I often wrestle with the question of “how dark a story is too dark?”. Intellectually, I know that being able to plumb the depths of the psyche’s dark well is not in itself a hallmark of a genuinely distubred mind. Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Jeff Lindsay, all of these and more have written some truly dark material, stories that go straight down to the Hell than can be found in the human soul or that stretch out hands to grasp at the worst insanity the mind can fathom. I do know this. Yet, how dark, how depraved can one be before people stop being impressed by your prose and start wondering it it’s a Serial Killer’s Cookbook or the mad ramblings of a maniac? I often worry that I might write something that will be off-putting or make my fiction too unapproachable. My counter to that is that ultimately, I must stay true to my world, to the narrative I’m crafting and the journey I want my characters and readers to take.
For the last few days I’ve been beating up against some serious writers block. I started working on a blog post, something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a very long time. However, it is something of a rant as well and the dangerous thing about rants is that they’re a lot like 2 day drinking binges; it sounds great at first, but quickly becomes hazardous. Writing a rant is like the negative of creativity. You’re propelled by all of this angst and passion, but its not creativity, it’s just solid opinion and self-righteousness with little creative thought.
So, you know how when you’re young(er) and you get your first place? Maybe you are fastidious or maybe you’re not, but you really only decorate for yourself and you live there primarily only for yourself. Your home is a selfish thing. It’s just for you. Maybe you have a XBOX 360 attached to your grotesquely huge TV and entertainment center, with a tangle of cables spewing from behind, like you are a modern day Perseus and you tossed Medusa’s head behind the cabinet for safe keeping. Maybe you have a kitchen with a coffeemaker, a Margarita-ville Mixer with salsa dispenser, 3 spoon, 4 pans and a skillet. Maybe you have a poster of Doutzen Kroes sprawling skimpily across a vehicle of some sort. Whatever it is, this is your place and you’ve only really thought about it in those terms so far, because no one ever visits. Then someone comes knocking and everything changes.
As I’ve mentioned before, I am a strong adherent of good universe building. Some authors thrive on spontaneous writing and i applaud them for that, but I like to think I follow in the footsteps of luminaries like Herbert and Tolkien whose narratives were fueled by intensive, deep background material. they crafted their worlds so thoroughly, that it gave their works this rich tapestry. You knew that beneath the story you were being told, there were a hundred more stories that were not being.
OK, so I’ve started the design for the page; this will be an ongoing process for the next couple of weeks as I tidy-up and rearrange, but this is a good start. This post is going to talk a bit about myself, my book and this page and what I now write will then later be formatted and copied into the About page.