• Tyler E. C. Burnworth

If you've ever heard about Roswell, you probably heard about the UFO crash that it's famous for.


Maybe you heard it was a flying saucer, or a weather balloon, or even that alien bodies were recovered from the crash site.


If you're like me, you wondered about it, but threw your hands up in the air and sighed, "The world may never know."


I was skeptical when a coworker recommended a book by investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen. "She's got the full story," he said.


I doubted him, but I was curious.


As I read the book, which is a combination of declassified CIA documents, facts and research based on interviews with current and former employees of the most secret military installation in the world, I was floored.


The origins of Area 51 are explicitly laid out with in-depth detail. From an abandoned plot of barren desert wasteland to the site of hundreds of nuclear bomb tests, experimental aircraft 50 years ahead of their time, and a culture of secrecy that has defined the Need To Know culture of the American Government Elite.


The conclusions drawn are shocking. Especially the inside scoop on what really happened at Roswell.


I don't want to spoil it, but let's just say the American government kept the truth a secret for a reason.


I can confidently recommend this as the most important and revelatory non-fiction book I've ever read.


Get it for yourself here.

  • Tyler E. C. Burnworth

You've really done it this time.


I'm not pointing the finger at you.


I've done it, too.


WEVE ALL DONE IT AND ANYONE WHO SAYS THEY HAVEN'T IS A DAMN LIAR!


That feeling of not being good enough? You know it. The Shadow of The Writer You Should Be stands over you, breathing down your neck.


The vise on your pyloric sphincter squeezes shut, squirting bile into your throat. You can't feel your legs. The room is spinning around you, faster and faster until--


That's it, you say to your keyboard, I'm not good enough to write this book.


Your keyboard sighs. It's not mad at you. It's just disappointed.


Here it was, expecting a nice 2,000-word-long finger massage, and now you CTRL + ALT + DELETE and it's over.


Don't be that person.


Step out of your own shadow.


Give yourself the freedom to fail, temporarily. Then make something of that failure. It's the fastest way to success.


You ARE good enough to write this story, because it's yours to tell. Even if the first draft is crap (it usually is) and the second, third, eighth draft hasn't taken on a new scent, there are still possibilities. Writers have an advantage some other forms of art do not have; an ancient power so profound it has the ability to solve even this existential crisis you have landed yourself in.


Revision.


We've all heard the saying "all writing is rewriting," and for good reason. It's mostly true. The vast amount of writing you do is revising, editing, and rewriting the Leaning Tower of Pukenachos that is your first draft until it shines and shimmers in the faintest scrap of sunlight.


Extra effort might even make it glow in the dark. Or that's Plutonium-239. Hold your breath and DO NOT TOUCH IT!


Assuming your story isn't a fissionable biohazardous material, you can always rewrite it. Fix flat characters by giving them motives, hopes and dreams aside from the main storyline. Make the characters struggle for everything. Dangle the carrot, allow them the barest nibble and then YANK THAT SUCKER AWAY. Plug plot holes with purposeful divergence or dissention among characters. Readers will love you if you put emotion-laced meat on the bones of your story in this way.


Remember, in most popular fiction, not every sentence is a flower.


Flowers grow best when, what now?


Fertilizer.


Flowers grow best surrounded by shit. Manure, if you prefer. Pick the passages where you can increase immersion with a beautiful word garden on the setting, or show a different side of a character through intense and detailed internal monologue. Keep the rest business casual.


If you have giant walls of text in your manuscript, try incorporating some white space.


Break those big blocks into bite-sized chunks.


As an added benefit, you might find the flow is smoother this way.


Or if you struggle to form a three sentence paragraph, check your descriptions; of setting, character, interior monologue and such. You don't want to leave the reader with all meat and no bones.


The next time that ghastly specter of Who You Should Be rises from coiled smoke and threatens to overtake you, act fast.


Turn on your inner light. Be yourself. Be yourself bravely.


Write your best today and make it (and yourself) better tomorrow.


  • Tyler E. C. Burnworth

When a star falls from the sky at over 20,000 miles per hour and slams into your brainpan, your eyes light up.


What's that sound? Is that my cerebrum simmering? I smell cervelle de veau!


Ding. You've got an idea!


You feverishly attack your keyboard like your life depends on it. Your synapses spark with creativity. The floodgates aren't open; THEY'RE BLOWN OFF THE DAMN HINGES, lost in a deluge of inspiration.


And then, it stops. The fire goes out.


The river runs dry. You are a crisped husk. A cicada carapace clipped onto the bark of a Writer's Block Tree (an exotic import from the no man's land called Procrastinea).


DO NOT PANIC!


Writer's Block never killed anyone.

It is not as scary as it may seem, although the dangers are real to your writer's journey.


Take the world's largest cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.


This architectural marvel was started in New York in the year 1892...and has never been finished.


Sure, there are reasons. Lack of funding, changes made during the construction process, engineering flaws. These are real problems that explain it's half-finished, stagnate state at present.


This is your book, your craft, YOUR LIFE.


Don't let it be St. John the Unfinished.


Finish it. Finish it. FINISH IT!


I know this anxiety first-hand. I rewrote my latest WIP (work in progress for non-writer folk) start-to-finish 3 times. I've done over 7 intensive editing passes, 2 with beta readers. I recieved dozens of form rejection letters, one with editorial feedback on the opening pages that let me know how terrible it was.


I was at my wit's end. I felt like the work I put into this book had the same effect on me as breaking my teeth against a brick wall. The answer came in an R&R letter from a publisher.


I was so focused on having a completed, edited manuscript that I left out key world-building elements in my opening pages. In short, I didn't finish the book. I was hocking St. John's Cathedral thinking it was the Taj Mahal.


Successful writers don't stop.


You can't succeed if you never finish.


Close Twitter, delete Facebook, brick up the door that leads out of your writer's den á la Cask of Amontillado...whatever you gotta do.


I prescribe you two magic pills*: the red one (motivation) and the blue one (dedication). Take them both at the same time and you will experience an equilibrium in your belly that converts doubt into confidence and blank pages into words that reflect your heart and soul.


***I am actually not a doctor. These pills are...ya know, metaphorical***


Go forth and write! And when the book, story, poem or script is finished, congratulate yourself.


You have earned the title Writing Warrior.


GO SLAY SOME PAGES!


Tyler E.C. Burnworth earned his MA in Creative Writing in 2016. He lives in Las Vegas under the shadow of Area 51. For more positive motivation and original fiction stories, visit his Patreon page.

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