loaded for the Devil’s Gate.”

The Sargent then turned and left.

Day 1 – Healing the relationship – COz

So I’ve been discussing the relationship with my novel COz and there has been some more progress during the reconciliation. Thoughts of reworking and organizing bring back excitement and thoughts of grandiose.

One issue was character introduction. I initially introduced my protagonist and a small group of supporting characters. I tried to make it about the protagonist but the other characters carried the story. This was a mistake caused by lack of planning. The story jumps from place to place with no clear path.

The solution to lack of planning? Plan.

So later in the novel I introduce multiple interesting creature/characters. Why can’t I introduce them at the beginning? Spend the entire novel building these threads.

The Sirens, the Minotaur, Ambrosia- the spider woman

Erik, Sean, Andrew and the Baker brothers.

Jean Luke and Gabriel

That is eleven characters

So here is the tough part. I have eleven characters, each with some good and bad. None fleshed out completely except for my protagonist Erik. So what do I do?

Make a decision… so let’s do that. So my to-do will be to add the characters and build a new intro. I need to research that too. Researching everything this time.

Reconciliation- C.O.z

So, as with most relationships, I’ve had consistent thoughts about reconciliation with my ex-novel City of Zombies. Don’t tell him though, this is between you and me.

The issue is I am working off a flawed idea. A path for the new novel that I never fleshed out. City of Zombies was maybe 50% completed and contained huge gaps that I could not fill. large sections of the novel that exceeded 5000 words. (One I turned into a short story for WPAD collection on Facebook)

This work I’ve done on the novel makes it very hard to drop the work all together. There is a lot of content I really like but it needs small edits and support characters.

The new novel has a solid idea but it’s lacking the ability to move forward. It has no momentum. Is it due to lack of imagination or lack of something else? Likely. This isn’t unusual when writing anything. It’s part of the challenge. It’s why I like it …but it’s disheartening. It’s another swing and miss with the novel writing.

I’ve been trying this for 10+ years. Honestly, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I used to look at other authors like me and quietly scoff till it happened to me. Ten years = nothing (mostly)

I started painting in 2016 and it paid for itself in 1 year. It’s far from profitable. My wife would prefer I drop it too but it has made me money and I like it.

The way forward?

Plow ahead like I’ve been doing up to this point. Keep refining, rearing and reimagining. C.O.z will not be going away. It will not be the same either. The structure is semi solid. I need an iron clad structure.

Fear and writing

Let’s talk about what I like to write about, that would be my individual fears. Whatever would potentially scare me keeps me interested.

My favorite shorts are the ones that I was able describe the best. With Charlie, I found I was able to portray the fathers distress over losing his daughter. Followed by the fear that she returned as a serpent with uncertain intentions.

I am certainly afraid of my daughters turning into monsters and forgetting who I am. Imagine meeting and then fighting for your life.

In Big Mouth Billy Stokes I explore a favorite subject of mine. After death retribution. This is, for me, a fear of karma. I try my best to be my best.

My last thought, at least for now, is the fear that you will fail your children. I explored this in The Harkin. A huge alien invasion has struck the earth. Humans have accepted defeat and moved on. What would you do if one just walked down your rural street? It could happen at any time. I have a huge complex when it comes to my daughters. The fear is constant. What if you were in battle mode all the time?

So many things going on. Such anger, so completely obvious and in your face. It’s too much. I miss the days when we were limited to the 6:00 news and maybe a rumor that the neighbors lost their dog and we had to help find him. I grew up afraid of a few logical things. Strangers, drunk drivers and dogs. Now we all talk and spread fear through social media. We spread all our anxiety and nutty ideas. Others agree and spread it. Soon it’s posted in 24 hour news cycle and posted 50 times a day as true.

I need to escape into my world of storytelling but what story do I tell? Relevant to the world around me or making something up. I am building a world of taur creatures in my art world at www.brokenstick.com. Can connect these worlds?

There is an artist connected to a great show called Tales from the Loop. Where Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag brings his artwork to life. It’s amazing to see his work on the screen. Simon attaches a story to his work. I would love to do the same but all the work I have up to now lives in semi-separate worlds.

It’s certainly on my mind and as I move through this new (minus City of Zombie) world it will effect it.

A divorce of sorts

I think I’m leaving City of Zombies. We are separating. Over 10 years work but it’s just not working out. It’s me City of Zombies, not you.
It should of been an amicable divorce… well…
It will not sign the papers!
We have agreed that huge things need to change. Better storytelling, improved character development. The scenery is atrocious and how did the characters even get where they were?
We have not agreed to separate completely. A full separation where we leave the characters in limbo for the rest of my life.
Can you believe the answer? No, I can’t just abandon the work. I have to WORK it out. City of Zombies even suggested consoling but I’m not ready.
So with the silliness over… lol
I am contemplating re-writing the bits and pieces I do like. Complete character appearance make-over and I am moving the whole world to Shadowlands. Shadowlands is a world I started to build but it got lost because of City of Zombies.
Shadowlands is a mythology based world. It’s an afterlife of our world. You enter using the Spirit of Darkness. A large black steam locomotive. The lifeline of the world are these Spirit trains… oh snap..
There is a Spirit of Light that has been locked up and deactivated. What if… what if they can free that train. Get it working again… nice
So conclusion, City of Zombies is done. Can I make this new idea work?

The Minotaurs

So, this starts my new attempt to write everyday. It’s partially free writing with minimal edits. I want to get words on screen. It will not be eloquent or perfect but hope it will be fun.

I just happen to be doing it in the bathroom of the church next to my house.

There is a story in this situation I am currently in… huge… well maybe not huge. What happened you ask?

First, I should mention that we are Minotaur. Huge bi-pedal creatures with bovine heads. Big muscular thighs to hold our oversized heads. (Just to note something irrelevant) The women are larger then the men, so imagine my fright when she stormed into the bathroom when I was brushing my facial hair.

“Daniel,” she boomed. “Who is this?”

She thrust the picture of a very attractive cow in my face. She had a thick brown color with strips of black along the right-side of her face.

I stepped back and fell into the toilet. The poor ceramic thing burst with my sudden weight… but wait there’s more…

She laughed. A riotous laughter. She thought frightening me was the funniest thing. That was until I skillfully trip her causing her to tumble into the sink and the tub.

So, now I type this from a strangers toilet

Thoughts on Ego

It is difficult trying to be honest with things. Especially writing. Facing the uncomfortable facts that I am not as awesome as I thought I was. Writing something short and coherent is different then writing a long, drawn out novel. I’ve spent so much time on this zombie novel and it’s just not glued together. I don’t think it will ever be completely glued together. Add this to my disappointing attempt to sell a short story on Amazon and my ego has left the building.

The ego, boy does that guy think he is special. Does the ego ever think he is not special? I figure he is just drowned out by reason and negativity. Ego is the only thing that keeps us getting up in the morning. Always an optimist.

“Boy, I’m going to get up this morning and rock it at work,” he says. Till you sit down and find out you screwed up. Slap in the face and bam reason takes over and paranoia.

“Your getting fired,” they say. “Dude, you shouldn’t do this job. You are terrible at it.” They continue. While you ego quietly says, “your doing great. Don’t listen.”

The problem is the louder voice prevails. As humans this is almost always true. Whoever speaks the loudest prevails. No matter if it’s untrue…

Sad news about City of Zombies

I have some sad news about my long-winded attempt to complete this story. I think I’m ready to declare it legally dead. I just have little interest in continuing to try to fix it. It lost direction a long time ago and it will not recover. I’ve begun to separate the pieces into smaller stories but my point of this post is to make it official so I can give myself permission to begin new, different stories. I want to return to my position of creator of worlds again.

Author: Matthew Stitt