Sunday, October 31, 2010

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Since a lot of what I write is quite spooky, it seems fitting that I’m racing to beat the witching hour this Halloween.

Not only has there been the dramatic twist to Teratogenesis, but I’ve also decided to share my own experience with the uncanny on Scribd.  As always, there are versions for both print / screen and for mobile devices.

The incident described in Crying Wolf is actually true.  But the situation is so ambiguous, even seeing isn’t really believing.  And this is where I stand on the issue of the supernatural.  If I can see it myself and there is only a paranormal explanation then, yes, I would believe, but until then I’ll just keep an open mind.

After all:

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…”

Friday, October 29, 2010

Good For The Soul

Well, the wolf is out of the bag for Teratogenesis today.

Our protagonist has finally realized what we have suspected for months.  And he has tasted blood.

And what do you do with a dog that has turned on it’s master?

The end is surely nigh.

Specifically, there is only about eight weeks left.  And then I’m starting my next project:  A short story a week for a year.  It’s entirely optimistic, there is absolutely no way I’ll have fifty two short stories, but I need to shoot high.

And then there is going to be process of editing up Teratogenesis for it’s final version.  Which is bound to be easier said than done…


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wake Up Everyday, That Would Be A Start

If I were to start Teratogenesis again, what would I do differently?

I would use a WordPress account rather than LiveJournal.  There is no way around this- LiveJournal is showing its age.  I had thought to take into account the ready built community but, frankly, the social networking element is a lot more rudimentary than I expected.  The other element is the inability to place tracking code on the blog.  Ten months in, I still have no idea of how successful it has been.  I can see how many people read this blog, but not Teratogenesis.

I would shill a lot more.  So far, all of my traffic to Teratogenesis is, presumably, either direct, from here or from the Xaeromancer Project.  And that is mostly from the fact that if I have an account somewhere that will let me post a link here, then I’ve posted a link here.  I should also have gone onto online writing forums and talked up the project that way.  Reaching the most people is the trick, as not everyone will be a fan; I accept that, but I need to reach the people who would be interested if they knew about this project.

I would have structured it a lot more.  Sometimes there is a perfect storm of synchronicity, but other times it’s a real challenge to move the story along.  I think managing the story arcs week-by-week rather than month-by-month would have kept a better pace.  It’s all a matter of flexibility versus slack and rigidity versus robustness.

I wouldn’t have bothered with the Amazon links.  Maybe with higher traffic, this would have been worth it, but so far…

Still, Teratogenesis has cost me nothing but time so far, so I can afford to experiment.  A real time window into the life an increasingly strange protagonist?  It’s not a safe bet at the best of times.  But then, I’d sooner fail for over-reaching myself than be successful for playing to the lowest common denominator.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spot The Deliberate Mistake

In the last chapter of Teratogenesis, there is a quote purportedly from Neil Young.  It’s actually from Mama Said by Metallica, which sounds like a Neil Young song anyway.  The Neil Young song / songs he actually means are My My, Hey Hey (Into The Black) / Hey Hey, My My (Out Of The Blue.)  This song became infamous when it was quoted in Kurt Cobain’s suicide not.  But, Rudy, he chose the Metallica…

One of the oddest things in this project, is to make other peoples mistakes for them.  And yes, the typos and grammar errors are left in deliberately.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Rub of the Real

I’ll be honest, I stole the idea for Rudi’s tea from a friend’s Facebook post.

I needed an example of a meaty, starchy comfort meal for him to eat in today’s chapter of Teratogenesis and I had written “a steak I had cooked impatiently, mash and a mug of Bovril.”  But when I saw a friend’s Facebook update, I changed it to beef noodles and hot dogs because it not only seems more authentic, but because steak and mash isn’t the kind of lucky combination that comes up when you shop while hungry.  You get salad and rice or beans and Spam, truly atrocious meals that you have to eat because there is nothing else in.  But sometimes, you do get lucky; the occasional pasta and chilli con carne or Mars bar toastie.  And so, we get to noodles and hot dog sandwiches.  Good call, Nik.

Also, it’s the lyrics to a song:

“…Looking for a place called Lee Ho Fuks /Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein…”

One of the things that I’ve had to do over the last year is develop who (and what) Rudi is.  Given what Teratogenesis means, it should be obvious by now, but it has definitely been easier to describe the mental changes rather than any physical ones.  It was even very tempting to use an existing clinical condition but ultimately, that would’ve been a cop out.  Which meant I had to work out what would happen to someone afflicted with the “other” condition.  I imagine it would ache a lot and would leave you hungry, no matter how much- or even what- you ate…