Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dreaming of Wolves

Well, it seems I’m not the only one who is having strange dreams lately.  Thankfully, mine weren’t nearly as gruesome as Rudi’s.

“Tomorrow’s is especially important…”  Talk about famous last words?  You’d have thought I’d have learned by now, to stop writing cheques my keyboard can’t cash.  Still it’s a double sized chapter, that’s got to count for something, right?

Nonetheless, the latest instalment is probably the most important to the overall story so far and is a definite sign that we’re on the home stretch.  I’ve had to wait nine months to write this chapter.  Hopefully, all the foreshadowing has fallen into place.  The end is nigh…

The more I write the more I realize that I’m using a lot of ‘uncanny’ and Freudian (or, rather, Jungian) images:  The wolf, the moon, dreams within dreams and, in this instalment, trains and tunnels.  This isn’t an especially deliberate decision.  My own writer’s instincts play a huge part in this, and, really, that is the main exercise of Teratogenesis, to start imposing an order and discipline on my writing, to balance the wolf and the man.  Certainly, it’s good practice to be writing to deadline again, the pressure certainly imposes a clarity that is sometimes lacking otherwise.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Double Barrel

Two instalments of Teratogenesis as we move into the busiest five weeks of the serial so far.  In fact, there’ll be an average of two posts a week for the next month, which will account for about a sixth of the story come the end of October.  I told you things were picking up pace.

Tomorrow’s is especially important, but might not seem so for a few weeks.

Even in fiction as strange as Teratogenesis, you have to draw on your own experiences, probably especially so for weird fiction.  So, in writing about Rudi’s “aches and pains” I’ve drawn on almost all of the injuries I’ve had over the years and addressed the issues of both the terrible growing pains I had as a kid and the Typist’s Gout I seem to be developing in my hands.  It’s important to sympathise, rather than just emphasise, with the character as I write.  After all, if I can’t do, how can you, the reader?

I’ve also had to start using a spreadsheet to keep track of the soundtrack.  When the serial is complete, I’ll see about assembling a Spotify soundtrack and posting a link on here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

“I Saw The Rain Dirty Valley…”

A slightly unusual Teratogenesis this week (even by its own standards.)  Thankfully, I’d had the presence of mind to describe how Rudy writes his blog and have him do so in a way that can leave posts floating around for a few days (or weeks…)

You see, this was originally last Friday’s update, but I have been unable to write for a few days.  When I say “unable to write” that’s not strictly true.  There was something I wanted to write about, had to write about, but to have sat down immediately afterward, it would’ve just poured out of me and I was decidedly unsure of where it was going.

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid that you woke up shaken?  I have.  I’ve had dreams that have seemed to run for months and left me unsure of the date when I woke up.  Sometimes I dream of dreaming, of waking from one dream to another and not being sure of where (or when or even who) I am when I wake up.  It’s interesting to watch in Inception as an adult, but it was horrible as a child.  I’ve had nightmares so utterly vile that I can’t bring myself to transcribe them.  And, given the direction Teratogenesis will take, you may be surprised at this.

But I had a dream the other night that was so strange, beautiful and profound that it took me two days to fully recall it and another to write a record of it.  Most strangely, I instantly made a connection between one story but, on further research, found that it resembled more a legend which had influenced that story.  A legend I was unfamiliar with.

There are a lot of theories about dreams:  they are just the brain defragmenting itself, there is pool of race memory that dreams tap into, they are messages from a higher power.  I’m not sure were I stand on this, but I think there are elements of truth in all them.  Even when I’m awake, I find that writing is a lot like dreaming onto the page, that the idea is just moving through me like light through a lens.  This is what I think of as the “talent” part of writing, the intuitive aspect, as opposed to the “craft” of writing, which is very much a discipline earned in blood, sweat and the proverbial tears.

I’m not sure what I will do with this dream, but I’ll certainly do something; it’s too much of a gift not to.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taking Aim

After posting today’s Teratogenesis, I noticed that I’m nearing the final act.  As Teratogenesis has been unfolding in “real time,” this also means that the best part of a year has also passed and, more importantly, I can get rid of the current theme- far too orange for my liking, but then it’s not meant to be my blog.

If I were to start the project again, would I do things differently?  Yes.  I certainly would.  For a start, I’d probably use a Wordpress account instead of LiveJournal.  I’d also do more marketing.  Which is to say, I would do “some” marketing instead of relying on word of mouth and click-through traffic from around the web.

But there have been definite successes.  It’s taken months of discipline not to reveal the protagonist’s name, although it’s should be fairly obvious now.  There is also the issue of is he going mad (or has he already?)  Or is there another explanation?  There will be answers to that coming up as well.  I certainly don’t plan a Lost-style ending which spends the final act raising questions and then copping out on the answers.  Nothing has happened without purpose (well, there is a whole sub plot which is meaningless, but even then, that’s deliberately without meaning…)

This also means finalising plans for next year.  The secret project is on a knife edge, but probably isn’t as time critical as I thought it would be.  Characters are beginning to emerge as well as methods and means.  Next year will probably be the year of the short story as I’ll be ramping up my output from an average of five hundred words every eight days to closer to a few thousand every week.  In short (excuse the pun,) I’m planning a short story a week for a year.  One day to plan, two days to write, one for the first draft, one for the second and post on a Saturday.  This will also deliberately shape my writing habits around my day job.  There is no way I can get fifty-two short stories done, what with Christmas and holidays and everything, but the point is to aim higher so that should I fall short, I can still hit something.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Double Time

A double posting of Teratogenesis, first yesterday and again today, I guess I was right about things picking up, eh?
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but one of the things I’ve come to like about working on a serial is the progression of sub-plots and how they advance the main storyline.  The current industrial espionage one is something that I’ve  been looking forward to for a while and is an opportunity to show how strange and ruthless the narrator has become.
Teratogenesis is a character piece and we learn more about our narrator about how he is talking than what he actually says.  And the opportunity to show how morally flexible he has become is nearer and nearer with every chapter.  Things will, no doubt, get worse before they get better…
There isn’t much going on that isn’t Teratogenesis at the moment.  There should be, but there isn’t.  Steps are being taken to reverse the situation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Too Easy

LiveJournal have added a post to Facebook function (much similar to the one you probably followed here.)  At first I thought this would be a handy thing.  Then I realized that it's the in-character narrative of a maniac.

So I'm enforcing a degree of separation between myself and the the character, which is were good old GLOSSOLALIA blog comes in.  So here the latest chapter of Teratogenesis.  It's also scheduled for a change of theme.  Frankly, I've been sick of the orange for quite sometime, but, you know, it's not my blog...

Progress on the secret project has stalled and I only have a matter of weeks to finish it now.  Not looking good.