|The Persistent Itch of A Dark Religion In My Soul
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|Author:||Grymmscape [ Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:14 pm ]|
|Post subject:||The Persistent Itch of A Dark Religion In My Soul|
"I'll make everyone pay,
I'll make everyone pay.
Some things you can't forget,
I'll make everyone pay.
Some things you can't forgive,
I'll make everyone pay."
-- lyrics "Exile", by Gary Numan,
from the album EXILE (1998)
For some writers, especially writers of so-called "genre fiction", there are some creations, some characters, that haunt them, lingering behind their thoughts day and night, demanding attention. There no doubt a myrid of reasons for that, depending on the general disposition of that character in the world or history in which the author has framed the character's existence, but mostly it's because that character represents something that either troubles or outrages the author. It's an unwelcome omniscience, predominantly unintentional, but persistent. It's the voice of discontent, the shadow of displeasure or the harbinger of revolt against things that grate on the author's sensibilities. It's not like the character actually represents some unacknowledged or unspoken facet of the author's own personality, but rather it is a thing that has attained a life of its own, a self-sustaining idea with a face and, often, with a mission. A lot of times it ain't pretty and it can't be ignored. Honestly.
It can get to you sometimes. It can threaten to overwhelm your imagination, steal energy and focus away from other projects, evolving of its own accord into something more complex and concrete, becoming a growing voice inside the writer's mind, (a mind often already cluttered with voices crying out for attention), demanding its due. Its a thorny unpretty thing that dares the writer to recognize it and unleash it onto the printed page for all to see. Oh yeah, it demands it be seen, its story read. It won't allow itself to remain buried in a private work-journal or in a collection of notations and outlines of Could-Bes and Maybes. It won't settle for anonymity.
A lot of times, the worst thing a writer can do is to try to redirect that urge or that energy because then the thing just festers, becoming an irritant that can throw them off their game as they work on another project and it can infect that other project, taking the writer away from the roots, some would even say the "purity", of the original concept with which they were working.
It rages, untended, unfinished, unpublished, until the writer gives in to it.
Truth. Let me tell you, I've got stuff like that ricochetting around inside my noggin like some runaway pinball in a pinball machine from literary hell.
With me, it's THE WITHERED LAND. The Withered Land is an old concept of mine that I've featured in some micro-fiction and vignettes I created in years past. I even wrote a novella set in that murky and desolate world. I've even begun a novel, a large and sprawling dark fantasy novel, many, many months ago set in that world/universe. Over the past couple of years I've pretty much abandoned working on it, though, considering it a dead, unworkable or unmarketable concept. It's a strange concept, part science-based speculative fiction (but not "sci-fi"), part techno-thriller, part-apocalyptic heroic fantasy and part horror story. It's 1970s British New Wave science fiction meets Michael Crichton meets Robert E. Howard meets Clive Barker, with apologies to all. I mentioned I was working on the novel back in a "News" entry on my website back in February of 2008 and, shamefully, haven't progressed much (maybe an additional 5 or 6,000 words) beyond where I was back then. Winter 2008. Atrocious.
I should do better than that.
I hate not finishing things. I really hate not finishing things that pop into my head while I'm busy working on other things. I especially hate not finishing things that I know for a fact are outstanding, original ideas that stand out from a field of more readily categorized, but otherwise fun, book projects that I assume (and assume probably incorrectly) have greater market potential. There's no huge hurry, it's not like there's a deadline, but I think I've put it off long enough.
I really need to set my butt in a chair and get back to getting this thing written. Soon.
This can all be easily filed under the heading "Not that anyone cares" (I have no illusions about my status or place in the authorial pecking order), but just writing these words has helped me re-commit to returning to that project.
So I'm still going to work on TRYNE, as I stated elsewhere, but I'm going to jump back into the eerie labyrinth of THE WITHERED LAND, as well.
The Withered Land is calling. I have to go.
|Author:||Grymmscape [ Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:24 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Persistent Itch of A Dark Religion In My Soul|
It has been a while, but I thought it worthwhile for me to follow-up on this particular post. I may not be fast, but I am persistent... and as I mentioned before, ultimately, it may not matter a damn to anyone other than me, BUT --
Well, I did it. I actually completed the next installment in the WITHERED LAND saga, and a true scifi/epic fantasy saga it is...
A little over a year and a half ago, I joined a website called RED ROOM. It was an online community for writers, publishing industry people, students and avid readers -- kind of like a bibliophile's version of Facebook. Well, about four months ago, Red Room was sold to Wattpad, a somewhat youth-centric online writing and reading community. When I say "youth-centric", I do mean exactly that: Wattpad is where a lot of Harry Potter/Twilight/Hunger Games readers, the YA crowd, hang out and write fan-fiction and read offerings aimed at their demographic. Anyway, the Red Room membership were given the option of having their memberships and their online profiles rolled over into Wattpad. I took that option. No particular reason other than just a "Well, why not?".
I posted the novella "D'Spayr: A Knight in the Withered Land" and, to my surprise, it was rather well received, even to the point of being nominated as one of the site's "Featured Stories". I got over 12,000 reads, which, truthfully, is not tremendously a lot, (there are some authors on Wattpad who get hundreds of thousands of reads for their stories), but it's considered very good for someone new to the site. I got quite a few followers and a number of comments on the story, as well. People wanted more. How odd is that?
And that reaction inspired me to write a larger companion adventure, not exactly a "sequel", to the original ten year old novella: "Traveler in Red: Warlords of the Withered Land". 54,322 words, 128 pages in length. I decided to swing for the fences. After all, what's to lose?
The result? Wow. Why did I wait so long? The story is entered into the "Best of Wattpad 2014" and "Editors' Choice" contest. To say I am pleased with the response is an understatement.
And what's more: I've been contacted by a publisher about expanding upon and continuing the Withered Land saga.
So guess who has gone back to their original project outline for future titles? Yes, you got it.
I guess some things just take time...
AND, here is the cover for the original novella that started the saga, "D'Spayr: A Knight in the Withered Land" --
Whew! So there, take THAT.
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