I haven’t posted any new stories lately, but this is not because I haven’t been writing. On the contrary, I’ve been rather busy with stories lately. In fact, I recently completed one tale set during in World War I, involving Nathan and a zeppelin. Sounds intriguing? Well, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until the 2nd anthology “Two for the Road” to come out, to read it.
Which with a little luck, and some actual work on my part, may actually happen later this year. We’ll see. Honestly, I would like to see it happen, but if I’ve learned anything these last few months is that “Life gets in the way…”, so we’ll see. I’ll try to keep you all in the loop as best I can.
In the meantime, I’ve also been working on a second lengthy tale which will also appear in that collection. This one will have a trigger warning at the beginning because the subject matter involves a sex trafficking operation. This tale will involve some sex, violence, and threats of violence against women. The story will not be told by Nathan or one of the other regular members of the cast, but someone new who will wind up having an interesting impact on Lisa.
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? I hope so, because this story has given me no end of difficulty to write. In most of my other stories, actually all of them now that I think about it, when the storyteller is not Nathan, Lisa or Marisa, it’s someone who is already familiar with the secret of Nathan’s condition or are being told about it (like in The Artist tale). Admittedly, in the first book “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, Marisa and Pastor Lamar Gregory, but both learned the truth before the book was over. Or at least witnessed firsthand, some of what he could do.
However, this time I’m working on a short story… hell, who am I kidding it has already reached novelette length. Anyway, this time I’m working with a character who has absolutely no idea of who (or what) Nathan is.
And this is where I’ve been encountering my troubles. I want her to remain ignorant of Nathan’s vampiric nature and abilities. So trying to juggle the events that unfold in the story in such a way that neither she nor Lisa actually see him in action. Oh, they might catch glimpse of Nathan’s fury here and there, but without actually seeing who’s doing what. Most of the action takes place off screen, but they and you the readers will get to see a fair amount of the aftermath, and some of it will NOT be pretty. I’ve had more than one person tell me how they’d like to see Nathan not hold back for a change. So, expect a body count in this story, and I warn you all that some of it will be grisly.
Now in order to achieve this effect of keeping the main storyteller ignorant, I’ve had to remind myself time and again about perspective. And it’s been an interesting challenge to write the scenes in such a way that keeps the reader in the know, but not our heroine. To deal with this problem, I’ve resorted to making sure most of the more violent action scenes off screen, but close enough for our storyteller and Lisa to hear and react to what they can make out.
But it took me a while find a way to pull this off, as I don’t want readers to get bored. Most of you are used to getting to witness the action firsthand, so to speak. But this time, I’m kind of using a method that H. P. Lovecraft (the author and creator of the Cthulhu mythos) employed. In his works, many a time the main character catches a brief glimpse of something to horrifying or mind-shattering, that he only gave the reader snippets of what the character saw, then focused mainly on how it made that person feel. The horror, the revulsion, and sense of being in the presence of something that didn’t belong in this world, to make the reader feel and react to the situation as if they were there.
It’s a unique method of storytelling, but extremely effective. I’d compare it to the use of shadows in early horror movies to let the audience ‘see’ what terrible thing is being done to a victim. I for one still love this technique and still shiver at some of those old black and white scenes. This is probably because I subscribe to the idea that as much as special effects artists can come up with incredible and grisly results, it still doesn’t compare to what our own imaginations can come up with. Lovecraft understood this, and it is why his works are still sending shivers down spines to this day.
Anyway, as I’ve worked on this story, time and again I find myself writing the action where Lisa and our storyteller get to see too much. It’s at that point I have to say to myself, “HEY! I thought we were keeping Nathan and his abilities a secret, remember?” At which point, I have to go back the next day and fix that area, because these realizations don’t always come to me as I’m writing.
There’s also another problem I’ve been encountering that involves Lisa. Because she clearly states in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” that she’s never seen Nathan’s darker side. And the tale I’m working on takes place, just weeks after her Sweet 16th birthday and two years before the events of the novel. So now I had to ask myself, how do I explain why she doesn’t seem to recall what happened? Yes, I’m one of those people, who questions apparent inconsistencies in television, movie and book series. Well, rest assured, I’ve got a solution worked out for the problem.
In fact, a lot of the things that take place in this tale is laying groundwork for a number of plans I have for Lisa, Marisa, and Nathan down the road. But first I have to finish writing the story, which will require me to keep the story in the right ‘perspective’. Which I hope will come easier with time.
My apologies if this entry was more about my writing process, but I thought you all might like a little insight to how and why I write the stories the way I do. Point of view, and perspective, are key elements to how I come up with stories and the tone I set for them.
See you all again soon. Take care and happy reading my friends.
PS: Having recently completed my professional Voice Over training and gotten my demo recordings back, I’ll be focusing on turning both “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” and “TVB – One Day at a Time” into audiobooks and release them later this year.