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Testing a Setting
Yesterday, I finished the first draft of a test story for a new setting I am developing. Wow, that was a vague sentence, but it sounded like I really said something didn't it.
I liked it. I haven't written an Urban Dark (Gothic) Fantasy since 1996. I blame Emerian for my return to Horror writing. I love the genre, abandoning it only after I felt trapped in the rules and requirements it puts on fiction.
After my near breakdown in November, and the many months of recovery, I realized that I am tired of playing by everyone else's rules. I have always been bound to one system or expectations. The world I grew up in is gone, and there is little to nothing I can do to bring it back. I have to just pick up from the mess that exists now and move forward.
If I can be allowed a cliché: "Be the change you want to see."
A couple weeks ago, I started working on an idea. It was strange and scared me a bit. Unlike anything I have ever written, I didn't have a model, or genre to define it. I am not claiming that it is original. I am sure somewhere someone has written something like it, but it is mine. It is the type of story I want to read.
My biggest hurdle has been getting beyond the structures of the novel and the short story. I agree with H P Lovecraft that the best fiction is pulled off with the same craft as a well devised hoax. So I started playing around with ways to tell a strory directly and from oblique angles. I would love to share some of these stories, but they may be included in the final project, so I don't want to release them early.
My biggest inspiration comes from comics. I love the shared universe, and I would love to find some writers to help me out on this project. The idea of the setting as hero mashed up with characters that readers will really care about excites me. In the end I would like this story to spawn blogs, vlogs, and podcasts set in the world, expanding it holding to the canon.
I have never been accused of dreaming too small, LOL.
If I had any advice for the writers out there it is this. Test everything! If you get an idea, no mater how outlandish, bizarre, or out of the mainstream. Give it a try. See how it comes out, then move forward based on the results. I have found a new setting I love writing in. Who knows what you will find.