Archive for April, 2013

Delirium Trigger

Posted in The Creepers on April 8, 2013 by normandixon

Some people claim to live on almost no sleep. Some writers, Warren Ellis among them, have tried sleep deprivation experiments to push the limits of their craft. I remember plenty of sleepless nights in high school on one too many acid trips. I’ve pulled all nighters at work. I’ve stayed up willingly plenty of times before, but I’ve never had so many in a row. I don’t really know if it’s helping my craft . . . I guess you’ll all be the judges of that when book two (I really need to get a title going. I’m getting tired of saying book two.) finally comes out.

I’m seeing things move in my periphery, very Lovecraftian things, black like shadow and deeper than the night itself. I hear things too. Sometimes songs I’m sure don’t exist and have never been sung before, haunting hymns, and people calling my name when no one is there. Welcome to parenthood I guess. Those of you that have wandered this path before me are in the know. The rest of you can just shut up.

I just absolutely decimated a character’s life and I feel utterly horrible about it. I broke this character’s heart earlier to set them free, but this was worse. This wasn’t natural. This was cruel, but a necessary catalyst and interesting development. I spent a few chapters dancing around this one. I almost couldn’t bring myself to do it. But you have to sometimes. You need those moments. You need those driving factors in your work, but what you don’t need is to become the next cliché.

I feel like everything now is about who dies and who lives. That’s the draw in a lot of entertainment now. It speaks volumes about us as species on this planet. It certainly has always been the draw, the finality of death, the shining, glorious, heroic death, or that whimper of a death. That shocking but disappointing death. But when it comes to be the only draw I tune out. When who dies next becomes the only reason to experience something, I think the work has lost its way.

When I kill a character, or mutilate them it is a painful thing. There’s a measure of crazy in that last statement but work with me here. It should be. As a writer you should feel that loss, maybe you even explain some of your own loss, a very personal thing, in such a manner. I know I have and it has been painful , yet therapeutic at the same time. Anyone that really knows me, and cares to really look, can trace the tragedies in my work to actual tragedies in my own life. That’s the core of any good writing I think. So many of my favorite authors work their own torment into my entertainment. It’s a very ballsy thing to do, but it’s what comes natural to us.

Author. Writer. Scribe. Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” It’s the bleeding that makes it hard. It’s the reliving of those moments that can utterly crush you at times. A million little tragedies for everyone’s enjoyment.

I wouldn’t change it for a second. I consider myself lucky. I can kill off the hurt instead of holding it in. That doesn’t mean I forget it, but it definitely makes things easier to deal with. Hell, it even gives some of them a perspective you’d never be able to achieve otherwise. But the minute you start viewing things by body count alone you forget the struggles that got you there in the first place, and take a potentially brilliant work and turn it into another let down.

Make the hurt count. Make people pause and reflect. That’s the point of firing the gun, or slashing the sword, or hammer, or whatever instrument of demise you prefer. Make them count. Make them matter, and make them matter more when they’re gone.

Writers keep writing.