Chapter Sixteen of SILVER BROWN shall be presented to the fine folks of Planet Earth, via Twitter. At a rate of one page a day, like always. It is a relatively short chapter, so it will be followed immediately by an encore presentation of Chapter Thirteen on Facebook. I have something more grandiose planned for the summer, so I wanted to keep things light this time around.
In case you’re not clear on the context, Chapter Sixteen opens with two witches standing in front of a mysterious toolshed on the forest island of ₪EYONUGHIISHI, the elder witch having just cast a spell to summon a colossal faceless entity that lives within the toolshed’s TARDIS-like interior…
I’ve always been inclined to be a pantser. Both in life, and in writing. I shan’t elaborate further on how this disposition relates to the former. But the latter probably comes from Stephen King, whose 2000 how-to/autobiography On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a book I would highly recommend for anyone looking to take up this art for themselves. Chock full of useful tips and tricks on writing fiction, from an undisputed expert on the subject.
Somewhere in the aforementioned tome, King states that he always starts a book having no idea how it’s going to end. Decisions on such matters are to be left up to the characters, who take on a life of their own as the author writes, driving the story in ways the author never anticipated.
That approach (or at least some badly misinterpreted variant thereof) is one I’ve incorporated many a time. There would be a general idea about plot devices and where the story would end up eventually, but for the most part I would take an improvisational route to writing fiction. The results were hit and miss. Making it all up as you go along is all fun and games until you end up writing yourself into a hole. But never a waste of time. There are certain genres where one must learn to play before learning to hunt…
The Environment is a character in this crazy yarn I’m currently tinkering around with. Like it tends to be in many a work of speculative fiction. All other characters and events spring from the Environment, so the Übercharacter required more fleshing out than any other character. I had to invest the time to wrestle with the Übercharacter, like a bear cub wrestling its littermate. So It could hone Itself, eventually becoming strong enough to take off.
A brand-spankin’ new year has arrived. Immediately following a year that has seen all manner of weird. To kick things off right, Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen of SILVER BROWN are presently being tweeted for the reading enjoyment of the fine folks of Planet Earth, at a rate of one page a day. These chapters are chock full of exposition and flashbacks, and are set on a forested island inhabited by flesh-eating beetles. There’s a colossal subterranean faceless entity in there too, manifesting somewhere in the last few sentences. Which might not seem so strange, after the year we’ve just been through. If the earth’s gravitational pull should suddenly and inexplicably fail, or vast armies of arachnoid hostiles from somewhere beyond Canis Major should mass-impregnate our women, it’ll probably be seen as a minor inconvenience in our post-2020 world. Like losing one’s car keys.