Well – to say that things didn’t go as planned would be understating the change in direction that occurred last week. The goal was 12,500 words… and although I almost hit 5,000 I’ve decided that I have to change my project so now I am down to a big fat ZERO!
Nothing like starting from the beginning…again.
My original project was formed months ago – but I found as I forced myself to painfully write word after word – that I just wasn’t interested in it. This new story idea – a Horror story no less – was possessing my mind. And although I haven’t written a word of it yet – it was all I wanted to think about. I would have random thoughts, plot points, ideas on scenes or characters while I was drifting off to sleep. I would imagine conversations between my characters while in the shower. Who am to say no to the muse when it visits?
The really fun part of this project is that it is going to have a nontraditional form.
My idea is to write it in first person as blog posts – and if possible unfold in real time. A little like a serialized novel or the novels structured as letters from the last centuries. It will provide some interesting restrictions and problems to solve as the plot progresses. I am very fond of the idea of the unreliable narrator. Nikolai Gogol was the crown prince of the unreliable narrator with a dash of magical realism. “Diary of a Madman” is still one of my favorite short stories and just thinking about “The Nose” has me off in a fit of giggles. The idea that a man’s nose would take off and start impersonating an official… okay still laughing.
Not that my main character will be, by her nature, unreliable – but the audience will be viewing all of the action through her words, her eyes, and her mental filter. By default we should wonder just what is happening to her and what she is or isn’t telling us.
Then there are the horror aspects – Poe, Lovecraft, M. R. James, not to mention the contribution of Henry James, Guy de Maupassant, O. Henry, Saki, and Edith Wharton (to name just a few). Okay – so I’m a bit of a classicist when it comes to tales of terror and the supernatural. But so much of what has been written in the latter part of the 20th Century and first part of the 21st owe these writers. They took the dark tales told around the fire and molded them into a literary form. Rereading them will be a joy – not to mention this gives me an excuse to watch “The Shining” and “The Changeling” again!
So – there is much to do. Much research, development, plotting, writing, dreaming, and writing to do. I now am looking at 50,000 words in just over three weeks and the holidays are fast approaching…. Yes. Crazy am I. But a good brand of crazy – I hope.
Next Sunday I’ll check in again and let you know how I did.