Monday, March 18, 2013

The World We Belong In, Not Live In

I'm currently reading my signed copy of John Everson's latest novel and Bram Stoker Award Winner NightWhere and something is bugging the shit out of me.

Not the novel.  The I just started that today and it's awesome.  I'm in love with it.  And once I'm done I'll review it on here.  Samhain Publishing hooked me up with some good swag, too.

The problem with good writing is how it makes me think.  I think about the characters, what they're doing and I put myself in that situation.  Usually from the beginning I'm thinking, "Noooo!" in a long, drawn-out way as if I'm in a slow-motion shot.  The birthday cake is about to fall from the table....Noooooo!

The same is with this one but I'm even more about screaming, "Noooo!"  This book is erotic and I'm not spoiling it at all.  Nope!  But I will say this--the characters have already pissed me off.  They have this kick-ass club and dark, evil magic at their fingertips and they're worried about getting off?

And then it hit me--we create worlds.  This is what a writer does.  We create worlds and we invite people to try them on.  Readers are like tourists.

I'm a tourist in real life.  I'll admit it.  I float from world to world.  I've done politics, BDSM, culinary, etc, etc.  It's all fun to watch but getting wet feels like settling for something almost as good as what I want.  It's like drinking Old Style and telling yourself that will do until the Chimay Blue turns up.  I don't really belong anywhere.

And I think that's the whole point for a lot of us writers.  It is for me.  I don't belong here and I'm not going to set roots in somebody's world as a way of settling for Second Best.  Almost as good, but not quite.

Nope!  I'm making my own.  The second-hand realities just don't do it for me.  I've tried more times than I care to say.  Every time it's like making a foot conform to the shoe.

Now I know why Conan needed to find his own kingdom.  You can't buy in and hope it fits.  You must create your own if you want to feel comfortable inside of it.

This revelation is helping me add dimensions to a couple of flat stories.  I get it now.  Something was always missing and now I realize I was trying to make the shoe fit the foot.  My characters needed their own rules and not to be shoe-horned into an existing world they didn't even like.

I'm going to go make some words now.  In the meantime, I highly suggest you read NightWhere, because even though I just started it I'm in love in an uneasy sort of way.  But that's part of being a tourist.  A dark, creepy tourist looking for something not in the guidebook.    

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