Three Essential Writing Techniques from Stoker’s Dracula and the Epistolary Narrative

I’ve been working on this article since June and am happy to finally share it with my fellow writers and Stoker fans. I was really inspired after reading it.

Read the article here.

The Ups and Downs of A Long-Term Project

Having a long-term project is so intimidating. I hate it when you’ve been working on something for such a long while and you suddenly go into that state of, “Oh shit…Is everything I’ve done so far just garbage?” I DESPISE those thoughts. I can fight them back, but I don’t do it in an aggressive way anymore where I’m beating myself up. I check in with the emotion: self-doubt. After addressing the emotion, I look at what I’m bothered by objectively: I’m not comfortable with what I just wrote and now I’m worried. Then, I think about what is within my control: (1) Review the big picture of the project then hone in on the details, (2) Remind myself that I have the experience to handle the situation, (3) Panic and give up, (4) Put myself down harshly, then give up, (5) Take a break and try again later. Lastly, I pick my choices.

I’ve been writing about Stoker’s writing style and Dracula since the beginning of June and I had some panic moments, but I got through them. I selected choice 1 and 2 and got through to the end of the article. Even though it is a long article, I was happy to discover that what I created may help aspiring horror writers out there. I’m quite glad.

Anyway, this is my way of announcing that a new article is coming out soon, I’ll create a literature study section on my website promptly, and that Stoicism fucking rules. This will be my first literature article, but if you want to see my other articles about metaphysics and other weird stuff, click here.

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First Draft Progress – 19 Days Until Deadline

Yesterday was Mother’s Day so…I took that time off.

I did watch Game of Thrones. I’m completely caught up, so very minor spoilers ahead. It was…a great lesson all writers should learn from. Although the story isn’t complete until next week’s finale and although I am not into the lore like some other fans are, I’m doing my best to be objective to what has happened so far. Still, I have a sour taste in my mouth even as I’ve listened to various perspectives, some neutral, some optimistic, some extremely disappointed. I’m in the range between disappointed and neutral because the writing for the last episode and the episode before was lackluster. You can almost hear the writers screaming “We just want the story to end.” With a show as immersive as this one, you don’t want to sense that sort of energy. You shouldn’t blatantly declare to your audience that you’re going full self-sabotage. Endings are hard; all the more reason not to give up. But are the writers giving up?

I’ll tie all of this into my novel in a second here. Bear with me. There’s still one more episode. I’d rather see it to the end as objectively as possible rather than be bitter or watch it with any high hopes. It is what it is. There are many stories you’ll dive into where you’ll want a certain ending or event to happen. I recently felt that way about Dracula (I finished it!). There wasn’t anything wrong with the story composition, but there were a few things I wanted: (1) I wanted to hear Dracula’s side to this whole ordeal (It’s no wonder there are so many poor adaptations of this story. Everyone wants to hear Dracula’s side, but nobody hits you where it itches.) and (2) I needed more death. I wanted Jonathan Harker to die. I wanted him to die so bad. I wanted Dracula to rip his throat out. I wanted misery and tragedy to strike the core of every hopeful character full of faith and fire. I wanted a Shakespeare ending. I wanted everyone to die. Even Dracula. Lastly (3), tying in with the previous point, I wanted Dracula to have much greater strength than stealth in the night and disappearance during the day. I wanted his hunting capability to be more of a sharpened craft. I wanted more strategy from him (You know, maybe Castlevania spoiled me? lol). Regardless, the ending is what it is. No rewrites. No changes. Just adaptations are all we’ll get. It’s important to remember that as an author; the ending of your story is yours alone. It’s immutable unless permitted to evolve.

I’m not encouraging any sort of rejection of constructive criticism, but it’s always important to remember to not fear what others say of you. Instead of fearing it we need to face it, no matter how much it stings. You don’t have to listen, but we as artists know that anything revealed to the public is open for criticism. Even if you don’t read or listen to any criticism, it floats about. Acknowledge that it is there and I would think that your stance to your composition will be strong from beginning to end. If you lie to yourself and pretend the criticism isn’t there, I think that’d weakened your stance. This is so difficult to say since I’m such a sensitive person, but I’m also a very philosophical person who adores the nearly limitless views of life. I love to listen and I love to learn even when it hurts me. Art is expression and enlightenment.

That being said, let Drogon’s flames fall where they may…probably onto whoever Daeny is pissed at…

For now, I’ll keep writing.