Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Music That Made Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective

This is just a test for something that could potentially appear in the final package. I don't know if I like it.

Music was an integral part of the story-writing process. I purposely avoided all the films and television shows that came from the pool of inspiration I normally work from, instead using music to drive me forward. There were obviously some albums I listened to more than others and there were certainly some tracks that played a massive, emotional role in the process, for example Mogwai’s I Know You Are But What Am I? came on during a particularly intense bout of writing, during one of the narrative’s more melancholic moments. It was perfectly fitting and kept me writing, which I think is the most important thing here. I might mix things up next time around, but for the time being, these are the albums that got me through the month.

A Perfect Circle - Mer De Noms
A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth Step
Adele - Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Akira Yamaoka - Silent Hill 2 Complete Soundtrack
Akira Yamaoka, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Joe Romersa - Silent Hill 4: The Room OST
Akira Yamaoka, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Joe Romersa - Silent Hill: Shattered Memories OST
Amanda Palmer - Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Alternate Tracks]
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Childish Gambino - Camp
Daedelus - Denies The Day’s Demise
Danzig - Circle of Snakes
Dead Man’s Bones - Dead Man's Bones
Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine
Deftones - Around The Fur
Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist
Deftones - White Pony 
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Harry Gregson-Williams - Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty OST
Harry Gregson-Williams, Norihiko Hibino, Cynthia Harrell, TAPPY, and Starsailor - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Original Soundtrack
Interpol - Antics
Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Justice – Audio, Video, Disco
Kenji Kawai - Ghost in the Shell: Innocence OST
Kristin Flammio - Live At Southpaw
Lana Del Ray - Video Games
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us
Metallica - Master of Puppets
Metallica - Ride the Lightning
Michael Giacchino - Star Trek score
Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People
Nine Inch Nails - Another Version of the Truth [Las Vegas]
Nine Inch Nails - Another Version of the Truth [The Gift]
Nine Inch Nails - Broken
Nine Inch Nails - Deep (from Tomb Raider)
Nine Inch Nails - Fixed
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Nine Inch Nails - The Slip
Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth
Nine Inch Nails - Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
Nobuko Toda, Shuichi Kobori, Kazuma Jinnouchi, and Harry Gregson-Williams - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Original Soundtrack
Pearl Jam - Ten
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze
Reuben - In Nothing We Trust
Rob Zombie's Halloween II OST
Rob Zombie's Halloween OST
She Wants Revenge - She Wants Revenge
Sia - Lady Croissant
Slipknot - Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
The Frames - Burn The Maps
The Frames - Set List
The Good The Bad - From 001 to 017
The Lost Highway 
The Mary Onettes - Islands
The Mary Onettes - The Mary Onettes
The Rza Presents Afro Samurai: Resurrection OST
Tiger Lou - Is My Head Still On?
Trent Reznor - Quake OST
Unkle - War Stories
Zero 7 - The Garden

I was considering, at one point, to only write to Akira Yamaoka's Silent Hill scores, but if I did that you probably wouldn't see me today (have you tried listening to that stuff for long periods of time? Jesus!) so it became this grand mixtape of all sorts of genres. Good times I think, but still... what could I have done better?

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 22nd 2012

I finished writing Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective at 6.36pm today.

The first draft word count is 72,400, and it's been a maddening twenty two days of writing. It's shown me that if I put my mind to something I can get it done, which I think is what I needed for the start of 2012.

Sam has the first two thirds of the novel and is editing them as we speak, and I'll be meshing his edits with the third and final part when I receive them then sending them back for a second round of editing. I've got some stuff I need to add retrospectively, but then I think it's plain sailing.

The terrible thing is that I could keep writing it, but I know that with this one month deadline I can't afford that luxury. It was a different style of writing (frantic, stream of conscious, etc) and I think it shows in places (I fall into bad habits when I write; the more I write the more I write the same thing in different ways, and the more time I spend writing after that is time spent writing the same thing differently but the same, which is one hell of a mind fuck to get my head around).

I still need to explain what I've written. And I think now that the first draft is done I'll take a step back from the heinous daily blogging (it's not like anyone was looking every day!) and focus on other things needed for the publishing of this bad boy (organising blog notes, a glossary, playlist, all that). When I get the second draft back then I'll do what I gotta and that'll be that.

So the first Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective book will be published by the end of February. Blimey.

 The following albums were listened to in the final run at the novel. As ever, they're in no particular order: Interpol - Antics, A Perfect Circle – Mer De Noms , Metallica – Ride the Lightning, Amanda Palmer - Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Alternate Tracks], A Perfect Circle – Thirteenth Step, The Rza Presents Afro Samurai-Resurrection-OST, Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights,  M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us, Lana Del Ray - Video Games, The Mary Onettes - The Mary Onettes, Kenji Kawai – Ghost in the Shell: Innocence OST, Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral and Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 21th 2012

Word count at the end of the day is 62,531. That's bloody brilliant.

Hit the final straight but needed to sleep. Will hopefully finish the entire thing tomorrow. 70,000+ word count will be my target. I can do this. Yes, I can.

I'm going to hold off on reporting all the music I listened to this time around, more important things to focus on, but hey, doing well, doing well...

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 20th 2012

Another bus journey home and I'm writing in the margins of some magazine I picked up in a bar. It's this weird moment in transit, between work and home, that I have this weird urge just to write... and I never normally do. But why shouldn't I? Writing in my notebook seems too formal. I don't carry my laptop around with me. But there's something very... nitty-gritty about just scrawling in the blank spaces between paragraphs in some magazine I picked up. I love it. I just hope my hand writing is readable tomorrow when I write it all up. I was sat looking like a head case on the bus, and then walking home, darting between street lights, I couldn't stop. I'll have to be sure to take some photos of it, just that it's there for posterity's sake.

No word count today, but I'll give you the total that's written up: 57, 208. That's pretty damn cool. By tomorrow I hope to hit 60,000. Then my endgame is 70,000 for the whole novel. I just need to commit to that final push now. If I can get it done this weekend, even better.

Blimey.

Oh, and when I'm done, I'll give you the full lowdown on what I'm doing.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 19th 2012

Today is a good day. Stayed up later than usual but I've knocked out 5,273 and I'm getting to the meat now. There was something really stopping me from reaching the point I needed to, but I just thought... hell, it needs doing. So here's to tomorrow, and hopefully hitting another 10k in all this week, and then... here's to finishing it. Blimey.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective, in: Black Dog

I've not been able to continue with the novel today. I know what I need to write, like I've said before, but I've not been able to write it. I think I'm coming to the realisation that I can do one thing well in life at a time, and now that I'm working again I find myself... well, working, and my writing ability is being pushed into an email writing box. Dear sir... and not what I was doing two weeks ago. Two weeks ago it was writing writing writing and nothing else, so the change is disconcerting, and some what worrying. 

Anyway. 

This is a Richard Faraday story, a short one at that. I wrote this for a different character that was the basis of what I'm doing with Richard Faraday, and I re-jigged it to fit into the mythology of the Ghost Detective. The main chunk of the story is from... 2008. I've made changes today just so it works within the next context I'm hoping to establish. The story is called "Black Dog" (after the song, natch) and it establishes the framework of future Richard Faraday stories: Mystery. Monster. Magic. Later books will delve into this structure and play with it in different ways, but the first book ignores it completely for an over-arc that is just... insane. But I like the done-in-one. I tell Sam how much I love Supernatural's "Monster of the Week" episodes, and this is inspired by that format. A 'homage', perhaps? Probably not. Anyway, I digress. I apologise for any glaring grammatical errors, this is also half-edited and probably a slight mess. 


Read on...

Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective, in:
Black Dog

Chapter One:

Twenty Five Years Ago:

“This here be Hellhound country, son.

The sky rumbled, far-off thunder rolling in, but the clear sky didn’t crack, the taut blue curtain separating here and there didn’t slip, and the warm, pre-storm air refused to ease off. Something was coming. But it wasn’t here.

Not yet, anyway.

But soon…


“Excuse me?” Daniel Jarin had been taking advantage of the summer long break offered to him by his university education, and hopped a plane to the Yew Ess of Ayy. It had long been a dream of his to road trip from one coast to the other, and he was about two quarters of the way  through his journey when he found himself in the middle of nowhere, ‘pumping gas’ into the cherry red convertible his father had arranged for him from the other side of the world.

Going on six thousand miles away, and his dad still had his eye on him.  

Dan had just finished filling the car when the man hobbled into view, all nostril flares and grandiose overstatement.

“Were you talking to me, sir?” asked Daniel.

The crooked man who owned the gas station stank of beer, like he’d taken a life-long dip into a vat of the stuff. The man sniffed the air, and then loomed large over the British tourist. “Hellhounds. They roam the hills around the town, picking off stragglers and runaways. That’s why you don’t leave Deliverance at night. Not if you want to be making it out to the big wide world by morning.”


Dan handed him three ten dollar bills, and then leaned against his car, chuckling. “You’re joking, right?”


The man licked his thin, yellow teeth delicately, and then pouted, almost hurt. “Do I look like I’m joking?” The man unbuttoned his shirt, and pulled it open, revealing an unearthly black scar that traversed the length of his torso, vanishing at his waistline. “Do I really look like I’m joking, boy?”


“Oh, wow, you’re insane, man. And no offence to you, but I have to be on my way. Thanks for the petrol. Uh. Gas.” Danny climbed into his car and nodded in acknowledgement, before turning the key in the ignition. He thanked his stars when the engine roared and he could get on his merry way. He’d seen enough bad films to know which way that conversation could have gone. It could have ended with chainsaws and a frenetic addition to the film score, it could have ended with blood on the sand and his corpse hanging by hooks in the basement of the petrol station. It could have ended… but it didn’t.

Not yet, anyway.


The man patted the bonnet of the car as it rolled out of the station, and the man shouted a goodbye. “My pleasure, kid, just remember though, don’t be travelling down Route 666 after midnight--!”


Route 666?’ thought Danny, as he drove out of the garage, ‘There’s a Route 666 out from Deliverance?’

‘Seriously?’


The road was empty and the signs passed by like dreams in the night, not entirely there and hard to remember when they were gone. Dan’s radio was dipping in and out; he was far from anywhere, in the middle of God Knows USA, and he was lucky to be able to find anything to keep him amused and cognisant on this long drive through the night. He didn’t mind these night rides, he loved the stars above and the long empty road, but for some reason-- some reason that itched like that nagging thought of ‘Hey, did I lock the front door before turning in for bed? Did I lock the door and what’s that sound downstairs like footsteps?-- he was nervous tonight. Was it something the old man had said? A story like a virus, infecting his head with thoughts of Hellhounds and horror?


The radio found a signal through the static and the nonsense, and began to spout words. “--It’s nearing midnight in Deliverance, and we here at K666 are going to be leaving you to your regularly scheduled static in a few minutes time, but by popular request, we’ll be leaving you with this little ditty. Catch you on the airwaves human folk, till next time. I got to keep moving, I got to keep moving, blues falling down like hail, blues falling down like hail…”


Dan looked at his digital watch, a gift from his mother on his twenty first birthday. 11.59pm buzzed back at him. He looked up at the road, and leaned back in his seat. He’d have to drive all night to reach civilization. He enjoyed the desert roads and the curiosities that came along with it like he loved the stars and the vastness. He enjoyed the mythology of America. The long road cleansed him of the city. He was a nomad in spirit, and he loved it. This whole experience made him feel like he was Real American, not just a naive stranger to the land. He made plans in his head to move here when all was said and done, when university was a footnote, but until then…


“…Mmm, blues falling down like hail, blues falling down like hail and the day keeps on remindin' me, there's a hellhound on my trail…”


Danny’s grip tightened on the steering wheel as Robert Johnson crooned. He looked down at his watch. “Huh.” 11.59pm still. Weird. The hairs on the back of his neck began to prick up. He tapped along to the scratchy strumming of the guitar that echoed out into the night sky.


A wolf howled.


He grinned. Real American.


“…Hellhound on my trail, hellhound on my trail…”


He looked at his watch. 11.59pm. It had been 11.59pm for two minutes now, hadn’t it? His watch must have been broken. He didn’t know how and he didn’t care. There was no clock on the dashboard, and his phone was stuffed inside his bag somewhere on the back seat. He’d check it when he pulled over next. Time could wait. Time always could. He shook his head and rolled his eyes, staring back up at the stars.


Then the car began to make an inhuman noise, like the interior of the engine was being torn to shreds, like it wanted to throw up and die.


The engine spluttered and coughed. It screamed for Danny to pull over and take the key out the ignition. It prayed for a stop to the pain. Dan acquiesced hurriedly. He rummaged in his bag and grabbed a flashlight from one of the pockets. After fumbling with some batteries the torch clicked on and Dan opened the hood with a flick of a switch underneath the steering wheel He headed to the front of his convertible and checked out the damage…

Everything looked fine.

He stuck the light in as far as it could go without it getting stuck and preventing him from surveying the damage. Nothing. How weird. He looked back from where he had just come from. Deliverance. The town was dark. Not a light on in sight. He sighed. “That’s about an hour walk. Two and back.”


He grabbed his duffel bag from the trunk and what he had called his survival kit from the backseat, and began the walk back to civilisation.


Daniel Jarin never reached Deliverance.


The authorities found the car, abandoned with no petrol in the tank.


It was like Daniel had just pulled over and walked into the desert.


The sky was free from the Hellhound song the next night.

Chapter Two:

He pumped the gas into her car, and looked up at her, his jagged grin as wide as they came. “Passing through?”


“No, I’m visiting my grandpa. You might know him, Lon Gardiner?”


The man’s eyes darkened. “I know of him.”


“Well, I’m Lucy Matthau. I grew up here. You might know my grandfather, Lon?”


“Oh, that’s interesting. Prodigal daughter returns. I’m Travis Kent, but the peoples ‘round here call me… Well. Travis.” He chuckled. “When’d you leave?”


“Ten years back now, I think. My mom, she married my dad and, well, been in San Fran pretty much ever since. But my grandpa, he stuck around and it’s been so long… I just had this urge to come home.”


“Understandable, Ms Matthau. Well, you’re all done here, I don’t want to be keeping you.” He doffed his cap as she climbed back into her car.


She hesitated. “Do I know you?”


Not yet,” he winked. She smiled tentatively, and as she pulled out, another car pulled in, and the garage owner smiled. He stank of beer but there was an eerie familiarity about him. She probably did know him. Everyone knew everyone where she had grown up. Travis Kent was probably a name and a face that had been lost to the ether of growing up.


Lucy drove on. She was home now. It had been ten long years, she’d lived, she’d loved, and now she was home. She drove through familiar streets, passed familiar store fronts, and headed to the north of the town, toward her grandpa’s home, just inside the limits.

She pulled into his driveway, and caught a glimpse of her grandfather in the doorway, talking to a man in a brown coat and hat. “Weird…” The old man noticed her sudden arrival and grinned as wide as someone humanly could, and the man he was talking to slowly turned to look at her.


Where she was petite and blonde, the stranger was tall, dark and conventionally handsome. He looked like a movie star. Not the ones you would see nowadays, swaggering and steroid-infused, no, she cast her mind back, and conjured up the stars of her mothers favourite movies, of Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, and that memory warmed her.


“Bunny rabbit!” cried her grandpa with happiness, as he jogged down to meet her. The man behind him followed slowly, not wanting to intrude on the moment.


Lucy felt herself crumple in her grandfather’s embrace, but she was very much aware of the attractive man standing on the outskirts of their reunion. “Gran’pa, company…”


“It’s been years! I don’t think my guest will mind me squeezing the life out of my little bunny rabbit!”


The man behind him chuckled, “Murder would bother me somewhat, but I’ll leave you to it. I’ll see you later, Ivan.”


“Alright. We’ll grab that beer I owe you!”


“Yes.” The man pulled his lapels up, and walked down the old, dusty lane, and vanished round a corner, leaving Lucy and her grandfather on his drive.


“Who was that?” asked Lucy, as she felt herself collect itself after being on the receiving end of a bear hug. “And ‘Ivan’? Who’s ‘Ivan’?”


“That’s my name,” said Lon with a smile. “I wasn’t always American, you know. And he was an old friend. From my past.”


“‘Old friend’? He’s pretty young to be an ‘old friend’, gran’pa…”


“Well, yes, that’s all subjective isn’t it? Now come in! A chill just threw itself up, and I bet you have many, many stories to tell, yes?”


“Of course!” She followed her grandpa into his house, but found her eyes wandering to the bottom of the road, where that mysterious man had just stood. ‘Old friend’?

Chapter Three:

“--It’s nearing midnight in Deliverance, and we here at K666 are going to be leaving you to your regularly scheduled static in a few minutes time, but by popular request, we’ll be leaving you with this little ditty. Catch you on the airwaves human folk, till next time.”


“Can you turn that off, Sam? I mean, can’t we just talk for a while? I’m getting sick of fucking pirate radio…”


There's blood on the wall… So what..?


“Oh, honey, I love this song, ‘sides, after this, all we’ve got is dead air. Five minutes, ok? Five minutes, Danni, then I’m yours.”


“Fine.”


“What’s the time, beautiful?”


Danielle glanced at her watch. “11.59pm”


“Then by my calculations, we’ll be home before morning. I’m quite happy I pepped up on caffeine. That town sure does a mighty strong cup of Joe.”


The radio continued to shriek. Screams and grinding computer sounds. Danni hated this. Her stupid boyfriend’s stupid taste in music. She could barely make out the lyrics. Whatever. Five minutes.


“Woo.”


“This road trip was your idea, Danni! Don’t be woo-ing me!” He fell silent, and looked out at the road.


Danni found herself tapping along to the sound of machines shrieking. “I didn’t like that gas station guy.”


“Him and his stories. Yeah, God love those loons. I mean, what was he on? And that story… Mothmen? What the fuck are Mothmen?”


Man. Singular. Mothman,” corrected Danielle


“Is that anything like a Batman?”


“Batman’s not real.”


“And a Mothman is?” Sam turned back to the road, and then ground his back teeth as the engine began to howl and whine. His grip tightened on the steering wheel and a flash of panic flared in his eyes. “Oh, Jesus, oh, Jesus, okay, pulling over, pulling over and we’ve pulled over and we’re okay…”


“Calm down, Sam.” Danni laughed. She climbed out of the car, quickly followed by Sam, and they opened the hood. “Well. I can’t see anything wrong with the thing… But then again I’m not a big burly man-man like you are. What do you think, hon?”


“I have no idea. My dad was the mechanic, not me. What do you say we head back into town? It won’t take us too long. What’s the time now?”


“11.59 at the PM. Huh.” Danni put her watch to her ear to try and hear ticking. Nothing came of it. “That’s weird. My watch has stopped.”


“Well let’s get--” Sam paused. He looked around. “Did you hear that?”


“What?”


“That fluttering? Like wings?”


“Don’t you dare, Sam. Not after that Mothmen crap.”


“Mothman! And I’m not joking, I hear like--” An inhuman shape swooped down and knocked Sam over, and Danni shrieked. “Danni, get back in the car, get back--” The mass engulfed Sam, and he screamed as talons dug into his chest, blood dribbling down his torso. “--Aaaaaaauuuuuuu!”


The creature was bigger than a man, its body was covered in scales and its eyes, crimson and as big as fists, glowed in the night sky. Its mouth, full of rows upon rows of fangs, dribbled saliva down on Sam’s face, and as he fought to get the thing off him, he didn’t notice the footsteps behind him.


A fantastic beam of light illuminated the duo, and the creature screamed-- like glass shattering-- as it jerked back off of Sam. At that moment it looked like an insect with its wings pinned. Like it was having a seizure.

“Get away from him.”

The creature looked at the source of the light, and leaped for the person behind it, but before it could even reach the source, another beam struck it straight in the chest, and the Mothman evaporated from existence.


“Oh oh oh oh God,” Sam could feel his life draining out of his chest. He could feel the blood stop pumping. This was it he thought. Dead on the sands. No hope. But the light… what was that? “oh oh God why why”

The wielder of the light went over to Sam, and placed a hand over his bleeding chest.

“These wounds aren’t real. That thing that attacked you: Not real. You can think past it, with a little help.” In the man’s hand was a thin black wand, and he pointed it over Sam’s wounds. “My help. Remember. Remember a time when you weren’t hurt. Remember 11.58pm.” The light that had seemingly disintegrated whatever it was that attacked the couple pulsed at the point of the wand, and obscured the wound that had been torn into Sam. There was a long moment of silence as Danni just watched the man whisper under his breath, but a second later, the light faded and Sam gasped, suddenly becoming active and alert-- his wounds healed. “Good boy.”


“What was that thing?” Danni clambered out of the car, her hands shaking, tears streaming down her face, and looked at the man. “Who are you? What’s that thing you’re holding? I saw Sam, he was, he was…”


“Your car works. Drive. Get the Hell out of this town.”

The man stood tall as the couple climbed back into the car and screamed into the distance. He dusted of his brown trench coat, and then froze.

“I know you’re there. I can hear you. You won’t have me yet though, will you? It’s not today. But soon.” He looked behind himself. “Soon.”

Chapter Four:

Lucy took a sip from her tea, and looked up at her grandpa. “Who was that man? I mean, apart from being an ‘old friend’ who really is too young to be referred to as such.” She laughed. It felt good to laugh with her grandpa. It had been too long, after all.


“I know him from my hunting days.”


“Hunting? I didn’t know you hunted.”


Lon smiled. “It’s how I met your nana, bunny rabbit. But that’s a long, drawn out story. Maybe tomorrow, if I’m feeling up to it.”


“Sure thing, pops. I’m going to head out and just walk. I know it’s late, but hey, I’ve got to get reacquainted with the old place…” She finished her tea and carried her cup into the kitchen. Lon followed her, and kept to the sides of the room, almost unsure if he should move closer to his granddaughter. She pulled on her coat and then kissed him on the cheek. “I shouldn’t be too long.”

Lon watched her as she opened the door. “You be careful now.”

“I always am!” Lucy loved Deliverance. Nothing had changed, the people were the same, the stores, the parks, everything. It was a weird little Eden in her chaotic world, and she was happy to be back. It wasn’t the city; there wasn’t that hustle and bustle of activity around her.


She grinned. She was really happy. “Whoa!” she bumped into someone whose attention was elsewhere, their hands holding a small book. “Whoa, sorry.”


“Oh, don’t apologize, it was my mistake,” he closed his book and looked at her for a second time. “Hello! You’re Lon’s grandchild, aren’t you?”


It was ‘Jimmy Grant’, still looking as handsome as the last time she saw him a few hours ago. His accent was distinctly English, his smile made her knees shiver with a tiny bit of lust. Who was this man? “Yes! Yes, I am. You know, we were never formally introduced. I’m Lucy.” She put out her hand, and smiled.


He took it and bowed. “Richard.” He kissed her hand gently, and Lucy felt herself blush.


“Oh! Ha. Well. Umm.” Lucy collected herself quickly. “I… I have a question, something that’s really been bugging me… My grandpa, he said, well, that you were an ‘old friend’ and, umm, you aren’t at all old, are you, Richard? You can’t be older than thirty, for sure…”


“Thirty!” Richard laughed. “I’m older than I look, but come on, age is completely subjective. You’re as old as you feel. Right now, I feel fantastic, and really, that’s what matters, isn’t it?”


She smiled. “I guess. Where you headed?”


“Uh.” Richard suddenly span around, looked behind himself, like someone had put a hand on his shoulder. “Sorry, thought I heard… nevermind.” His darkened features suddenly lit up. “I was going to grab a drink. Need to gather my thoughts. Would you like to join me?”


Lucy looked at him, confused, but then smiled. What a strange, strange man. “Sure.”

The two walked in silence for a few minutes, Lucy taking the lead almost subconsciously. This man, Richard, he was a visitor to the town, and he was just walking. Who knew when they would find a bar if he was searching? So Lucy walked, her hand brushed against the man’s sleeve, and she led him on a merry little walk through the dusty streets. There was a moment of exhilaration as she arrived at her intended location. The bar she’d always loved the idea of.

Mallory’s was this epitome of cool when Lucy was a little girl. Even as a child, she knew that if you made it into Mallory’s, you were an adult.

The school kids, even though this was a close knit little community, schemed to get in, making [embarrassingly] bad false IDs and trying their best to fool Brian Mallory, the owner (though, to her recollection, only Mark Terrance got in, and he hit puberty early, had a beard like De Niro in The Mission and after a beer, vomited all over Brian. He was barred after that.). Now that she was all grown up, and legally allowed in, it wasn’t all that impressive. It was dirtier and darker than most, if not all the bars she’d frequented back in San Francisco, but it was a bar none the less. In the corner, next to the bar, was a large, industrial radio, the kind that stood all by itself and could kill you if you were unlucky enough to be underneath it if it was pushed over…

Lucy frowned, her Eden receding to reality for a moment.


Richard approached the bar, and turned to her. “May I buy you a drink?”


“Tonic water, please.”

“My dear, I’m buying, don’t feel you have to go easy on my wallet. Anything you like?”

Lucy felt herself blush again. “A beer then. A bottle though. Never been a fan of the tap.”


Ten years on, and Brian Mallory was still there, still looking like a Hell’s Angel with a smile slapped on his face. Richard chatted to him for a few moments, and then headed over to where Lucy was sitting, an ice-cold bottle of beer in one hand and a bottle of water in the other. “So, you’ve been away from home for ten years? What was that like?”


Lucy was midway through a sip when she froze. “How did you know that?”


Richard grinned. “Your grandfather told me! I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have sprung that on you without context.”


“No, it’s fine, just surprised me is all.”


“Well, I apologize. So, he said you were in San Fran studying?”


“I went back three years ago, an English Literature degree wasn’t all I wanted it to be. Decided to do Business Management and a short course, ‘Modern American Folklore’. Brilliant.”


“The two sound like they go together!” said Richard, grinning.


“It’s something that my grandpa instilled in me when I was a kid. This love of myth and legend. He used to tell the most amazing, vivid stories...”


Richard sipped his water. “That’s Ivan.”


“Did you know my grandma then? I don’t ever get the chance to talk to my grandpa’s old friends. And I’ve never heard any of the guys around here call him Ivan. When did you know him?”


Richard opened up a pack of peanuts and began to eat them, one by one. “I was there when your grandma and grandpa met. It was like magic.”


“What? How is that even possible? This is just getting weird. You can’t be older than thirty, and my grandpa… My grandma and grandpa met over sixty years ago. I feel like I’m missing out on a massive piece of the story. Like I’m just getting the ‘one upon a time’ and then nothing else. Where’s the happily ever after? When am I going to be told the rest of this story?”


Richard tapped the table top, contemplating Lucy’s outburst, and then simply shrugged. “I just look good for my age. Your grandma and Ivan met when he and I were hunting. Damn shame when she… passed.” He cleared his throat and abruptly changed the subject. “But yes! I look good for my age. Clean living and all that.”


All of a sudden the bar was electrified with the sound of a song blaring out of the radio. The few people sat in there, sipping their lukewarm beers seemed to jump in unison, and after the first shrieking notes echoed into their heads, the next sound they heard was that of Brian Mallory swearing as he slammed his fist down on the unruly radio that had just scared the living daylights out of the majority of his clientele.


“Dammit! God shit dammit!”


“Something wrong?” asked Lucy. It was a stupid question, she knew that, but she couldn’t help but ask.


“This damn radio! And that damn radio station!” Brian grunted as he looked around the radio as it continued to play. Lucy wondered what he was looking for.


Richard stood. “What’s wrong with this radio station?”


“Pirate radio, pal, someone’s cutting into the airwaves, in between the dead space. Every now and then it just breaks in spontaneously. K666. Someone’s idea of a bad joke.”


“Why?”


“Because Route 666 was closed down 60 years back now.” Brian started to heave the large radio forward as he looked for the power outlet. “Someone’s idea of a bad joke…”


“But I’ve been up Route 666, there are signs…” started Lucy, recollecting her journey home.


“Look darlin’, I go up and down that road every other weekend to see my kids in the big city. It’s Interstate 27 now. If you’ve seen signs, I’m afraid you’re imagining them. Aha!” Brian pulled the plug out and grinned. “There we go.”


“What the hell…” Richard rubbed his temple. “What does this mean? A road that doesn’t exist…?”


“Hey, Richard?”


Richard looked up to Lucy, who was pointing at the radio. Brian held the power cable in his hand and he was now as pale as a sheet. The rest of the bar were looking at the events unfolding next to the beer taps.

“Yes?” asked Richard, until it became obvious to Lucy that he understood what she was drawing his attention to…


The radio continued to play, independent of power.


Richard’s eyes widened. “And a haunted radio station. Right. Come on, Lucy, I’m getting you home.” He threw money on the counter. “Cheers, Brian, keep on… trucking!”


Brian looked at the money, looked at the plug in his hand, and then at the radio, that still blared. “Right, thanks…” The old rocker turned to one of his patrons. “Pass me that fire axe over there, Rob?”

Chapter Five:

“What’s going on, Richard?” Lucy watched Richard look around when they hit the staid, warm air of the street. “What was going on with that radio? It was unplugged! It kept playing!”


“Batteries.”


She was not in the mood for this stranger’s attitude right now. Her little paradise, her calm among the storm that was the world, was slowly crumbling away at the edges, revealing something dark and dirty, and she didn’t like it one bit. “Don’t joke, what the Hell is happening here?”


Richard turned on his heel and looked her straight in the eye. “Something is going on, dear. You can feel it in your gut, right? That feeling of unrest? That feeling of something not quite right? That’s because something is happening here that’s unnatural. This place is haunted.”


Richard’s words dawned on her.

“You aren’t… You aren’t joking…”


“No. I’m not. Come here.” Richard held out his hand, and without thinking, she took it. “Close your eyes.”


“What? Why--” Lucy blinked once and nearly stumbled back as she found herself now stood next to her car, on the drive that lead to her grandpa’s house. How had they moved nearly a kilometre without taking a step? She thought she was going to be sick. Her stomach lurched but Richard squeezed her arm, drawing her back into the moment. “My… God…”


“No. Not God. Come on.”

Richard darted up the drive, and then suddenly gun shots shattered the silence of the town. Lucy’s hand was at her mouth, but Richard hadn’t stopped moving.

Ivan!” Richard kicked the door down, rushed inside the house, and saw a dark figure looming over his old friend, the shape’s hand glistening blood red in the darkness, each finger ending in a clawed talon. Richard drew his wand, focused all his magical power, and a cannon ball of mystical energy dissipated the attacker. Lon was holding a revolver, still smoking. “Ivan, are you alright?”


Lucy pushed past Richard and embraced her grandpa. “Grandpa, oh, God, grandpa…”


“It’s okay, Lucy! It’s okay.” Lon hugged her, dropping the gun into Richard’s waiting hand. “I’m fine.”


Richard opened up the barrel of the gun and smiled. “Silver bullets. You haven’t lost your edge, Ivan.”


“Fat lot of good it did me, Richard…” He pulled himself up, and Lucy supported him. “Those would have stopped a real apparition in its tracks.”


Lucy punched Richard in the arm, and grabbed her grandpa’s shoulder. She was so confused. So angry. “What the Hell is going on?”


Richard looked at his old friend. “Ivan?”


“Lucy… I’m a hunter. I told you that. But what I hunted… It wasn’t deer. I hunted ghosts. Demons. Monsters. I was a hero of sorts, back home. I kept the small villages safe from the roaming packs of feral Wila that caused trouble at times… I plucked many a hair from their bodies, kept my people safe… but Russia wasn’t the home it should have been after a time. I moved here in the twenties, kept hunting, kept doing what I had to, to keep this town safe without anyone knowing what it was I doing.” Lon shrugged. “They would not have agreed with my methods, I do think.”


Lucy was trying to process all this information. It didn’t make sense, but when her grandfather was speaking she listened, and words from his mouth, stories that he told, if he said they were true then they were true, that was the nature of her respect and adoration for him.

“So when Richard said this town was haunted… He wasn’t joking?”


Richard smiled. “No. I wasn’t.”


Lon sighed. “There have been disappearances… young people who came through Deliverance and didn’t make it home, I tried to investigate, but my old bones… my scrying didn’t come up with anything so I thought it must not be a supernatural occurrence. Maybe it was something simple like a serial killer. I do not know. But when Richard appeared at my door… I had no idea what’s going on but I knew it was something otherworldly.”


Richard removed his hat and coat, and sat on the seat nearest the fire. “Ivan suspected something and his suspicions ring true, as ever. Something is in Deliverance, and it’s been killing drifters. Students. The people who pass by unnoticed. That something, I’ve been able to figure out, focuses itself on the old Route 666 outside of town. Reality shifts, and until now it’s been localized, but with the projection in the bar and the thing that attacked you, Ivan… it knows it’s in danger.”


“Do you know what it is?” asked Lucy.


Richard and Lon looked at each other.

“No, bunny,” said Lon.


“I need to think. Has anything been… Out of the ordinary recently? Any blue moons or ghost swarms?” said Richard.


“I think I’d remember ghost swarms, Richard.”


“What about Travis?” Lucy asked suddenly.


Lon looked up. “Who?”


“Travis Kent, the old gas station guy? I don’t remember him… And I think I would. When I saw him… There was something off about everything. I don’t know.” She shrugged, trying to explain, wanting to be helpful. It made her feel better, but Richard just stared off into the distance, his fingers latticed, thinking.

“Who the Hell is Travis Kent?” asked Lon.


Richard jerked upwards suddenly, realization hitting him like a slap to the face. “The drifters, they’d have to fill up on petrol, which makes sense. Lucy, you don’t recognise him… and Ivan, you don’t know of him…?”

“So whoever is doing this is sat on the edge of town, going unnoticed…” said Lon.

“Only appearing, perhaps, to those it can murder without drawing attention to itself! You two stay here, I’m going to end this.”


Lucy put up her hand. “Not without--”


Richard put up his hand. “No. No way in Hell are you coming with me. This is dangerous and I’ll be back as soon as I have a nice talk with Mr. Kent. Stay. Here.” He waved his hand in front of his face, seemingly tracing a symbol in the air in front of him and then he muttered a few words. In a flash of colour, he was gone, and Lucy was stood in the wrecked front room of her grandfather, not knowing what to do next.

“Who the Hell is that, grandpa?” asked Lucy. “You owe me the truth now, after all that’s happened… people are dying?! You’re a hunter?! Your real name is Ivan?!”


Lon picked up his six-shooter, and reloaded it. “Richard Faraday. He’s a A-Grade magician. If he says he’s going to do something, he’ll do it. So we sit here and we wait.”


“But--”


No. We wait, Lucy.”


“Fine.” Lucy sat down on the sofa and leant back with her arms crossed. “This whole thing is mad.”


“This whole thing is life, Lucy. Do you want a cup of tea?”

Chapter Six:

Richard Faraday appeared on the edge of town, and looked around at the surroundings. Even at night, the sky was clear, the full moon shining down like it was a flood light above a football pitch. There was a gutted old gas station to his right, but it hadn’t been used for decades by the look of it. Next to the front door of the small store attached to the place was a deck chair, opened and new, an oddity amongst oddities. Someone had been here, and recently.

Richard walked inside the small shop and dug his fingers into the sand and dust. It was thick, there was no sign of movement within this place. He looked outside and saw the moon vanish. An impossible action over an impossible place. He headed outside and found himself walking into depths of darkness that could have drowned the unsuspecting.

What are you afraid of?” whispered the newly-drawn darkness.

The air seemed to shake. There was a sound, a buzzing like flies over rancid meat that filled the long, desert-cast shadows and made the atmosphere quake with change.

What makes your blood run cold?” continued the voice.

Richard couldn’t tell where it was coming from. The voice was close… but how close?

“I have seen things that would make you and yours hide under the covers and shake in abject terror,” said Richard, slowly. “So what’s your game?”

You should know by now that for all your bravado and bluster, I can see right through you… all of you… lowly, pathetic humans… boring… and then you… whatever you are… you scar me… you scar me… with your light?

Richard laughed loudly. “Oh, my! You’re a low level telepath. Of course you are! You need to figure out what scares us. But nothing you can glean from me--”

There was a flutter of wings, and then a scratching noise. The darkness seemed to vibrate with an electric charge-- and Richard turned just as a winged monstrosity tore into the space he had just been occupying. The darkness had taken on the form of a pale skinned humanoid, ink-black wings protruding from its back, empty eye sockets seemingly staring down at the occult investigator. Richard swallowed down his sudden shock and the monster grinned. Its wings flapped, and it floated above the sand. Even without flight it would have been seven, eight feet tall.

I know what terrifies you,” said the creature, “I know what causes you to lose sleep at night.

“Very well played,” said Richard, a thin sheen of sweat forming on his brow. “But you’re going to have to do better than that--!”

Chapter Seven:

It’s been two hours! Where is he?” Lucy paced the room, whilst Lon polished his guns. “He could be dead! Or worse!”


“What’s worse than being dead, bunny?”


“I don’t know! I just… he should be here, shouldn’t he?”


“Depends.”


“Depends on wha--”


“--Ksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss--!”


“What the hell?!” Lon jerked out of his seat, and spun around. “What the hell’s that?”


“Static?” The idea struck Lucy like a hammer blow. “It’s… the… radio.” Her eyes darted around the room. “Oh, God!”


“I don’t own a radio.” Lon pulled back the hammer of his revolver with his thumb, and reached out to Lucy. “Get behind me.”


The door erupted from its hinges, colliding with the stairs in front of it. The windows in the house shattered like a bomb had gone off, and the fireplace was snuffed out in a gust of cold air. A man stepped forward from the darkness, grinning a crooked grin. “Ivan, you old bastard, I told ya’ I’d be back for you.”


Lon’s eyes widened. He threw up his gun and fired six shots, each hitting Travis Kent square in the chest. Travis grinned as he continued to step forward. “Sixty long years, I been waiting. An’ now our little angel is all grown up! Aren’t you gonna’ introduce us?”


Lon backed up, keeping himself in front of Lucy. “Get the Hell away from her!”


Lucy pressed her hands against the wall, and looked around for a way out. “What’s going on?!”


“Sixty years,” rasped Kent. “Sixty years since that bastard came to town and killed my family and stole my sister! Him and that bastard immortal!” he sniggered. “Well he ain’t so immortal anymore, I can tell you that. He died screaming.”


“Richard?” whispered Lucy.


“Richard? Yeah, that was him. Goddamn it feels good to be out in the open like this.”


They were trapped. The creepy man with the crooked grin was between Lon, Lucy and the door, and was he… growing? Lucy couldn’t tell, but he seemed to be taking up more and more room. She had to stall, she thought, because someone had to have heard that explosion right? Someone down the street must have seen the man kick down the door and storm inside… Right? “Who are you?!”


“I don’t have a real name on this plane of existence, bunny. This body is a figment, you ain’t ever seen nothing like me before.” He laughed. “You can call me Kent though. Or gran’pappy.”


Lon threw his empty weapon aside. “This is between you and me, leave her out of this.”


“No, it’s about her too. She’s blood of my blood, Commie, you know that. Diluted by two generations of… humanity, but she got the spark alright.”


Lucy looked at her grandpa. “What?”


Lon ground his back teeth together. “Your grandmother… wasn’t…”


“She was better than what this Ruskie bastard is! More human than human! But he came along, the strapping demon hunter, an’ with her being the black sheep of the family, fell for ‘im! And you know what they did then? They killed the rest of us. Killed our merry brood. Because she didn’t like what she was and she wanted to live like the rest of them. Like cattle. But I survived!” Red and black light swarmed around him, and he really did begin to grow. Skin stretched over sprouting muscles, nails and teeth began to grow-- Lon and Lucy were trapped, and he was just getting started. “I lived through it and I been biding my time and now it’s--” He stumbled forward. “Whuhhh? Uuggh--”


“You’re done.”

Richard Faraday drove the stake deep through the man’s back, and after what seemed like an eternity, ‘Travis Kent’ fell forward. Richard swayed for a moment, before steadying himself against the wall.

“The thing with these creatures… these ‘Menageries’ as they’re called… is that they talk too much. And their spatial awareness? Rubbish. A stake through the heart kills them. Just like…” he breathed in, a bloody patch visible inside of his trenchcoat, bruises covering his face, and his clothes torn and ragged. “…The good old days…” He laughed, and then wiped his brow. “Phew.”

Lon moved slowly around Travis’ body, and supported Richard as he approached the sofa. The occultist folded as soon as he hit the cushions, and Lucy stood, confused, panicked, but safe-- at least, that’s how she felt.

“What just happened?”

“A fairy tale,” said Richard. “‘And they all lived’, or at least, part of it.” He looked at the moist, red patch inside his coat, and groaned. Lon could see the pain the man was in, how much blood this apparent immortal had lost.

“Relax, Richard,” Lon closed his eyes, and laid his hands upon the wound. Blue light drifted down from his fingers and the colour in Faraday’s face returned.

“A laying of hands. Kicking it old school today, aren’t we?”

“What’s going on?” barked Lucy. “What was that monster talking about?”


Richard leaned forward, and took Lucy’s hands in his own. “What does it mean? You’ve lived your life without knowing about your heritage and you’ve lived a long good life. ‘Travis Kent’ wasn’t human, he just appeared as one. He was a Menagerie, a collection of thoughts and shapes that he used to kill. Normally, things like that, they’re raised by their own. Raised to be nasty, evil things.”

“Your grandma was one of them,” said Lon, interrupting his friend. “She didn’t want to be bad. She was the brightest and best of anyone I ever knew, and that made her the worst of her kind, in their eyes. They were killing this town and she helped us get rid of them. Sealed the hole they were climbing through to attack the townsfolk. She was the bravest woman I knew. It was love at first sight.”

“Thing is, you, like your mother, were raised by good people. Nature versus nurture, and nurture wins, always. You don’t have some innate evil inside you. That kind of evil, like that thing had? That was created by others.” Richard squeezed Lucy’s hand softly. “If you look at myth, in Native American folklore, the Coyote was viewed as the Creator. As a force of good.” He rubbed his chin. “Reminds me of the old adage: ‘Coyote takes water from the Frog people...’


‘…Because it is not right that one people have all the water.’” Lucy sighed. “I know.” She steeled herself. “Right. So, my mom, does she…? I’ve never seen her… change shape, or anything… so, what does that mean?”


Richard shrugged. “We don’t know what causes the things from the other side to have their powers. Maybe because you’re not from Over There you don’t have access to the innate abilities of those trickster folk. Or maybe it comes with time, when you’re old enough. Who knows? Perhaps it even skips a generation.”

Lon waved the conversation away. “Thank God you were here, Richard. We could have died. How did you pick up the scent of this thing?”


Richard stood up, and picked up his coat. “I didn’t.”


Lon entered the room, and his brow furrowed. “You didn’t?”


“I heard rumblings of… Hellhounds. Monsters roaming the deserts. And I thought that a hole into Hell had opened up. I was wrong. It was all the Menagerie’s work.”


“So you were looking for a hole into Hell? Why?”


There was a long, lingering silence in the air, before Richard spoke again. He was quiet. It was nearly a whisper. “I think something bad is coming. And I don’t know what. I thought that old enemies could be rising against me, hoping to take something dear away from me… if I could have looked into Hell, taken a peak at least, I could see if those enemies were still locked up nice and tight.” Richard placed his hat on his head. Lucy could see the glint of wonder in his eye, but didn’t say anything. “I have to go.”


“Good luck, Richard.” Lon put out his hand. “And thank you.”


“Don’t thank me. It was nothing.” He turned to Lucy. “He saved my life once, this man. You’re a very lucky granddaughter.”


Lucy nodded in agreement and her smile lit up the room. “I know.” She watched Richard exit the house, and vanish into the ether outside. Lon watched her as her mind processed the events that just transpired. He didn’t know what to say. Nothing much would do it justice.

“Tell me everything,” Lucy said, finally. “Tell me everything about the world.”

Epilogue:


Richard Faraday walked. He headed for parts unknown. And he heard it, behind him. The growling. The quiet snarl. “I know you’re there.” He was being followed by something only he could see. By something only he could hear. He looked over his shoulder, and saw it there, bigger than a man, black and shaggy, white eyes and fangs bigger than anything. A Black Dog. An omen. A harbinger of death.


“You won’t stop me.”


Art by Ramon Villalobos, piece is called "Big Dog and a Man", and is based on a version of this story that we discussed years ago at length. Ramon's art is a major part of inspiration for this series. Check his DeviantArt out here: http://glantern133.deviantart.com/

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 14th-15th 2012

This has been a shit weekend for writing.

Nothing done, nothing looking like it will be done.

Oh, well. I have until the end of the month.

Encouragement, anyone?

...

Anyone?

Friday, 13 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 13th 2012

I've taken a day off from it all today.

I've worked really hard to get to 50,000, and I just need to take a moment, a breathe, and come back to it in a big way tomorrow.

This weekend I intend to write to 60,000 (or as close to it as I can) and hopefully get close to wrapping the story up. I know where I want to go, I know what the endgame is.

I'll also being writing on the blog what this whole thing is about, the concept and thought process behind, and other general stuff.

There might be photos. I dunno.


Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 12th 2012 - C

2,833 words of plotting done this week.

That total is both this book and the next, which I'm already gearing up to get ready for writing. It's kind of infectious, this narrative. I know where I want things to go, but I also know how rubbish I am and how I can get super revved up to work on it... and then don't. Never do. Have the idea in my pocket but never do anything with it. Which is super disappointing and kind of pathetic. But I should enjoy this kick while I can!

I think I need to calculate how many rambling, awful words of blogging I've done through the process too. I just go on and on, but hey, why not? All this has helped. This running commentary is going to go a long way to helping me figure out the whys and hows of this mad thing.

Anyway, the good news: 50,109 words reached tonight. Thank God.

I'm now going to go cry myself to sleep.


The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 12th 2012 - B

Woo, absconded into another office on my lunch and typed up my notebook scrawl from the last few days. I need to try and get this show in the road again. Could I finish by Sunday?
Hmm.
Doing this gives me this odd feeling that I'm collaborating with my past self; typing up, elaborating, parring back... Old Charlie always has the last say though... Very strange.

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 12th 2012 - A

On the bus into work today my brain was going into overdrive. I know how the book is going to end and I know what's going to happen in the next one. I know where every character is going to be at the end of the final chapter and I know where they're going to go in the first of the second book.

Blimey.

Anyway, I was on Warren Ellis' website and he linked to this interview with William Gibson (http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6089/the-art-of-fiction-no-211-william-gibson) and I thought you might find it interesting, I did:

- - -

INTERVIEWER:

How do you begin a novel?

GIBSON:

I have to write an opening sentence. I think with one exception I've never changed an opening sentence after a book was completed.

INTERVIEWER:

You won't have planned beyond that one sentence?

GIBSON:

No. I don't begin a novel with a shopping list—the novel becomes my shopping list as I write it. It's like that joke about the violin maker who was asked how he made a violin and answered that he started with a piece of wood and removed everything that wasn't a violin. That's what I do when I'm writing a novel, except somehow I'm simultaneously generating the wood as I'm carving it.

E. M. Forster's idea has always stuck with me—that a writer who's fully in control of the characters hasn't even started to do the work. I've never had any direct fictional input, that I know of, from dreams, but when I'm working optimally I'm in the equivalent of an ongoing lucid dream. That gives me my story, but it also leaves me devoid of much theoretical or philosophical rationale for why the story winds up as it does on the page. The sort of narratives I don't trust, as a reader, smell of homework.


- - -

I think I'll respond to that thought process when I'm home, it's bloody fascinating though.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 10th 2012 - B

Okay, so I went out for drinks tonight and didn't write to 50,000. I did scribble away in my notebook for Chapter Five. I continued Chapter Four. Okay. Well. Tomorrow maybe (but I think I'm going to the cinema). So, uhm, Thursday? Whatever.

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 10th 2012 - A

Having looked at Blurb, and at how damn complicated it is to use, I thought I would spend some of my lunch break looking at alternatives.

I signed up with Lulu some time ago because they published Warren Ellis' Shivering Sands, one of my all-time favourite Print On Demand books. I keep getting emails from them telling me I could save money if I by now, then, yesterday, tomorrow, whenever-- whatever-- but I completely forgot that I could use them until now. So I checked it out, and in less than five minutes I had pretty much applied my novel to their parameters and could have sent myself a copy of it.

What power! What potential!

I think I've found my publisher.

On another note.

People been complaining about the white text on black background deal I've got going on the blog, and I'm willing to change it (I just like the contrast, no matter what David Billington says about being "ironic") but I need some suggestions.

Onward, back to work!

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Month That Is; How I Wrote Richard Faraday, Ghost Detective - January 9th 2012

I knew this would happen. I'm back at work and the charge has gone. The urgency. I can't let that stand though. I wrote another chapter today, 1,792 bringing the grand total to 45, 090. I started writing it on the bus, scribbling notes with a shitty biro in whatever space I could find in my moleskin. I'll need another one of those, soon. I wanted to bring in more elements of the grand mythology that's available to me, and no, I'm not talking about more ITC Entertainment characters. I thought they could take a back seat for the time being.

With a chapter set in the secret city of "Under Paris" (I know, original, but it ties into other aspects of the world I'm building) I could make mention of Fée folk, Lutins and Matagots, even in passing this makes me happy. l'Ossuaire Municipal, which makes perfect sense considering where I'm taking the story, but also specific French folklore creatures like the Fée folk, Lutins and Matagots. 

I want... need... to use Roman de Renart because of the thought of an anthropomorphic trickster fox is so exciting. I damn near require a swashbuckling fox to swing in like Errol Flynn at the last moment and do something amazing. That's what I want to see. That's what I think you'll enjoy reading.

In the chapter I wrote today, I made reference to broad Japanese cosmology, and tied it into your populist-pop-culture-friendly Christianity. The kind of stuff you see on shows like Supernatural and what not. I'm trying to take a few pages out Mike Carey's Lucifer with my depiction of angels. But then again, does that go back to how Neil Gaiman introduced them in The Sandman, way back when? Questions, questions. I might introduce Jesus. That would be... actually, no, that wouldn't work for me at all. But hey, why not make your hearts skip a beat in surprise?

Anyway, I'm back at work. Today was long. Didn't leave me much time to do what's really important, but it's coming together. I'm going to aim to get to 50,000 words done by the end of tomorrow, and then when I've hit that I'll concentrate on the end game.

Am I playing for time? Am I writing some kind of weird double bluff?

...

...No...?

Hell, wait and see.

 The following albums were listened to today in no particular order: Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero and Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D as well as Interpol - Antics. I was writing without a soundtrack for a while today, just getting on with it and trying to get words down. Then I realised what I was missing, and that was a concept album about a dystopic future where a corrupt and super-charged government rule its people with an iron grip and absolute fear. Lovely jubbly. Thanks, Trent.