In my last post I was chatting about how I had some stuff that I wanted to work through on this here site. I spent the last couple days trying to relax (between book phases), but ended up working more than I’d like—not even fun writing work, stupid boring adult type work. I did, however, manage to get some time in to look over my notes for my Shadowmen book and go over the first chapter that I’d written. It’s a lengthy chapter, so there was a bit of stuff to go through, and my journal was pretty well filled out. I’d had the idea for the entire book before I sat down to start writing, which is unusual for me.
Anyways, onto the book itself—I had intended for the story to be quite dark but when I looked over it again (as I’d worried) it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I’d made the world muted, for sure, and a bit oppressive, if that’s the right word, but it didn’t have the grit that I wanted. I wanted the reader, which is me in this case, to really feel like things were bad for these characters, not just that stuff was happening and they were along for the ride. I think part of the problem is that I’ve spent so much time working with young adult fiction that it was a bit hard for me to pull out of that mindset. The Dreamstate books right now are even on the younger end of that spectrum—they age as the story does, but for now, they’re young. Dark, in the context of those books, is not the same as a dark world for adults. I was about seventy-five percent of where I needed it to be, but that last twenty-five percent was what was killing it for me. Everything was too soft—you could see the suffering, but there was no pull… no… you felt like it was temporary and that good things would happen to these people eventually. I don’t want that feeling to be there, I want there to be as much uncertainty for the reader as there is for the characters.
Out of context this probably sounds quite harsh, but trust me it works with the story. This isn’t horror or anything like that, but it is going to be a very grounded adult science fiction story. Maybe fantasy, it really depends on which way you consider the plot to be. I have a couple ideas that I want to implement to grunge up the world a bit. There were a few other things too that felt a bit strained, but they don’t really matter (easy fixes with word choice and whatnot). I need to darken a world, make characters more susceptible to danger, and maybe kill off someone that I thought would live. Like I said, I have ideas and I’ll know much better how they work once I give them a shot.