No blog posts in nearly a month. Since I don’t deal with excuses, I’ll give you some…excuses.
NaNoWriMo is always hard on the body and mind. More the mind this year than the body. The story I’ve written this year is much darker than expected. It’s also far more emotionally involved. The Unpeople is little more than a zombie story with overtones of everything I learned in graduate school as a Political Science theorist. All I did was take a few theories, toss in a zombie or two for good measure, jump, and pull the cord. The story wrote itself. There were only two scenes that upset me in The Unpeople.
In Ride for Life, I wanted to write a surrealist story that my better half could read and think, “Wow, how imaginative!” The goal was to think to myself, “What would Melanie do?” Then watch the strange ideas fly. For instance, it’s her influence that I thought of a chalk outline door that actually opens to an alternate universe. It was by channeling Melanie that I thought of the talking praying mantis, Marjory the walking heap of garbage (yes, a reference to a show I’m NOT a fan of but she is…Fraggle Rock), and the Peacock woman. However, my true self clawed its way through until there was nothing light and airy about my Melanie souffle.
Sure, all those elements are there. There the chalk door, the trapdoor leading nowhere, the crazy Peacock lady, Marjory, the mantis, all of it. It’s still there. But the darkness found within seems to shine through no matter how hard I try to kill it.
The main character, the man known as John Birmingham, goes missing. This is something I expected and is not by itself dark. But the other main character, Kidd, goes insane looking for him. His verbally abusive mother comes back into his life, sending him into a spiral where we begin to wonder if he still has a grasp on reality. While trying to find his client, he seeks to find himself. In doing so, I explore some dark, nightmarish themes I never intended to delve into. I wonder if there is not a light spirited story in me.
On a slightly lighter note, NaNoWriMo is over, two days early. I’m done. I’ve reached my 50,000 word count. Here in lies the problem: the story is far from finished!
You might say, “Well, Rene, that’s OK. You’ll edit down later.”
But anyone who knows my writing knows I’m a fairly minimalist writer as it is. I don’t give descriptions if they aren’t pertinent to the story, I rarely give information that you don’t need, and I never use an over abundance of adjectives. This is mostly attributable to my simple-mindedness.
Ride for Life is just going to be one of THOSE books. That’s why I need to finish The Unpeople, get it out there, get it published. That way I can tell editors that this book NEEDS to be this long.