Online fiction adventure

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:

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.” 

On B-Movie Goodness – Review of Necroville

So what makes a good B Movie?

It certainly isn’t the awesome special effects, which usually consists of a bunch of colored corn syrup and a chainsaw with the blade removed,  or the acting, because just because your cousin will work for free, and owns his own cape (for some unknown reason), doesn’t mean he makes a convincing vampire.

Good B-movies have heart. 

So here comes my first movie review on my new blog.  Necroville.

It isn’t out yet.  I got to go to a special, invite-only, pre-release VIP screening.  As in, I’m buddies with the executive producer, and he brought a copy by as he passed through Salt Lake, and we ate Papa Murphy’s Chicago Style pizza with fresh smoked New Mexico chili peppers, and watched the DVD.  But I do have a relatively big TV, so it still counts.

Necroville is a cross between a slacker comedy and a monster movie.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  In a town that is infested with zombies, vampires, werewolves, and goth kids, two guys that are too inept to work at the video store end up killing pesky monsters for a living. 

Now, like I said, a good B-movie has heart, they don’t have production values.  But Necroville still managed to look really good.  Having the producer there is also nice, as you get your own personalized commentary track, like “this is why we went over budget, because they messed up my truck.”  Or  “man, that piano was really heavy.” 

Like a lot of B-movies, the acting varied greatly from person to person.  I will say this though, Billy Garberina, the lead, is actually a pretty darn good actor.   If you’re a monster movie geek like me, you’ve seen him since he’s the cameraman on Feeding the Masses.   The rest of the performances were a little more hit or miss, but once again, that’s why I love this stuff.   The lead villain hammed it up, and did an excellent job. 

Mostly, I laughed my butt off.  There are some truly great lines, funny scenes, and laugh out loud stupid moments.  Even my wife, who prefers movies staring lots of British people with accents that I can’t understand, and names like Lord Devonshire Clevon-Smythe presents Jayne Austin’s Masterpiece Theater of Great British Angst and Scones, thought it was really fun. 

Basically, Necroville has heart.  It is the kind of movie that reminds me why I love this stuff.

So when this movie reaches distribution, throw it in your Blockbuster Que.  Trust me, any movie that does something so horribly unspeakable with a twisty straw gets major bonus points.

So it begins…

I’ve never blogged before.  Sure, I’ve screwed around on the internet a lot, but I’ve never had one of these before.  I started Monster Hunter Nation for a couple of reasons. 

  1. I have written a novel which will be published later this year.  I wanted a place to put up samples of my writing, as well as other online fiction projects.  
  2. I like to randomly complain about stuff. 

My name is Larry Correia.  I live in the suburbs outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.  I’m a California refugee.  Somehow I tricked a wonderful woman into marrying me, having my kids, and sticking around for the last ten years.

Not counting my families, I have two great loves in life, guns and monster movies. 

I’m one of the owners of a gun store in Draper, Utah, called FBMG.  We’re an NFA dealer, which means that in addition to regular guns, we specialize in machine guns, suppressors (silencers is what most of you would call them), and other cool stuff like that.  FBMG actually stands for Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns.  No, really.  I’m not making that up.  Everybody else in this business is Elite Tactical Ninja Systems Force Alpha, or some crap like that, and we wanted to be different.  Besides, who could hate fuzzy bunnies? 

For the last four years, I have been a certified firearms instructor.  Primarily I teach the class for the Utah Concealed Firearms permit, but through my company, I get to do lots of other things as well.  I’ve got to admit that I love teaching people to defend themselves.  Nothing warms my heart quite like seeing an otherwise defenseless person learning to take on the responsibility to defend themselves. 

So basically, I hang out with my kind of people all day, play with guns, and get to shoot stuff.  Yes, life is hard.  I know. 

On the other love, I’m a B movie geek.  Show me a movie with a budget larger than the Apollo moon landings, Oscar winning actors, and a whole bunch of hype, and I won’t really care.  Show me a movie made by a bunch of college students, with a budget smaller than the big movies’ doughnut fund, where the actors were literally paid in beer, and I’m so there.  Bonus points if the monster is actually a guy in a gorilla suit.  

I’m a writer.  I’ve been published a few times.  My first novel, Monster Hunter International, will be coming out in the next few months, and I’ll be posting the first portion on this blog shortly.  I’ve also done a few successful online fiction serials, and I’ll be posting those here as well. 

So this is it.  I can’t promise anything, but at least I’m going to have fun.