[Fade in:] 55k words and counting…
I think I just might beat my own prescribed deadline.
As writers, we have one or two ideal readers, those special people whom whatever we write is for them, whether we know it consciously or subconsciously. That one person whose opinion means everything.
Anyway, my ideal reader is Celeste, she has been reading my stuff for close to four years now, in some ways she’s my muse, in some ways my biggest un-muse (p.s. I don’t know what the opposite of muse is– and critic isn’t the word am looking for here).
So I gave her a some sample chapters of House of Dyes, I know — never a good move to let someone read an unfinished 1st draft.
After reading them, she asked me why I keep changing technique?
I didn’t understand her until I figured where she was coming from — the last book I wrote was an 189k worded epic fantasy, now House of Dyes is something else entirely.
I asked her if she didn’t like what I’d written?
On the contrary, she assured. She just wishes I could stick to a style she could get comfortable with.
[Cue in:] To House of Dyes is shaping up like a bunker-buster aftermath, its not merely imploding, its sucking in everything around, which is good — it’s a literary challenge; I wake up every morning and stare at the blank page and wonder if I’ll be able to slither out of that black-hole at the end of the day.
House of Dyes, as with everything I write, feels like the story I was meant to write. How I write it doesn’t matter — I operate under the assumption that the stories write themselves, am merely the midwife, and if it wants to come out feet first, I’ll do just that.
I’ll admit this, the story has mutated — I started off wanting to write a bunch of stories bleeding into a larger contextual story. Full stop — Extraordinary, albeit relatable tomes that would ask questions no one is comfortable getting the answers to.
But now, it’s demanding I throw the gauntlet out the ruddy window altogether, its asking me to incorporate other highly contextual elements like Alternate Realities, Time Paradoxes and Predestination, Moral aesthetics, Neo-Fascism… It’s shaping into some form of pseudo-fantasy that’s far removed from the dark-drama I intended it to be.
[Dissolve to:] Me having to rewrite the whole inciting incident altogether — I’ve scraped away the kidnapping farce altogether. Need to figure out another inciting incident that encompasses the whole of the story.
[Jump cut to:] Answering Celeste’s question — why I can’t stick to one literary technique?
Why the shift from the transgressive horror and fantasy into this story that above all is meant to be a drama (of sorts)?
She thinks that the darkness I’m bound to import into the work will prove problematic, won’t serve the purpose to the book.
I beg to differ, I think the horror will best serve those pregnant moments, those dark raptures in the book, those bleak deliriums. I’m out of my depth here, literary speaking, but this is like climbing Mt Everest naked, who wouldn’t want to try that, just to say I did it. Truth is, stories are told for the sake of being told. Period.
And unlike career writers, those who do it solely for the money and are comfortable tilling that golden rut, I like to challenge myself — once I’ve mastered a style, a technique, I abandon it, it’s the reason no two pieces of my work have the same style.
Its why I write all these stories that push me to change my style, for example the first story am weaving in House of Dyes, is written like threaded comic-book captions tightly transcribed into prose — that cynicism, the raw anger in the glimpses of clarity, the seething witticism, the brutal honesty, short tense sentences, the pure poetry of graphic description.
Where I lack in conviction I’ve replaced with passionate intensity.
Because the character in question is a vengeance-fueled messianic-psychotic-vigilantic-romantic anarchist with a penchant for arson and bad company. I didn’t deem any other literary style adequate to convey his Lexington Steel boner-sized death-wish.
[Fade to Black]