I am fiction writer who leans towards fantasy and horror, but who knows what my inclinations will lead me down the road. I’m not an emotional man and I’ve not lived a dramatic life which I can flow into my writing, but I’m a passionately imaginative man who sees beauty in everyday life and spends too much time in my own head.
Instead, I enjoy creating mystery, fantastical worlds and create questions of philosophy. Hopefully, this makes up for my shortcomings in life experience.
My first thought that ever comes to mind when writing a new story is not characters or where the story will lead, but what interesting scenery and life questions can I create from it; In short, my writing is about putting people in situations and let their character grow from there.
I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly skilled writer, but I’m a polymath, and, if anything else, you’ll (hopefully) take with you something interesting from my stories.
(Sorry, this is just for archive purposes, I’m changing my bio, yet again!)
Christopher is a fiction novelist who writes in the fantasy, sci-fi and horror genre.
Writing is not something that comes naturally, I can attest to that. If writing is your destiny – your talent – then why must you make a conscious decision to do so?
Writing isn’t easy, and at a young age, we seek what is easy, thus we don’t write.
But as long as you do things in life because you find them interesting, you will sooner or later stumble upon what you were meant to do. It might take longer than others, to find your passion. You may have written all your life, you may have started writing in your adult years or even elder years. You may regret not starting earlier and cursed your youth spent unproductive.
Nobody can say with utmost certain that your timing was right, but we can sure believe it was. It is healthier to do so, to have faith in oneself and believe in your pasts actions because it is the only certainty that we have – what happened in the past. The future is always uncertain and I can only be glad that I’ve spent the time that I did on writing. Two years is not a long time and I’m very much still a novice. I don’t know what I should be doing in the future, expect the very act of telling stories in one form or another. Hence, I write poetry and flash fiction; working novel sized fantasy and sci-fi short stories; I blog and I write fan fictions. I’ve also recently picked up drawing and I’m considering translation to earn my upkeep – substitute teaching being my only source of income at the moment.
It’s clear that I haven’t found my foundation yet, spreading my wings wherever I can reach. Trying everything and anything in the hopes that it might work out. It’s not a bad strategy, to be honest, not when you have no idea what you’re doing.
Should I focus solely on my trilogy “Book of Legacy” or should I build a reputation first with shorter works? I don’t know. What is clear, however, is that I have stories to tell and opinions to share. One of these days I’ll get something out there and it will no doubt be pretty bad. But, it’s true as they say, you got to dare to write badly before you can write well in the future.
Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by and I hope my writing will entice you to stay!
His breath was heavy as Karl stumbled down a hill, with branches whipping his face through the thicket. Hoarse voices echoed his surroundings and men rushed down beside him. Karl grit his teeth as blood trickled from a gash on his forehead into his eye, turning the world red around him. But he carried on, even as men without breath fell along the way. At the base of the hill, the reached the banks of a river and Karl fell on his knees in the soft sand and wheezed. For a moment, there was nothing but him and the roaring river. But the serenity faded as battered men stormed out of the woods and feel to their knees in the sand.
Karl rubbed the blood off his face with his sleeve and the gash stung painfully. Other pains (wounds he’d not noticed) surged as his body rested and exhaustion crept over him. Karl looked at the men around him, recognising nobody.
None of his friends had survived…
Embers float near their faces and Karl jerked his head around and stared at the raging fire that burned their homes up on the hill. A tear tricked and he shivered; the man next to him cursed into the air, another stared blankly at nothing – their grief expressed in a multitude of ways.
Then, somebody shouted.
“For the Turda!”
Then there was a gurgle and blood coursing over the man’s chest that puddled the sand. The men looked at each other with hard expressions. No words were uttered, and they drew their knives, placing the egg of the blade at their throats.
Death on our own terms, Karl thought, and did the same with a trembling hand. He fumbled with it, and as the roars of the fire and the coursing of the river drowned every other noise, men on horses burst out of the thicket, trampling a man next to him. One of the men, furthest from the woods, stood and roared, bolting towards one of the riders. With an inch to spare, he dodged the blade that came for his head and he dragged the rider off his horse. They both fell on the sand, and he pierced the gap in the armour of their enemy, mercilessly stabbing until he was decapitated by another rider. All this, Karl saw as he huddled near the woods, unseen.
One after the other, his comrades fell while they downed more than a few of the riders in the process. But Karl could not move, seeing the madness of death anew, he wanted to live. He looked to the river, and without hesitation, he threw himself into the water. He sank quickly and he reached desperately around himself to remove his chest armour, but it was no use. Death drew nearer and he stared up at the surface. Bodies sank around him with the fire in the background, turning the night into orange. Blood trailed as his comrades sank to the bottom – their eyes wide and fiery.
He would not be able to face them in the underworld.
© Christopher Stamfors
Featured image by ChrisCold
Madness is simply the description given to those that refuse to be a product of their time; to think boldly and to dream of things yet existing. This sort of madness can occur at anytime, almost always in quiet contemplation, for only alone, (and at a distance) can we look upon the world with sober eyes.
As I sit here in my elder years I cannot help but reflect on my life. I was a curious child. I saw things that got me into a lot of trouble, beatings, and even visits to the doctor a few times, before I learned what is and isn’t there in this world. It was difficult, at first, to not notice the strange lights whisking, the creatures scurrying, and the voices whispering; but as I forced myself to ignore them, they ignored me…
I had to constantly question my reality as I grew up and needed to be careful what I said and did. And though my strange sightings were completely gone around my 18th birthday, I did not fully trust what I saw and I became a nervous adult. I was easily startled and was unsuited for must work, and eventually, the stress got the better of me and I had a nervous breakdown. I was taken to a doctor that advised me to spend time out on the country every so often, as the fresh air would rejuvenate me. I cherished the idea and I spent every weekend from then on, on the Lonely Hills, a few miles north of town.
It was a special place, rich of lore and with a significance to my people. Stories of our struggle for independence and the very origin of our kind, with gods and everything. Unfortunately, there had been a lot of logging over the years and large swaths of the forest was now gone because of the industrial influence from the very people my ancestors fought to keep away. Though, despite its barren appearance, it still retains its magic – at least to me.
I liked it so much that I was miserable whenever I had to go back to town, and after many years, I’d seen everything on those hills… Or so I thought.
War is never ending, always looming. You can never let your guard down, even when things seem the brightest, for this world will take more than it offers.
I lived in a small town out on the country, far away from the struggles of power and ideologies; things that I, nor anyone else in my village, could care less about. Even so, war found its way to us. I didn’t understand how it came about, at the time, why those horrible men did what they did, why they just couldn’t leave us alone. But now I understand that they were a product of their time, a time of chaos and unrest. Even to this day, I don’t fully understand how the Order came to an end; giving up the power to the strong rather than the just.
Shortly after the fall of the Order, a Warlord came to our remote village, whose name I’ve forgotten. He was like any other marauder, oppressive and ruthless. Though, later in life, I’ve heard he was far from the worst… We weren’t treated as badly as could have been, I’ll admit, as we had two (disgusting) meals a day and was allowed a few leisurely hours to tend to our own. But in the end, we were slaves and we were expendable.
My father died before the unrest, leaving me and my mother to fend for ourselves. She died shortly after the occupation, however. Before her death, she’d all but given up as the light from her eyes slowly faded, leaving only a husk and an empty expression. I haven’t forgiven her, to this day, for leaving a young girl to the cruelties of the world. Fortunately, I was not like my mother and vowed to escape. I had to simply wait and let opportunity present itself.
Several weeks later, it happened.
I know it’s a strange thing to say coming from someone who prides himself for his imagination, but to speculate how technology will evolve over time is an impossibility, at least, in any original way. There’s going to be more sophisticated robots, for sure; there’s going to be holodecks, i.e. Star Trek – but those aren’t my ideas.
I don’t even think I can write a science-fantasy because the limitation in imagining something that seems plausible and would make sense. I’d rather imagine implausible things that make sense, if that makes sense?
What I mean is: it is implausible in our reality but makes sense in the one I created.
Post-apocalyptic worlds is a different matter, because they use technology that has already been, at least, they would be in my stories…
I came to this realisation after finishing the draft for my novel, which was going to be a sci-fi. But, the tech I envisioned was so outlandish that it might as well be magic. You know, something that doesn’t seem like tech but does things nobody understands.
Luckily, the transition between sci-fi and fantasy will be easy because of this. I’ll just have to revamp the backstory a bit to make it more appropriate for the theme.
Anyway, this is what I’ve been up to and I just figured I’d share my process.
Oh, also, I hope you have a great New Years and may you have a wonderful 2018!
My sight of deathly glare that drains away that which makes you sane. Only at nothingness may my eyes peer, and as such, my curse be sealed. In the darkness I hear the walls whisper my name; water drip upon the floor, having coursed its way through the age-old walls. I kneel before the damp stones and taste the outside. It has a hint of moss and fungi flavour – the taste of home.
I am not bound by my limbs and can move freely within these room. Though my world is small, there’s a larger one within those walls that enclose me. I can hear them as I press my ear against it, the scurrying and the skittering. I moan when they do, wishing to be heard, but a response never comes. At least hearing my own voice is a reminder that I exist.
On rare occasions, the door opens and forth come men with heavy steps. There is no light on their presence for they know of my power; even so, I can hear their nervous breathing for I am one with the darkness.
They move clumsily within my domain and I encroach upon them, almost touching them, then I exhale my cold breath in one ear and then the next. They start and give off a shrivelled shriek, a short and manly one, but a shriek nonetheless. I picture their faces twisted in anger… the only warmth I ever receive.
The door close with a great clang. Left on the floor there’s a bowl of something vile, but I do not need it. I let it rest and I retreat back to my corner, feeling the scurrying through the wall.
They emerge and feast on my bounty.
Some nibble on me, as well, but they soon give up in distaste for there’s nothing inside me worth devouring. Strangely, I do feel pain, though, it’s not a displeasing feeling, one that I cannot recreate myself… I’ve tried.
Only teeth, or sharp objects, can penetrate my skin.
Such is the life of the cursed and here I’ll linger long before the Keepers had enough of me, when the walls will crumble and I once again roam the earth, catching eyes with those around me and savour their terror.
© Christopher Stamfors
Featured image by ChrisCold
Some time ago, I bought a book called the “Necronomicon” it’s a collection weird tales from a weird author – H.P Lovecraft.
Lovecraft has a very unique style and endless imagination, which is the entire allure of his stories, but, I challenge you to explain to me exactly what’s going on half the time. His style of writing made it difficult to get into his stories, but what you need to understand about Lovecraft is that he wrote for himself and the only one who can fully understand his stories is he.
That doesn’t mean they are bad stories, for even if some sentences of fail to grasp you, you will be caught in his flow and submerge yourself in the dread he’s trying to convey, and that’s where he shines, to create real atmosphere of horror.
If found that my mind started to wander on other things while reading his tales, yet, I didn’t forget what I read. I came up with ideas for my own stories as if Lovecraft himself dug into my mind a surfaced them.
His work oozes inspiration.
But while you’re in that state, every once in a while, you’ll find yourself drawn back to his world, and then, nothing else exist. Your concentration is unparalleled and you can see the craftsmanship of each page, how he melds the real world with his mythos, real science with the supernatural.
His descriptions are vivid, though over excessive, at times. It is as if Lovecraft had visited these places himself, so detailed is his imagery, which is admirable. I, myself, prefer vague descriptions that allows me to use my own imagination, but as I said, he wrote the stories for himself, not anyone else. Perhaps he wanted to document what he’d really seen… He took inspirations from his own dreams, after all.
I’m ashamed to say, it took me about a year to go through his work. It began slow, but as I grew as a writer and a reader, the stories were consumed quicker and quicker until the last third of the book (which is 878 pages long) was consumed in a month.
I can’t recommend this book to everyone, but keep in mind that this is the first book that I ever bothered to write a review on, that’s how much of an impression it had on me. Pick it up if you are a avid read and if you yourself can imagine strange things, for if you cannot grasp the unknown, you’ll go mad with the imagery Lovecraft provide.
The greatest sin a writer can make is talking about what they are working on, for announcing it means that the universe will do whatever it can to not make it happen, at least that’s my experience.
It’s even more important to not talk about your projects when they are in the drafting stage as that’s when the project is the most vulnerable. Even so, I’m inclined to tell you I’m working on “something” and the goal is that the first draft will be finished before new years, which is why I haven’t posted much these couple of weeks.
Hope you’re all having a splendid December and hopefully I’ll have something more to post before Decembers end.
There’s this story that I’ve worked on for about 2 years, and during this time, there’s been a lot of changes to the plot, which is not a good thing…
A short story should be simple, with a clear plot and it should be easy to grasp and explain to anyone who ask about it. But to achieve this, there must be a clear backstory and beginning, much like a gardener planting his seed:
The backstory is the seed, in my mind.
But as you learn to write, you’ll apply what you’ve learned as you learn them, which will result in an entangled mess of subplots and character motivation until it doesn’t make sense anymore – if it ever made sense to begin with.
I tried my darndest to fix the plot, and to give you an idea: the story was 24 pages at on one point; I ended up with 120.
It was then that I finally realised there was no way… It hurt at first, a lot even. I didn’t want to think about how much time I’ve sunk into the story, but as I came to terms with it, I only felt relief.
But my time wasn’t totally wasted for what I’ve begun was the bones of a novel. I abandoned the plot almost completely and salvaged what I could. I used the worldbuilding I’ve already done and expanded upon it.
I’ve now learned not to be lazy and that everything rides on the beginning/backstory, otherwise, the rest won’t make sense. Hence, I spent a week working on the first chapter alone. There’s not going to be any loose end this time around.
We’ll see how it all turns out, in worst case, it’s another learning experience…
Bones are that which keeps you here
Turn to dust and your soul will yield
Forgive this old fool
For the mistakes he’ve made
Leave me be and let the past fade
Fire rained over our heads
fume from the rocks seethed out of the ocean
Everything is quiet now
Except the gulls who shrieked and shuffled happily
Their meals now properly boiled