The Journey of SILVER BROWN

I Drink Your Very Essence

Ripping pages out of SILVER BROWN and scattering them about these wretched social media networks has all in all been a valuable exercise, methinks. When I first showed the manuscript to friends and relatives, some would give me honest critiques. Mostly concerning easily correctable oversights. A particular deployment of punctuation that was too unorthodox for their taste. Important details that weren’t revealed early enough in the narrative. So-and-so didn’t respond like they expected in a particular scene. Things like that. But overall, their impression was always positive. I have yet to come across a beta reader who outright hated it.

Other reviewers were all smiles, raving about how great it was. I’m glad they enjoyed it, of course. Wouldn’t dream of taking that away from them. But the thing about positive vibes is that they’re like intellectual candy. The dopamine rush from that candy is certainly an upper, but it’s a fleeting buzz that ultimately doesn’t nourish. I need a big ol’ slab of protein every once in a while. The kind of cerebral amino acids obtained by piloting this yarn through a medium that is well known for having no shortage of critics.


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I’m currently in the process of editing Act Two, which is a little more intensive with (hopefully plot-relevant) in-universe lore. To an extent that I’m starting to wonder if it warrants additional editing to Act One. A definitive answer to that query has yet to manifest itself. In the meantime, the first act as it is now is being offered as the main course in a literary barbecue. A research barbecue where I observe for myself which cuts of meat people find tasty and which they don’t, drinking in all that hearty broth from the people’s brainwaves. It’s been a damn good soup so far. If it was a literal soup instead of a figurative soup, it would have chickpeas in it and taste great with communion wafers and eye of newt. Can’t wait to see how that broth tastes when I start posting the chapters to come later that are actually weird…


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“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?”

The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Now Playing: Final Exam Part II (The Late Show)

Facebook is like a knife. It can either be a tool or a weapon, depending on the intent of the person wielding it. The problem with their whole business model is that Zuckerberg operates like a unwashed crazy man in a trenchcoat who lives in his van and hands out knives like candy to all the kids in the neighbourhood. With little concern for the consequences. Educating the kids on responsible knife use is always somebody else’s job, and it’s even economically beneficial to encourage knife fights every once in a while in order to draw a large crowd.


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“They come in all these different colours! Come and get ’em!”

The questionable business practices of the guy who gave me this knife aside, I may as well put it to good (i.e. not evil) use. Spreading some of that good literary Nutella all over the bread of the Internets. Specifically, an encore presentation of the tenth and eleventh chapters of SILVER BROWN. One page a day, as usual. Designated in the book as Chapters Niner (not a typo) and Ten. Because the first chapter is Chapter Zero – an allusion to computer science, in keeping with the story’s theme.

These chapters got a better reception on Twitter the first time out than I thought they would, all things considered. I’ll probably do a bit more editing on them down the road, just not now. The storyline involves my main character swallowing something which brings out some of the uglier aspects of her personality. Kind of like the way some people get when they have their third stiff drink of the evening in one hand and their smartphone in the other.

I wasn’t sure what kind of public appetite there would be for such a plot development, in light of the sheer magnitude of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot the world has seen lately. The other day I read of the man who gave us the darkly brilliant Black Mirror, who recently announced his decision to postpone production of a new season. Not merely because of the coronavirus, but more so because he felt Black Mirror couldn’t possibly compete with the level of melancholy in the current real world. I ultimately decided not to pull a Charlie Brooker. If this or any other yarn was all unicorns and rainbows and sunshine, it would be überboring as a story.

Speaking of Black Mirror, the whole eerie quotient is part of what I love about it. A lot of the episodes could plausibly happen next week. Behold, the very essence of Instagram culture, magnificently captured on celluloid…


 

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Out of Left Field

SILVER BROWN was originally envisioned as a trilogy. I later scrapped that idea, reforging it as a single volume in three acts. Similar to Nineteen Eighty-Four. With a few differences. The acts in my particular yarn aren’t formally numbered. Brief artistic interludes separate them instead. Ones that feature diagrams I created myself depicting islands featured in the world of the story, or the insignia of witchly organizations. Like this one…

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Last week’s draft had a Chapter Nineteen. Then one fine morning I decided to remove it from the manuscript. Entirely. After letting it sit for an extended cooling period, it dawned on me upon re-reading it that too many details about the mysterious shapeshifting entity known as Isimud were being needlessly spilled. I conceived this entity as a Catwoman-like character, in the sense that the question of whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy is open to interpretation. Chapter Nineteen killed too much of the mystery I was going for. It also had that out-of-left-field Whiskey Tango Foxtrot quality to it, like the “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” chapter from The Wind in the Willows. But I regret neither writing it nor tossing it. The process of writing it served as the creative appetizer to make me hungry enough to write the chapters that came after it, so everything has its place.


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Be here now. Speaking of shit coming out of left field, this is how that castle is coming along. The one I talked about last time.