Hello and good day to you all.
It’s been a reasonably productive week for me, especially considering that I haven’t felt very well. I didn’t even write an entry for Iterations of Zero last Sunday, but I’m planning on making up for that by publishing two new posts this coming week—one new and one republished from among works that were previously posted here.
On the other hand, Unanimity has been proceeding at an excellent pace. On Saturday, April 28th, its first draft passed the quarter-million-word mark. This will be my longest book so far, even after I pare it ruthlessly down in the editing process. That’s not a bad thing, though—at least I hope it won’t be. The story will be as long as it must be. I’m just the messenger; please don’t shoot me (though you can, if you wish, quote MacBeth and call me “Liar and slave!”). I’m greatly enjoying writing the book, and that has to be my primary criterion for success. Obviously, I hope that people will read and enjoy the finished product, but even if I knew without any possible doubt that no one would, I think I’d still write it.
The recording of the audio of Hole for a Heart is complete, and the sound-editing process has begun. I’ve been forced to re-record some of it due to mic malfunctions during the initial reading, which led to terrible static. Apparently, once or twice while I read, the microphone cord came partly loose. The result, when looked at on the waveform-layout, is a terrible progression of spikes, and when you listen…well, you won’t listen, because that’s been deleted and re-recorded. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to hear it.
I did a little more “voice acting” in this story than in its predecessors, because there are more characters interacting, and there’s a bit more drama and emotion in that interaction. I worry that I might have hammed it up a bit in places, but at least I enjoyed myself. The story doesn’t have a happy ending, but then again, it’s a horror short story, so it wouldn’t end happily, would it? Looking back on my published short stories, only one in three seems to have a “happy” ending, and if you go back in time to earlier works, that ratio drops even farther. My novels, though, are another matter. They all end up, more or less, with the good guys having triumphed, at least for the time being.
Unanimity will end on a bittersweet note, though. Oh, of course, the situation will be resolved, and the dangers will be conquered, but the outcome will still be tragic, and the surviving characters will be scarred by their experiences. This, unfortunately, is just the way things often are—in life as in fiction.
The next novel I plan to write, on the other hand, is going to be much more upbeat, and probably quite a bit shorter. I’m not sure which of the stories clamoring about in my head will be released after that. Eventually, I’m going to write a second book, and then a third, in the saga of Mark Red, but I really want to get other things out first before I return to my young demi-vampire and his friend and mentor, the vampire Morgan. At some point, I expect also to write my prequel to Son of Man, detailing the back story of the character Michael. That’s a tale that’s been waiting in my head for at least as long as Son of Man waited.
Of course, sooner or later, I’m going to write the story of my beloved characters The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, originally created in idle drawings, and yet other books lie waiting in between. Thankfully, I write almost every day, unless I’m feeling quite ill. I’d love to be able honestly to paraphrase Epicurus and say, “When I get a little time, I write books. If I have any left over, I work to buy food and clothes.” Unfortunately, in real life, working to make a living takes up a far bigger chunk of my time than writing does. And then, of course, I have to sleep, alas.
Finally, as I said previously, I am going to start, probably next week, writing my long-planned series on my favorite villains from literature—from novels, to myths, to legends, to comic books, to movies, and beyond. Often in fiction (and less often, but far too often, in real life), villains are the ones who set a story in motion. Without Sauron, The Lord of the Rings would not be worth telling, and Harry Potter’s life would be far less gripping (though probably much more pleasant) had there been no Voldemort. Villains act while the heroes, more or less, simply react, but both of them, when they’re “good”, teach us about the world and about ourselves. Perhaps more important, reading about them is fun.
On that note, I’ll bring this blog post to a close. Thank you all for reading, and please be as well as you can possibly be.