Truth be told, my compulsive pedantic nature is impacting my novel writing. I feel the need to fully explore and understand the backgrounds of my characters. Now I know that a lot of writing methodologies say that this is a good thing, but it so slows me down. As a result I ask myself “how can I turn this into a positive?”
Enter magazines and anthologies. I stumbled across a call for submissions for an anthology called Monsters. The editors at Grey Matter write:
We are looking for your most horrifying, most dreadful, most frightening tales that highlight the creatures that haunt your nightmares, or even those who may live down the block. For this anthology we want your dark, chilling, character-driven tales portraying the deadliest monsters of all—mankind.
Oooooooo! Perhaps I can write something for this and thereby fill in some character back story while also preparing an audience for the novel (whenever the latter ever gets finished).
Grey Matter are looking for 3k to 7.5k words to be submitted by 30 January 2015. It’s a tight deadline, especially considering my work obligations and current physical limitations. But what is life without a challenge?
So what will I write? Well, my main villain in Tempting in Shade is a perverted little mad scientist called Kerphulu. He is exceptionally brilliant, almost erotically compelled to inflict pain, enjoys slicing people up, recognises his own villainy, is drawn to all things involving the anatomy of magic and yet also has a desire to change the world for the better. Huh? That last bit sounds a bit strange.
So I will try to write a pivotal point in Kerphulu’s history that demonstrates all of these things. The one I chose was where Kerphulu is 18 and “operates” upon his younger female cousin. I chose this because there are repercussions evident in my novel set a few decades later. It also demonstrates most of his nature.
I am worried that I may need to step over my own comfort lines. I have never wanted to write anything with too much in the way of sexual overtones. Yet Kerphulu’s perversions demand something of this. Especially upsetting when I will be mixing it with violence. Yes, a real challenge to my own sensibilities. But should not a writer stretch themselves?
So I have a laptop sitting on a small table next to by sofa lounge. I am lying on this because it eases the pain in my right shoulder and arm. I will type with my left hand while I recline.
I would be interested to hear from any of you about times when you have had to overstep your comfort zones in the name of art (be it writing, painting or anything else).