I’ve been thinking about doing a complete reimagining of SILVER BROWN. Which will no longer be called by that title. Focusing on the nature of the Secret Ingredient. Which could be a metaphorical allusion to one of any number of things, depending on your interpretation. Similar to the One Ring of Tolkienese lore, only it’s a computer program. Several of the characters will be recycled, albeit with new roles. I might even rename a few.
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.
My apologies for the lack of sexiness in that title. It is no secret that in the current zeitgeist, nothing kills the sexy quite like any mention of politics. But I decided to go with that title anyway, in the hopes that it will be vindicated by the passage of time. Perhaps this blog post will have a sexy title in another era. An era when the free world is not being ruled by a living breathing Oompa Loompa. An Oompa Loompa of a far less intelligent breed than the familiar Wonkan stock, with an even looser grasp of human normalcy than the experimental bastard child of a wolverine and some thousand-fanged entity that hatched from an undigested corn kernel buried deep in a roadside pile of excrement shat by the Dark Lord Cthulhu himself somewhere in the same parallel timestream in the multiverse where everybody’s evil twin lives. A timestream where CEO is an anagram of God, but dog is not.
A couple of weeks ago while I was waiting on baited breath for some special announcement telling us of the grand opening of a fancy new dog park at a certain house on Pennsylvania Avenue, politics as it relates to world-building in fiction spontaneously came up as a discussion topic on the aforementioned Oompa Loompa’s social media network of choice…