Friday, September 20, 2019

The Origin of Story

Story starts in darkness, in the cracks of the self. In nightmares and in dreams. Story starts in everything I believe I hate. It starts in all the self-loathing that drifts through the gray matter spiraling up and flashing like fireflies signaling for mates. It coalesces into noxious fruit I can pluck and examine. Until I learned better, I used to consume that terrible fruit and feed the monsters living inside. Somewhere along the path, and this probably saved my life, I learned to hold the nastiness in my hand and instead ask, "How is this useful?"

The answer is that it's useful in creating characters and plots and conflicts. You'd think I'd be writing horror based on this, but I'm not all snakes, spiders, and blood dripping down the walls. There's the other side of the coin - the deeply, (maybe naively) optimistic part, wanting to believe the best of everyone and everything at all times. That's where the romance and the HEAs come from. The dead bodies and violence are courtesy of the shadow version of me that loves nothing more than to stab happy me in the back with grotesque nightmares and manipulative old awful thought patterns. You know those memes about "Oh, you're trying to sleep? Here let me replay the past 20 years of everything you've done wrong, ever." That's the shadow's favorite weapon.

Grab that weapon, though, turn it over in your hand and ask how it applies to the book you're writing right now - where does my character feel like this - and the blade dulls. It doesn't hurt as much when your shadow tries to stab you with it again. Since I'm doing my best to pretend this is all totally normal and not that I might out to be trussed up in a fancy white jacket, I want to hope this resonates with readers. I hope that my characters and stories and conflicts feel true. Even if the beings experiencing them are darting around the galaxy.

Speaking of which. Guess who got a cover for Enemy Games, Chronicles of the Empire Book Two? This is the first look. Isn't it pretty?? Can I just shout out how much I adore my cover artist, Debbie Taylor?

The release date for this book is October 16, 2019. If you've read this book, I did some rewrites that altered a few scenes. It doesn't change the trajectory of the plot in any way. But there are changes. If that sort of thing matters to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment