I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little kid. I was a pretty stereotypical nerd boy. You know the one. During recess, the other kids go play sports, while the one fat kid stayed inside and read Dune. Yep, that was me.
Since then, I’ve been published a few times writing for gun magazines. I still do that occasionally, though it is totally freelance. I’ve got a few articles that I need to get finished and over to SWAT magazine right now. I enjoy writing reviews, (somebody actually pays me to have an opinion about a gun, how cool is that?) but my primary love is fiction.
My first novel will be coming out in the next few months. I’ll save the story about what a nightmare trying to get published as a first timer is like for another day. Basically, it really sucks.
The most fun I’ve ever had on a writing project started June 25th, 2006 on the best gun discussion boards on the net, The High Road. There’s this guy that posts there who goes by Nightcrawler, and he was another wannabe writer like me. I barely knew him at the time.
So he started this online fiction thread, that was basically a continuation of an earlier, more basic story. Now normally, I hate most online fiction. It tends to be very poorly crafted, badly written, with no good characters, and most of the time since it is unfurling serial style, the author loses interest and doesn’t even bother to finish it.
But I started reading this one, this Nightcrawler guy was pretty good. As you look at it, keep in mind that you’re basically seeing a rough draft as it is hammered out. I was very impressed. Every couple of days he would manage to crank out another scene and slap it up for several hundred people to pick at.
For those of you that like to write, you’ve got to realize, that takes guts. Normally you write something, then pour over it, again and again, and polish it until you think it is perfect. Then we you let somebody else read it, they’ll still manage to hurt your feelings.
I’ll admit, Nightcrawler’s story of mercenaries and black ops in Qatar sucked me in. And as a wannabe writer, I couldn’t help but think, wow, you know, it would be really cool if this and this and this were to happen. That would be an awesome scene. So I thought, what the heck, it is online. Maybe I should write that stuff myself.
So I sent Nightcrawler an e-mail, and asked if he minded if I wrote one scene in his story from another person’s perspective. It just started out as a silly little joke. It was meant to be a single stand alone thing.
Well, it turned into something else. Behold Welcome Back, Mr. Nightcrawler:
What started as a lark turned into a writing partnership. I’m pretty sure it was the biggest thread in the history of THR, with over 100,000 hits, and our writing was actually novel size. It is an intertwining story told from two perspectives, a mercenary plagued with the demons of his past, and a professional thief on a mission to save his family. It was written by gun nuts, for an audience of gun nuts, but I do believe it came out pretty darn good.
Now as you read that, keep in mind that we had no plan to speak of. We would write scenes on our lunch hours, zero proof reading, and boom, slap it up on the internet for people to poke at. I had not idea where I was going with anything, and the fact that it actually turned out surprised the heck out of me. Think of it as Improv Fiction.
And my online name on THR is Correia. Yes, I am aware that is a shockingly creative pseudonym.
Since that mega thread was actually a sequel to an earlier, rougher work, Nightcrawler went back and rewrote his original. I give you, The Mr. Nightcrawler Trilogy: Book I: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=259444&highlight=nightcrawler
Now on that one, I didn’t really do much. I stuck in a couple of little things that the reader could probably think of as bonus features on a DVD. That one is all Nightcrawler. Though the cow was totally my idea.
My current writing project is the third and final book of this project. We’re still a few months away from being ready to start posting it online. We’ll be doing it serial style just like last time, and will be posting it on THR and Monster Hunter Nation.
This time we’ve actually put a lot of thought into the plot going in, and I believe that the fans of our earlier collaboration will be pleased with where we take it. Book III has huge conspiracies, slave trading, prison breaks, a secret war, black ops, warlords, terrorists, the Russian mafia, triads, knife fights, hand to hand combat, explosions, guns, and Thai food. For some strange reason I figure those things will appeal to our target audience.
I hope you like it. Because in the words of Nightcrawler, (the fictional one, not the real one) “Everybody’s good at something.”