Tag Archives: writing

Are You A Social Media Sociopath?

Writers are always told to boost our presence online, to engage fans on social media and stake a claim on our respective genres, but these boosting bombardments eat into our writing regiments. Our manuscripts sit on the back burner while we argue with Reddit moderators. Our word counts diminish with every tweet we finish.

Writers only have so much creative energy. If we are always trying to lure readers to our blogs our energy drains fast. Our labor of love starts to feel laborious.

We’d rather use that stamina we spend on social media telling stories. So we ration our online interactions. We compose compelling questions so we can smuggle our spam onto public forums. We target influencers to reach new readers. We hijack hashtags.

The problem with rationing our involvement is that we tend to come across as inauthentic, intrusive, and inorganic.

“You say you’re struggling with depression, that it feels like no one will listen, and the walls are closing in? Sounds similar to a character I’ve written. I prescribe a double dose of my fiction. One copy for yourself and another for a friend.”

Not every writer on social media is stealth marketing to the unsteady, but thinking algorithmically does do something to your personality. Once the phrase “cultivate relationships” enters your vocabulary you lose some of your emotional intimacy. Your ability to empathize is diminished when you start seeing people as clicks. Continue reading Are You A Social Media Sociopath?

Eavesdropping Advisory: Vlog

A vlog on why you should never be rude around a writer. Continue reading Eavesdropping Advisory: Vlog

Why Self-Publishers Shouldn’t Get Opening Night Jitters

Whenever I post a short story, a video, or even a blog entry I feel a like a director at a red carpet premier. Not a celebrated director like Christopher Nolan or J.J. Abrams. More like a bottom tear auteur like Tommy Wiseau or Ed Wood, the kind of director who’s footing the bill for every exuberant extravagance out of his own pocket.

I couldn’t imagine feeling like a studio darling with a promotional juggernaut behind me. I always feel like the sad dad with a dream of being the next Steven Segal and enough free time to write, direct, and star in my own vanity project.

In this opening night allegory I spend almost all I have getting my movie made. I’m hoping to entice distributors, but I failed to ration for a long run. Instead I sunk my entire promotional budget into one weekend.

Now the only poster I could afford has the light on my forehead glaring in the opposite direction as the sun in the background. The only billboard I could afford was a fire-damaged frame leaning sideways atop the theater. The only news outlets I could get to cover the event are videographers working off college credit.

A few of the cast members got off work to be in attendance. They play on their phones in their tuxedo t-shirts, sweat pants, and skorts. I’m chain-smoking in the entryway to the theater waiting to cheer the first attendees on. Continue reading Why Self-Publishers Shouldn’t Get Opening Night Jitters

How to turn a Complex Story into a Simple Synopsis Vlog

In 7 minutes you’ll learn how to condense an entire novel into a single page.

Continue reading How to turn a Complex Story into a Simple Synopsis Vlog

A Fair Price Vlog

A discussion on giving your art away in the information age.

Continue reading A Fair Price Vlog

Dangerous Inspiration: On the Suicide Forest and the Boundaries of Fiction

Real talk. I’m a bad person. I’m desensitized. I find dangerous subjects inspiring. When I hear about a fringe cognitive condition, that leaves lives in ruins, my creative juices start flowing.

“Wait what? There’s a guy who suffers from a permanent sense of déjà vu?” Drew rubs his chin. “That gives me an idea.”

Your private peculiarity is my writing prompt. Your brain disease is my brainstorm. Your phobia is my fiction.

I write supernatural horror and I’m naturally drawn to anything that makes the world seem weirder and more fantastic, even if it’s terribly tragic.

Tell me there are people who hunger for objects with no nutritional value, and I’ll write a story about an ad agency tasked with marketing bricks as food. Tell me there are people who get off on bee stings and I’ll write a story about a masochist who makes a cabin out of honeycomb. Tell me someone seriously suffers from a fear of long words and I’ll write a story called Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, just because I can.

My natural instinct is to pry your obsessive compulsion from your hands and give it to a character of mine, because I think it’s spooky, because I think it’s neat. Not because I want the world to understand what you’re going through.




Ought to? Continue reading Dangerous Inspiration: On the Suicide Forest and the Boundaries of Fiction

Backseat Driver: A Short Story Video Reading

A horror story about a dark passenger too many of us are forced to chauffeur: depression. Continue reading Backseat Driver: A Short Story Video Reading

Submitted for Your Approval

Watch me do my best Rod Serling impression to discuss myself and my writing.

Here’s the script:

Submitted for your approval, a blog on writing fantasy, horror, and the myriad of genres in between. Brought to you by a Mister Drew T. Chial, an author voted most likely to be sucked into cyber space, where he now resides.

From this void Drew has amassed a multitude of motivating maxims to share with his following.

He’ll help you cross that colossal cosmic cube that keeps creatives from commuting through the astral plane. In other words, he’ll get you past writer’s block.

Together you’ll beat back the tropes and clichés that plague modern writing, learn what to do if someone has already used your idea, and find out how to summarize an entire story in a single page.

Follow him if you’re looking for a different flavor of inspiration. Follow him if you want articles on writing that go into more depth than mere definitions. Follow him if you like cynically sarcastic satire on the whole sordid scene.

In just one moment you’ll be able to visit Drew Chial dot com. The price of admission: your attention.

Also, be sure to like, subscribe, comment, share, tweet, up vote, reblog, swipe right, ring the bell, follow on social, join the newsletter, back my project, become a patron, and say a little prayer.

For if you do our paths just might cross in the Twilight Zone. Continue reading Submitted for Your Approval

How to Shut Your Audience Out of Your Writing Room

A lot of people imagine a writer’s room to be a fortress of solitude. They picture a crooked citadel where a hunchback feverishly scrawls his quill down a scroll high above the incessant babble of the peasants down below. In his book On Writing Stephen King prescribes such a space:

“When it comes to writing… The space… needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut… There should be no telephone… no TV or videogames… If there’s a window, draw the curtains… it’s wise to eliminate every possible distraction.”

I write in a coffee shop surrounded by pyramids scheme pitch sessions, awkward Tinder dates, and speakers blaring auto-tuned dub step songs. I find the crooked citadel to be a lonely place. I write in public to give myself the illusion of human interaction.

I find a writer’s room to be more of a state of mind. In that sense I do see it as a sacred space where certain distractions and opinions need to shut out for the writer to get anything done. I’ll explain what I mean with characters that are by no means within the public domain. (Please send your cease and desist emails to drewchialauthor.com, thank you.) Continue reading How to Shut Your Audience Out of Your Writing Room

What to Do When You’ve Written Yourself Into Your Story: Vlog

It happens to the best of us. You set out to write a story with fiercely original characters, but then a life event compels you to write yourself into the plot. Maybe you just had to get something off of your chest, but now you’re story has a you sized problem… and it might just do something to the real you to deal with it.