After talking about other writers, other entertainers, anime, TV shows, films and whatever else seemed relevant at the time, I’m going to sit down at my metaphorical fireplace with my metaphorical pipe and talk a little bit more about me. Not in the personal sense, because I find the idea of airing all your dirty laundry on the World Wide Web rather unsettling. Clearly, some people do it, and they get massive followers, but to me this suggests either that the people revealing their inner most person is so devoid of love and attention in their lives that they’ll go to the lengths of embarrassing and shaming themselves on a public platform for it, or on the other hand, that there are some people out there, who’s interest in other people is so obsessive that they must know every aspect of their lives. Maybe there’s another better reason that I’m missing? Regardless, I won’t be doing that here, so by talking about me, I mean, my writing.
I wasn’t sure what to write about this week actually. There isn’t much in the pipeline except a look at L.A. Noire, but I haven’t got the game yet, so it’ll be another week at least before you get that. I could have written something about Wimbledon, because I was following the tennis quite avidly, but honestly I don’t think I could write an entire article. I like it but I don’t think I’m knowledgeable enough to justify a tennis review article. For the record, I was supporting Novak Djokovic, and no I’m not just saying that now, after he’s won. He was having an amazing year, and with Federer out, he seemed set to enter the final at least, and I was certainly hoping for a win. He did win, although I thought Nadal would have put up more of a fight, but Djokovic was too good. Why you ask? Because he cut gluten from his diet. Obviously, I’m being a little facetious; winning the Wimbledon grand slam takes teamwork, dedication to training and a ferocious drive to win, all of which Djokovic had. I just like the idea that he won because he purged gluten from his system and became some kind of superman.
Thus, that is how you end up with another article about my writing. That’s not a bad thing, of course, because the purpose of this blog is to generate an audience for my writing, and perhaps just to share a few insights on the way. After seven posts, and nearly two months, it seems appropriate to give an update on what I’ve been doing creatively, aside from writing this blog. Well, first thing is first. Horror. This isn’t a genre I normally write in, partly because it generally just doesn’t interest me, but there are certain aspects that I do take inspiration from. The ability to mount tension is never as evident in anything as it is in horror films. In part, they draw this from thriller movies, as can be seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The film itself is a psychological thriller, but can probably be credited with inspiring the slasher horror genre, but creating suspense is important to both. Suspense is needed for almost any genre to work, since the plot would be boring if the reader, or viewer, isn’t allowed to anticipate something, whether that something be a brutal murder or a budding relationship.
With that in mind, I began to write Night Light, an exercise in suspense. It is written however, from the point of view of a ten year old boy, attempting to survive the night in his own bed in the darkness of his room. When I started writing, it was as I said, an exercise in suspense, but suspense means nothing unless you’re building towards something. In that sense, I had to then decide what to build towards and what would be the conflict of this. If the story was going to be a horror, then the conflict would need to be suitably terrifying, which of course where the dark of the room comes in. This is partly why I choose to write it from the boy’s point of view, because to an outsider, the dark isn’t innately terrifying, but through the eyes of Jimmy, the ten year old, I can paint the picture of horror. Inspiration for the power of the darkness also comes from the REC. series because the movies, although horror, don’t go for cheap terror. Darkness doesn’t just set the scene, or create an atmosphere; it is something to be feared. I wanted to create this same sense in my story too, although obviously in my own way. Following that, I took inspiration from the Marble Hornets youtube series. It’s a marvellous series on a small budget that shows you don’t need a lot of money to develop a terrifying and thoughtful horror series. I’m also interested in the fact that each video is relatively short. Night Light itself is intended as a short story, probably not reaching further than 4,000 words. At this moment it isn’t quite finished, but it isn’t far from being done. It’ll probably be my only attempt at a horror story. I may write a follow up. I don’t know, I haven’t decided. I would have to feel strongly that the story required more.
The other story I have also isn’t finished…and untitled. Further unlike Night Light, this story I’m planning will be another novel. It will be shorter than Creed, but it’ll definitely a novel. It began as a short story that I intended to submit to Verbal Magazine. It required a headshot to send in, and I neither own a camera, nor found the time to edit any other photos into a headshot. Looking through my photo albums, I’m not sure I have an appropriate picture where I don’t look like a hippy, or a smug git. Maybe that’s just how I always look. At any rate, I began the story, and wrote what became chapter one. In broad terms, it’s about the fall of the Loyan Empire, and the effect of this on the surrounding continent. To narrow it down, it’s about relationships, and rejection, but of those outside your world view, and those who stand in the way. It explores the different lengths that people will go to achieve what they desire and the possibility of forgiveness if it all goes sour.
Rather than give it a definite setting, I placed the story in a light fantasy background. I call it light fantasy, because it’s not as rich or as deep as the Lord of the Rings mythology, or as politically involved as A Song of Ice and Fire. That’s not to say that I feel those stories are better, (that’s for the reader to decide according to their tastes) simply that my story doesn’t lend itself to as many fantasy themes and stereotypes as more famous fantasy stories. It probably has as much in common with soft science fiction stories, as it does with fantasy, but my intention wasn’t to focus on the speculative narrative devices, but rather on the characters and how events affect them and how they interact. Therefore, I feel as though there’s actually a lot happening in the background in the book, whereas it doesn’t seem like much is going on in the foreground. That’s not to say that it’s more interesting, but generally I feel like a lot of stories have the characters so ultimately driven by some great goal that it encompasses everything. The hero, even if he’s not particularly heroic, undertakes a task, and claiming victory, he gets the boon. In this sense, the great task is taking place in the background, but the characters are driving toward their own individual boons.
There you have it; those two stories are what I’ve been working on since I completed Creed. They don’t have much in common. One is about a ten year old boy fighting the darkness, and the other is about a rebellion and topples a kingdom. I suppose you could have ten year old boy who topples a kingdom of darkness with a rebellion of light…actually that could work…