Aren’t we all?

It’s something that I learned in therapy(I know, shocking.) that sticks in my brain-bone. It’s true, but true in that really annoying kind of truth that just galls you and gets under your skin like some kind of horrific parasite that only exists in the deep jungle, you know, one that you’ve never even heard of and has no treatment other than a pillow over your quivering face.

Just like that episode of ‘Night Gallery’:  The Caterpillar except this time, the episode is REAL and you are IN IT!!

I hate annoying truths, but I accept them. There is one other thing that has stuck with me as long as this one has. I am not sure if it is in fact a truth or not, but I will leave that up to you, the half-dozen non spam-bots reading this. In college(Yes, I went. Fuck you), I had a professor who was, by all accounts, a very nice man. However, it was clear that he suffered from a healthy case of the pessimism. In class one day, he told us all(I forget the topic at hand) that “At the very best, the majority of us will be just average.” It strikes me to this day, both as an outlet for my rebellion and a stark, haunting reminder of a possible future that awaits. Annoying truth? One man’s jaded view of the world? Again, dealer’s choice which side you take. That professor, who again was a very nice man and an outgoing teacher, died before his time; leukemia. I sincerely hope he didn’t feel this way at the end.

In my experience from speaking with my fellow writers, or authors, or scribes, or whatever you want to call them (I vote for Gorillasaurus Rex myself), have more than one piece in their wheelhouse; a story or stories, that are in various stages of completion. Drafts, outlines, first drafts, final drafts, short stories, poems, novellas, novels, I’ve met and know Gorillasaurus Rexes that have a combination of all. This is not uncommon, nor should it be. A Gorillasaurus Rex has two things that they must exercise in order to succeed in my opinion: their mind and their craft. Their mind houses all the ideas and stories that are yet to be put to paper. We’ve all heard that in order to be a writer(I got bored with the Gorillasaurus Rex joke already), you must read everyday. This is true. I say go one step further, read everyday AND find other creative outlets. If you like music, learn an instrument. If you like art, try some sketching or painting. If you like movies, watch more of them, get yourself a camera and make yourself a short film. The point is, if you let your creative energy become stagnant, it will become lethargic and slow to come to you.

I thought I would share a brief description of some of the works in progress that I currently have. I am limiting these to ideas that I have:

  1. Outlined fully
  2. Have actively begun or completed work on at least a draft version
  3. And that is NOT Jack Bauer/John McClaine slash fiction.

The first is a novel called ‘The Last Doorway’  This is the first thing I delved into when I committed myself to writing full-time after a series of unfortunate events in my life. It is a piece of urban fantasy; think Harry Potter with more violence, sexy ladies, and cooler magicians. This idea came to me in a dream years before I started outlining it. I can still recall the dream in great detail to this day and still have the scrap of yellow paper I used to write down the salient points. The story involves a kidnapping and a conspiracy from a powerful race of beings who can use and manipulate the various energies that make up the universe. It is a rollicking, globe and dimensional spanning trek with its share of humor, tragedy and intrigue.

Sold yet? Well, this one has been sitting on the shelf for almost two years now. As I ventured into the 400s for pages, I realized that I was only halfway complete with the story. I made the decision to cut the novel in half and that is where it stays. I begun edits, but have put it aside, as it is the work of a very raw, very green writer. Mixed tenses, over-description, etc. At this point in time, I have no immediate plans to return to it, as I fear that I’d have to revisit the plot and possibly re-write entirely.

The second WIP is a novella turned novel called ‘Four Bullets’. Again, this story came to me in a dream, which has only really happened in a few instances. I wish it happened more! This is a western, but not your typical western, you know, the type where the good guys are clearly defined and act in a certain way and the bad guys do just the same. Boring as shit. My western is a weird, revenge story where the protagonist is no hero. He is Drake Travis, an out-and-out villain. He is a murderer, thief, mercenary, you name it. I wrote about him in a previous post  and I intend to write much, much more about him. The story takes Drake and places him in a town at the mercy of his arch-enemy, also a villain. This nemesis has challenged Drake to a contest: If Drake can kill the five people(including the nemesis) using just four bullets in his legendary gun, ‘The Devil’s Claw’, he will go free. The story is quite dark, with plenty of gallows humor and interesting characters. Don’t expect to see the standard cattle-baron arguing over land rights, or the evil Native American chief here; you won’t find them. My characters are not anywhere near this side of normal, nor sane for that matter. This piece is the closest novel-length story I have to completion. It is going through a final, professional edit and then, I will begin shopping it.

The third WIP is a bizarre, very adult comedy novel called ‘Drop C’, but which I, and those who’ve had the pleasure (or displeasure) of hearing read call ‘Kegger’. This is a tale about a metal-head self-named, Kegger; a forty-three year old metal-head who lives in his parents’ basement and contributes nothing to society save for being an internet troll and a pot addict. Kegger receives word that his favorite band is reuniting to headline a three-day festival, so he attempts to buy the special ticket package that will grant him an audience with said band. Woe be unto him, when he discovers that his parents have cut him off. But, fear not! Aid comes to him in the form of a bona fide ‘metal God’, who is neither metal, nor a God. With his spirit guide(who again, is neither a spirit, nor much of a guide), Kegger ventures out of his sanctum and into the world he despises to obtain the object of his affection. This novel is in progress as we speak. I find it the most difficult story to write, as comedy MUST be comedic in order to succeed. You can write a shitty horror story. You can write a shitty romance story. Chances are, someone, somewhere will find some value in them. If you write a shitty comedy, NOTHING WORKS! Yes, comedy is totally subjective, I know. The audience I am writing for is the audience that is not afraid to laugh at the absurd and very much not afraid to venture into zones uncomfortable and risky to find humor. As the boys from ‘South Park’ so wisely stated, “Either it’s all okay, or none of it is.”  With that being said, as much as writing this story causes me to fall under the power of my kryptonite, Self-Doubt, I do LOVE writing this story. When I get going on it, I feel hypnotized; often writing as many as 1200 words in an hour. I chalk this up to being able to let go of everything, self-doubt, depression, perceptions of others, and just let the ol’ Freak Flag Fly.

The fourth, and final WIP I will talk about now is a story called ‘Fogweaver’. This is a high-fantasy novel based on a characters I created in my award-winning short story, ‘The Countess and The Bard’   I am a fan of the fantasy genre, but I, like many others I am sure, do get a bit tired of the same old paradigms showing up again and again. To continue on my line of thinking from above, you can write a shitty fantasy novel and people will still read it. I am quite picky when it comes to fantasy I read. Sure, the old standards come up: Tolkien and Robert E. Howard being my top two, but there are plenty of others as well. Fantasy is a genre I am fearful of, tremendously so. The reason being because I don’t want to be one of those countless authors in an over-saturated market that just follows the Joseph Campbell playbook to the letter. This story revolves around a kind of calamity that has beset one of the outlying towns of a powerful seaside kingdom. The new Queen(identified in ‘The Countess and The Bard’) sends her trusted advisers to investigate and resolve the situation. She also sends The Bard, her personal entertainer and man solely responsible for her rise to the throne; a man who knows little of possibly supernatural plagues. The story does become a journey of sorts, one that I hope will be original enough, yet familiar that it will intrigue potential readers. I am excited for this story because it is a genre that I am not used to writing in AND it is the first novel I am writing long-hand. I find this to be wonderful, especially on long trips in the car, when I am not driving, of course. My key to writing fantasy? I am not writing it as a fantasy novel, not really. I am writing it as a story, a story that happens to have fantastical elements in a more medieval society. I am not trying to emulate anyone but myself. Influenced by? Sure, mostly Howard, but that’s about it.

So, WIP. I’ve also got a whole notebook of ideas in my file cabinet. I write them down as they come and store them away for safe-keeping. At last count, I had about seven novels and probably as many short story ideas in there, all ready to go whenever I am.

And once again, Kyle/Kile wins.

 

 

Comments
  1. Fantastic! Loved reading about your projects and progress — write on!

    Like

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