Babble, Babble, Rebel, Rebel

Guten abend. What shall I talk about today… well, I’ll do a quick bore job and then switch to something more interesting. I found out recently that double-spacing is a bad thing (pressing the space bar twice after each sentence) so I’m trying to break that habit. But the world looks so weird single-spaced. Oh well.

The writing of “Lie” is going well. I didn’t quite make it to three chapters last week, but the third chapter is in a good place and will be finished tonight. I took a break and watched some horror films (“From Beyond” and “Neighbor No. 13”) as well as “About Cherry”. I’ve been wanting to watch “From Beyond” for a little over a year now and found a used copy unwanted in my local FYE. It’s an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft short story and I’m slowly taking it upon myself to buy all the good adaptations. Mostly because I have and love “Re-Animator” and “Evil Dead” (…the original, and it was an adaptation of Lovecraft’s short story about the Necronomicon ex Mortis [“The Book of the Dead”]), and I found out that John Carpenter adapted “In the Mouth of Madness”. The director of “Re-Animator”, Stuart Gordon, also directed “From Beyond” (he loves his Lovecraft) which is what brought me to that. Guillermo del Toro is a big Lovecraft geek, which also drew me to the adaptations. No one’s done a worthy Cthulhu adaptation, though. Hmm. With “Neighbor No. 13”, I saw it in a secondhand store a year or two ago, thought it looked interesting, and said that I’d buy it next time I saw it. As for “About Cherry”, I have no scruples about sex in stories (as you’ll find out soon) and I liked the concept. But back to “Lie”.

The corkboard is still being used, but it’s not filled with chapters. Instead, there’s a card for each character full of notes and three cards detailing Dragonspire. The layout of the interiors and exteriors. It’s cool being able to see the scenery because it lends itself very well to planning complex situations. Geography is fun. “Lie” might be a novella instead of a novel. I love long stories, but I’d never create one just for the sake of it. Now, “Lie” might naturally get longer as I get to the end, but it seems to be a novella. A very fat novella, but still a novella. What’s the difference? A novel is at least 50,000 words. With writing “Lie”, I don’t wanna push the story. By that, I mean that if I run into a wall, I don’t wanna aimlessly write my way out of it. That’s how you get long passages with flowery dialogue that’s ultimately about making a sandwich. I love flowery writing, as long as it has a purpose. When one walks into a wall, I think it’s good to not ask what to do next. Rather, ask what not to do next. The answer’ll come quicker. I initially wrote in blocks, then I tried writing in bits throughout the day. Experiments. When I wrote in blocks, I conquered two chapters. When I wrote in bits, I got a portion of one chapter. Lesson learned. An interesting concept I came across yesterday is taking a break from writing to write something else. Clive Barker talked about it in “The Dark Fantastic”, and I thought it was strange until it happened yesterday.  I was watching “About Cherry” and a scene inspired me to write the short story I posted yesterday. It was nice, taking a break from a story while still being artistically productive.

In recent updates of surrounding myself with success, I put away “The Dark Fantastic” for a while because a book that’s basically a 300-page convo with Anne Rice came in last week and demanded my time.  That was a great back rub.  Then Saturday, Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” came in, just as I was finishing “Conversations with Anne Rice”. I talk a good game but I’d much rather be quiet than verbal, and quiet folk have a hard time finding each other. Plus, what’s to say? Naturally, I’m enjoying the book so far and will be sad when it’s over. After that’s done, I might start reading about Oscar Wilde. Or pick up one of the other biographies of epic people sitting on my shelf: of Poe, of Tesla, of Alexander the Great, or Natalie Barney. Mademoiselle Barney was one of the most influential people of late-19th/early-20th century France and the book about her, “Wild Heart”, talks about her life. Hmm. Maybe I should finish that book, writing women and all. It’s also the book I’ve half-read the longest, methinks four years by this point. I saw it in a discount bookstore. I didn’t know anything about her, but the cover reminded me of the art of Alphons Mucha. Sorry, Clive.

I had myself a think last week about building an audience. For a while, I thought that I had to join a literary group in the area and grow from that. Then I realized a few things. No offense to authors, but I have no interest in being friends with most of you. Books aren’t really my world, cinema is, and Anne Rice has shown me that most authors are very insecure. Don’t need that in my life. I also don’t need the gratification that comes with being in a literary group. Being with like-minded people as you race toward the final page of your novel. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, it’s just not for me. I’m so into my own head that I hear everything good and bad that I need to. Plus, I’m “hanging out” with Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, et al: it’s kinda hard for the average author to compare. With writing groups, there’s also a need to get an outside opinion. Which is great when you’re writing something the world has seen before. But “Lie” isn’t normal. And I have a different voice than most authors, so the group members will be put off with a lot of what I have. So it’s best for all parties involved if I stay here and they stay there, me wishing them the best all the while.

So how does one build an audience in this day and age if one throws away the standards? One way is harnessing the internet: Reddit, in particular. Why spend hours with a small group of people when I can reach the entire world? That doesn’t mean I’m a populist artist. Pfft, I’ve already accepted my niche lot in life (of course, if the world ends up loving what I do instead of just a corner of it…). That doesn’t mean that I can’t put my work as out there as I can (within reason). So I’ve been posting new/old short stories in various subreddits, and it’s been treating me good. I don’t have a massive following but I’ve been slowly and surely gaining more readers, and being grateful for all of them. Because I’ve of the mind of building an audience quickly, and I don’t wanna post another chapter every week (gonna stop at chapter three or four), I’m gonna try to write more than one short story a week. But I’ll always have at least one. Like this week. You all are getting two short stories and a sample chapter. Lucky.

Writing “Lie” has done interesting things to my life. When I was preparing “Love! in Bedlam”, I could listen to and watch anything. “Lie”, however, demands a certain diet. Inspirations come from random things more readily, too, and in the case of yesterday’s short story, not all inspirations lead to “Lie”. This week’s other short story also falls into that line. It came to me as I was reading the Anne Rice book and, well, I’ll save that bit of fun for later. It’s interesting not having everything as laid out as I did with “Love! in Bedlam”. This story doesn’t need that sort of road map, to the point where I don’t have a real plan for the second half. I mean, I’ll do my work when I get there but it’s very character-based and I’d rather organically come to that point instead of having a goal. This time.

Came up with a title for my eventual short story compilation: “Splintered Prisms”. Y’know, because it’ll be all over the place.

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