So here I am, watching Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and eating yogurt and it just seems appropriate to write this post now. Don’t ask me why but it makes a strange kind of sense. Maybe it’s the dreaminess of the movie or something. Maybe because I’m embarking on an adventure. Realistically, I’m still at the point at which I’m gathering supplies, maps, and fixing my rucksack but nevertheless these are the first steps of an adventure, no matter how preliminary. But the promise of twists and turns and unexpected discovery is beckoning and I can’t wait to start out. Of course, I’m talking about writing and the novel which I am developing.
So, what is this novel? First of all, what is the genre? In short, weird and I mean that in the official sense. Think along the lines of Lovecraft, Grabinski, VanderMeer, or Mieville. However, I’m aiming for something a bit whimsical as well. Essentially, it’s going to be dark, a lot of it is going to hopefully be off in that finger-down-your-spine way that weird fiction can be. But I don’t want to lose sight of that feeling of whimsy. So strange locations, strange goings-on, strange people and things. And behind it all the feeling that something massive and threatening is lurking and just waiting. Why? Because that’s the type of story I’d want to read. Though beyond weird fiction, it’s also something of a western. I love the action and drive of westerns and the characters it allows me to work with. They are people who are beyond the boundaries of the normal. They are characters of the extreme and they allow me to push the boundaries of what they can do both in terms of their abilities and in terms of their psychologies. As much as it’s exciting to be working in a framework that allows for plenty of action, one of the things I’m looking forward to most is the character study aspects of the novel. I find that taking the time to explore the depths of a character is one of the most rewarding things about writing novel. And in this novel, almost no one is clean. Almost. Let’s face it, not everyone can be a murderer or lunatic or fallen monk for that matter. But no matter who they are, like any of us, they are not always so easy to read and often are contradictions within themselves which is part of why I’m really looking forward to getting to know them.
But before I can get to that, I need to get some things straight. By that, I mean I need to do outlines, character biographies, and maybe some research. So far, I’ve been glomming ideas, just writing them down as they come to me. Pretty much I’m just letting ideas come into my head without any censorship. Any idea will do. I’ll sort through them later and see what can be stitched together and what needs to be disposed of. As I do this, I get a sense of what is possible and can start to consider what the rules of the world are. The more I think about it, the clearer the world of the story becomes and the more this world seems like something I’m reporting on and less like something I’m making up, a sure sign that I’m getting to where I need to be.
Speaking of where I need to be, I feel like I’ve finally exorcised a demon. The story that I had been struggling to write based on the picture has actually come to play a pivotal role in this story. I really can’t express how much of a relief it is to have that out of my brain. But it has also showed me not to panic or the lose hope. Everything has a use, even if you’re not sure what it is at the time. It’s just a matter of having everything at your fingertips so that when the time is right, you can just grab it.
I’ll update again next week, maybe with more on how the story is coming or on another topic. Until then, folks!