(Aspiring) Author, Travis Weston

Hoping To Drop The (Aspiring) Soon Enough

Inventive Ideas and Thoughts

So tonight I have been outlining one of my novels. It started as an idea for a hard boiled mystery novel, but during the course of so many idea revisions and revises, it’s become more of a thriller, less of a mystery. I’ve decided to focus more on the relationships between my characters, and how they interact and the ripple effect of their relationships.

Read the full text on TravisWeston.com

Moving To A Static URL

I’m moving this blog to TravisWeston.com, my own blog. I’d love it if you’d follow me there.

Reasons For Move

  • I don’t have access to custom plugins here
  • I have very little control over the theme
  • It costs me less money to host my own WordPress blog than it would to have WordPress.com host it.
  • Where I am also a PHP programmer, I have the technical know-how to maintain my own site, and I have plenty of experience in it.

That said, I can’t afford to redirect this site to the new URL, so if you could follow me to http://TravisWeston.com/ and subscribe, I’d love it, and we could continue this journey together.

To You – The Last Letter (Letter #7)

To You,

I don’t know what today is, but I’m betting it’s a happy one. I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re doing this, I’m sure you’re old enough. What I do know is that you might be thinking of me today. If you are, know that I’m standing beside you, hand on your shoulder, hoping for you to be happy. This is your day, and I want you to make the best of it, because if you are my son this will be the only time you ever do this.

Weddings aren’t for the woman, we just let them think that. You’ll look back on your wedding down the road, and you’ll remember how beautiful she looked in her dress, how much you wanted to run and kiss her right there in the aisle, how difficult it was to stand your ground and watch the most beautiful woman in the world coming towards you. And you’ll tear up every single time you do, because that’s what is supposed to happen. You’re supposed to get those emotions built up, you’re supposed to have those feelings of love, tenderness, and excitement whenever you think of your wife.

Make the most of this, my son, you’ve had a hard life, you have done many things that I never thought you would when we watched you in the hospital fighting cancer. But there you are, the answer to the prayers I made for God to take me instead. Just know that I am happy for you, and if it rains today, it is only because I cannot hold back my tears of joy to see my baby boy grown into such a man.

I love you.

Love,

Dad

FREE STORY: Daddy and Daddy

            When he asked me why his friend had two dads, I’ll admit I was stumped. The way children talk, the way they present themselves, it’s very disarming to an adult; especially when it’s your own child. When I look at him, I don’t see the 7 year old boy he is today, I see the 7 second old new born, still covered in various undiscussables, crying, but looking so beautiful. He’s my boy, and I get that pride of a father every time I look at him.

 

Read the full story on it’s story page.

Frustration in the wake of realization

I realized last night that my current WIP was, how should I put it, doomed to failure. This was 6,000 words into it, and it just didn’t feel right, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. After a couple hours of re-reading it, and asking for input from my closest pre-readers, it became apparent to me that I’d screwed up the timeline of the story quite heavily, made some things too obvious where they shouldn’t be (though, that would have been easy enough to fix in edits) and not included all the main characters where I should have.

Basically, I have 6,000 words of a novel, but they’re not in the proper spots right now. It’s a bit frustrating seeing that, and a couple years ago I would have simply walked away from the piece (I know, because I’ve done it.) Instead, I went back to my drawing board, which happens to be XMind, a mind-mapping software, where I’m currently outlining the book.

The problem is that I create such convoluted ideas. This novel, for instance, has 4 main characters–2 protags and 2 antags–and 2 main-sub-plot lines, which combine around the middle (which is where I’d started the story) to create a single main plot line. To handle all this without an outline of some kind is insane, and I realize this now.

Basically, my working rule at this point in time is to write without outlining, but the minute it starts to feel like it might be a novel-length work, to stop, and really ask myself where this story is going, and start outlining the basic skeleton. I try to start with a raw outline, for example in my historical fiction novel I started the outline knowing that I had 4 distinct sections of the book which would encompass a time period, so I wrote a description for each section about what I wanted to happen. From there, I broke it down by scene, until I had an extremely detailed outline. This was good, since that book relied heavily on historical accuracy.

For my mystery novel I’m trying to form a basic skeleton, understanding exactly what clues I require for the outcome to be honest and real, and then find points in the story where that clue would come to light naturally. Maybe I’ll keep outlining after that, maybe not. I don’t subscribe to the theory that outlines restrict your creativity. I feel the outline itself is creative, it’s the start of things, you’re building the shell, and then you flesh that shell out with each pass. A lot of my outlines could be considered first drafts, simply because I write such details. Snippets of dialog, scenery, things that pop into my head when I think of each scene. I note it so I don’t forget it. Sometimes the outline changes, and that’s fine. That’s why I keep an outline, so I can manipulate it, and follow the ripple through the rest of the story.

My question to you is, do you outline, and if so, how deeply do you outline, and for what things?

To You – Letter #6

January 23rd, 2007

 

To You,

You’re a man now. 20 years old. You’ve most likely graduated, and are in college now. If not, what the hell do you think you’re doing? I want more for you than I could have. I want you to get a degree. Make something of yourself. I don’t care what in, make it something you love, make it something you’ll enjoy doing for the rest of your life, but do it. Even if you never use the degree, at least  you’ll have the experience.

But don’t spend your entire life working. Find someone, skip class, take fewer hours at work, work enough to survive, but then do something with that life. You’ve been granted a gift, and you should make the most of it. God didn’t let you stay on this earth for nothing. You’re meant for great things.

I hope you see that.

 

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #5

January 23rd, 2000

 

To You,

You’re my teenager now. Here I sit, my eyes closed, picturing you as a teenager, seeing you as no longer a boy, but a young man. I can’t imagine not being able to see you, I can’t imagine missing you. It happened way too soon, and I want to apologize for that. It was my fault, it was all my fault, and your mother was right the entire time. She knew my smoking would ruin our family. I should have listened to her.

I imagine by now she’s moved on, found someone else. I want you to know that whoever it is, no matter what you’re feeling towards him, give him a chance. It’s not easy stepping into the role of a father, I’ve been there, I know. I was horrible at it, and it’s even harder when the child is already grown. I’m gone, and she has every right to be happy. I want her to find someone she can love, someone to make her happy.

As I write these letters to you, it amuses me that here I am dieing, and you were the one with cancer. God granted me my wish. The wish I wished the first day we found out. The day I hit my knees, the day I prayed for us to switch places, for God to take me instead. I meant every word of that prayer, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love you, my son. I love you more than anything in this world, and you need to know that.

I may be dead, but that doesn’t mean I’m gone. I live forever for you in each of these letters, and in everything I ever told you. I live forever within the heart of your mother, and your own heart. Whenever you need me, just think of me, and I will be there.

 

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #4

January 23rd, 1997

 

To You,

Your tenth birthday. I miss you. I wish I could hold you right now, hold you tight and tell you that everything will be fine, that you’re growing into such a stunning young man, that you’ve just hit double digits and you’re closer to being a teenager than you are to being a baby, but I can’t.

Death is an odd thing, it reaches in and pulls at your heart. It takes you whenever it feels like it, wherever it wants. It’s the only constant in a world of changes. Things change so rapidly, I don’t know what you’d be interested in, I don’t know what I would buy you, or what you would enjoy. You’re mother was always the better one for that. I was the disciplinarian. I guess that’s how you see me, the mean Dad, the guy yelling at you all the time.

That’s not how it was, though, that’s not it at all. The things I wish I’d let you know, the things I always wanted to tell you, but I couldn’t find the words to say them to you, or didn’t feel you could fully understand them even if I did say them. I regret it, but I do love you. That’s why I would watch you as you slept, watch you from the doorway as you lay on your bed, quietly breathing, peacefully. I wish I could see that more, but I can’t.

I love you.

 

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #3

April 1st, 1994

To You,

What the hell were you thinking? You hadn’t had that gun more than 20 minutes and you go ahead and shoot the glass out of the damn window? God, sometimes I think you try to piss me off. I’m just glad we decided to go with the BB gun and not the .22 that I had original thought to get, though I suppose if we had this would have been avoided, since there’s no way in hell I’d have let you out of the house alone with a 22 caliber rifle.

I’m sorry, this letter isn’t meant to yell at you, but boy do you frustrate me sometimes, and I can’t hide that from you. You may never remember this day ever happened, but I will, and now you know about it. I want you to read these, I want you to know, so you can be prepared for the day that you have kids. If you do.

The doctor’s are saying that you’re remarkably healthy for a kid who’s had cancer twice now. I quit smoking, you might not remember that either, and we did try to hide it, but I really think your mother blamed me for your cancer, even though the doctor’s told her it wasn’t that kind of cancer. It’s just unlucky.

On the outside, you’re a healthy kid, and if you’re reading this now you must have survived it all, so look back with a smile on your face, and just tell the world “This is me, look what I have accomplished.”

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #2

October 31st, 1992

 

To You,

You were so adorable tonight in your Batman costume. I wanted the Ross Perot, but your mother didn’t think you’d like it. I’m guessing she was right, but hey, what do I know. I’m just “dad” right?

By the way, when I tell you not to get into your candy, I mean it. You thought I didn’t see, but I did, I just didn’t say anything. It’s for your safety, believe me, I know the temptation, I was a kid before. God, you’ve grown so much. Five years old already, nearly six. I can’t even believe it’s come this far.

Not sure why I decided to write tonight, I haven’t written in a long, long time. It’s been difficult these last few months, I lost my job, then you got sick. It wasn’t easy seeing you go through all of the pain of chemo, but thats what this entire Halloween was about. We got the green light, you’re in remission, the cancer is gone and we have our son back again. I missed these moments, but you’ve been smiling every day. For some reason your smiles made me hurt more than your crying, maybe because you, my little boy, were stronger than I was. You were going to be alright, and I was the one falling apart.

You’re sleeping now, laying right here beside me as I write this out. You’re so peaceful when you sleep. I should have taken you to bed hours ago, but when you came down from your sugar high, you cuddled up against me, and fell asleep, and I haven’t had the heart to carry you away. I will, but, maybe after just a little while longer.

 

Love,

Dad

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