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Welcome to Phillip Harrison.com!

On this website, I will endeavor to share my insights on the projects that I am working on as well as the creative inspiration and other such nonsense that helped me to arrive at those insights. Since I am the creator and manager of this web domain for now, I have a certain degree of freedom to change any of the content to suit me without paying steep sums of cash to a third party. Of course this also most likely means that the site isn't as polished as if it were being professionally run, but thats ok with me, and it is the far cheaper alternative! My main goal is to keep the content fresh and current with what I am doing, and also to keep the sight simple and elegant.

I have always enjoyed writing, but only in recent years have I discovered the many new powerful tools that now exist and can fully utilized to help me get my story out of the sketch and workshop and out into readers hands. Tools that allow me to edit and produce pages in a much more efficient way. The world of writing has become much more competetive than even just a few years ago, and fans and readers of various genres have become that much more demanding of good plots and character development.

By taking advantage of these new 21first century tools, the writers minds have become less encumbered by the process, and more empowered to be able to develop the intricate threads of their stories! What a marvelous time to be a writer! On top of the technological piles of tools are many more training aids and communication media platforms that can connect a writer and reader in cyberlands which can only empower and drive the quality of wordsmithing to new higher levels! Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages, the writer can instantaneously become privy to the ideas and thoughts that his/her readership have uncovered.

In the end the decision of course remains with the Author of the Novel, but it sure doesn't hurt to listen to what your fans have to say! Good or bad, its all feedback, and lets face it, your editor might have been the one to tell you to pick up the pace or whatever, but its the fans and readers who buy your books. By enabling this kind of feedback the modern writer, can easily tailor and customise the settings, environment and content of future endeavors for the readers desires or needs. Its also much easier to be able to find out what builds anticipation versus wasted paper and many hours editing at the end of the story. Being plugged in to a genre of readers, young and not as young can only contribute to our craft!

When We Write

When we write we are creating new thoughts that did not exist before. Arguably some would say that we are having new thoughts and merely writing them down, but sometimes the thoughts flow so quickly onto the page that it becomes difficult to tell what came first; the thought or the ink that described it? In either case the feeling which over takes a writer when they are experiencing this flow of images into text, is indescribable and incredible. Only by writing can we truly understand what it feels like to release the images from within our minds and be able to paint them into the minds of others through the written word. It is in the most real sense an indelible experience. Impossible to erase or forget and cannot be washed away by the real world around us.

As a writer, I have been asked many times how long have I been writing for? I always answer this way; "Since I first learned to write but before I could read or draw." At other times people have asked me when I first realized that I could write. For me, I realized it when I first shared my work with others, and met with varying degrees of critisms, and yet, kept on writing and sharing what I had crafted. A writer doesn't have to write perfectly, this is true more now than at any time in history, but his or her thoughts should be as near to perfection as they can make them. The craft is more in the story and the song, than in the spelling and punctuation.

A writer may develop a thick skin over time to cope with the critics and the scathing remarks, but in the end we are only a writer when we are writing and should not take such remarks for more than they are. Critics and fans fill the world, after all, and we will keep on penning our words, despite what they say or think. Being a poet or not, has very little to do with writing in the scheme of things, it is a craft in and of itself. One who writes poetry has always thought poetically and can no more help themselves shed the affliction, than a musician or song writer or person with an illness. It just has to run its course!

Those of us who write poetry are and always have been poets from an early age. No excuses, no regrets. Poets are always poets, the act of writing it down does not make you more of a poet, it merely adds to your repertoire of skills as a writer. It adds a depth that may be missing in some stories. Writing it down merely helps us to make it look more perfect.

On Writing

The story must be a conflict, and more specifically, a conflict between the forces of good and evil, possibly even within a single person. It’s what all stories are made up of; it’s the essence at the heart of good, mediocre and terrible writing! To deny complexity within your character is to deny that the world they walk in is round, ok maybe it’s not round in your story, but you know what I am talking about. I write because I love to make shit up about worlds that may or may not exist, have existed or will exist somewhere...too bad if you don't like, read, eat or dream fantasy fiction. I do. I write because I like to write. Notice how I didn't say "publish". Writing is not publishing, that comes later, much later if your readers are very lucky. Publishing is what you do with your story after you have written it out somewhere around five times...had it edited, loaned it to your most critical friend or family member for a week, and then straightened out all that mess and typed up the stuff that didn't get crossed out or changed. Then you can approach a publishing company and get rejected or worse they could accept it, and will likely make even more changes to your manuscript. That’s what they call it when it’s been through the process of being eaten and barfed back up on your desk a few times.

A Higher Form of Madness

A “Published book”, that’s what they call it when you no longer have anything to do with the document, when it finally leaves your incapable, incompetent but learning tired hands. Publishing is not really the goal of any good writer or sensible person, it just isn't. Becoming published is a higher form of madness, the first degree of course is typing out an "idea that you had" and that’s the point when you can start to call yourself a writer, But only when you are at your desk. The rest of the time you are most likely "something else" that allows you to pay the bills and eat. Writing is a fun and fantastic world, so it is well worth doing, even and especially if you do not set your peripheral vision on that other thing that I was talking about. For now, just write your damn story, and then start writing another one, at least once a day get down on your knees and thank the good Lord above that he gave you such a rough, rugged, sad, pestilence ridden cursed childhood,. Or you might never have become crazy enough to begin down this tragic path of ink stained fingers and bloodshot eyes. Oh and drinking sometime helps smooth the story edge out, if you are so inclined.

The Best Place to Start

The best place to start is of course with that idea, but from there it’s really important to flesh out the plotline/outline of the thing. It doesn’t really matter where you write, as long as your idea for your novel fires your imagination and keeps on firing it long after the fourth draft. That’s how you know you are into the gold of your own imagination! Second only to the actual idea, the plot/outline is the single most important thing, because the story has to make sense chronologically as well as in detail and geographically. The characters in your head are trying to become “real people”. Or whatever they are called on their world, and you have to have a really good system for keeping track of them and all the junk they haul around, lose and carry to that “oh so important place” way over wherever they are going; and of course there is also the return trip. Keep a notebook, a bunch of index cards, draw a map write, write, and write some more. It’s how we as “writers” evolve the storyline/plot/outline. If you don’t love doing this type of tedious task, then perhaps you might consider skipping the writing thing all together. After all there are other professions out there, some even pay you! This is my website and eventually I will be posting more stuff about what and why I choose to write. Keep checking back!

What is a Writer? No Really!

A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas. Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays, and essays as well as various reports and news articles that may be of interest to the public. Writers' texts are published across a range of media. Skilled writers who are able to use language to express ideas well often contribute significantly to the cultural content of a society. The word is also used elsewhere in the arts – such as songwriter – but as a standalone term, "writer" normally refers to the creation of written language. Some writers work from an oral tradition.

Writers can produce material across a number of genres, fictional or non-fictional. Other writers use multiple media – for example, graphics or illustration – to enhance the communication of their ideas. Another recent demand has been created by civil and government readers for the work of non-fictional technical writers, whose skills create understandable, interpretive documents of a practical or scientific nature. Some writers may use images (drawing, painting, and graphics) or multimedia to augment their writing. In rare instances, creative writers are able to communicate their ideas via music as well as words.

As well as producing their own written works, writers often write on how they write (that is, the process they use); why they write (that is, their motivation); and also comment on the work of other writers (criticism). Writers work professionally or non-professionally, that is, for payment or without payment and may be paid either in advance (or on acceptance), or only after their work is published. Payment is only one of the motivations of writers and many are never paid for their work.

The term writer is often used as a synonym of author, although the latter term has a somewhat broader meaning and is used to convey legal responsibility for a piece of writing, even if its composition is anonymous, unknown or collaborative. Being an Author does not always mean that you wrote the piece of work in the first place! Many famous relatively literate people just don’t have the skill to plant their ass in a chair for the better part of a day and get the thing they want written done; So they hire a ghost-writer to do the work and they may edit it for content, or not. Ultimately putting their “good name” on the finished work and in this way they can call themselves “authors”, but they are definitely not writers.


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