Another week has passed. Sickness runs rampant in my household. My poor wife has succumbed to this two week long cloud of infected nasal passages and weary fevers. I was hoping she wouldn’t get it. The percentage or likelihood of her contracting our virus was very high, since literally everyone had it around her. She held out for a while. I pictured her white blood cells being surrounded by waves of armored viral hordes with halberds, pearl masks, and shoulder blades. I think of that scene from Hero where Jet Li is pinned against the wall and surrounded by soldiers.
- Watched a lot of media this weekend. One movie was The Martian, which I enjoyed. I’m a sucker for the survivalist genre, hence why I write The Greenland Diaries. I think my favorite thing about the film might have been how Mars itself was portrayed. It was like you were locked in this dusty red jewel. Imagine if you’re living on the inside of a ruby, staring out at the cosmos from this crimson lens. The only break to the red horizon being jolts of mountains crossing the terrain like streaks of petrified flame.
- One thing I run into with interviews, questions from fans, and overall conversations about writing with people is what are some of your favorite books. Two books that really inspired me a bunch when I was younger, and helped me learn more about my own writing style was The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, and Grendel by John Gardner. The Martian Chronicles taught me that you don’t have to follow the typical chapter structure to write a good novel. You can play with form to have it fit your setting. Grendel taught me the value in writing from a different perspective, especially in the fantasy setting. Both books experiment with style to enhance their overall narrative, which is something I look for whenever I read a new book, watch a movie or television show, or enjoy any media.
- Going back to #2, talking about style and how it can augment the strength of your story, I want to talk about a very important lesson with many young writers and artists. If you’re going to change the style of your story, there has to be a purpose to break from conventional narrative structure. Experimenting is fine in theory, but if you’re going to break the rules there has to be a purpose. The typical quote you see concerning this subject buzzing around is: “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” This is relatively true. It’s inconvenient. I don’t like it. I hated when I went through the paces of writing. It still bothers me.
- I’m enjoying the 2nd seasons of Daredevil. I love the character dearly. I grew up reading the Daredevil comics. My favorite part about them were the moralistic conflicts he wanders into with heroes and villains. The Punisher appears in this season, and the character immediately thrusts the complications of vigilante justice into the the spotlight. Many would call the Punisher a hero for having mowed down the scum of the criminal underworld in bullet-bathed gun fights. Others would classify him as a murderer. It’s nice when a show goes in this direction. A story should be brave, even if it’s fictional.
- Going back to #4, I wanted to finish up by talking about truth in the fiction genre. For most of my life I have been battling the truth on a daily basis. From a young age, I realized that reality was dishonest, because the vast majority of people lie to make themselves happy. Often times the modern audience gravitates towards nonfiction because they understand it to be armored with pieces of the truth. However, if you look at how reality works in this hyper-capitalistic environment, you’ll see fiction is actually what is honest. I like to write fiction. Through one of my books, or Flash Fiction pieces, I can give a little moralistic lesson without being a hypocrite or liar. I’m viewed as simply a storyteller. I always look at nonfiction, or reality, as being this muddy pond. On the surface there is all sorts of scum and algae you have to sift through to get to the water. Once you get past this layer, you’ve got the water itself, which is muddy and clouded the closer you are to the surface. Only at the bottom, far away from the superficial forces, can the water be clean and safe. Fiction acknowledges that reality is dirty.
Thank you for reading. This week I’ve got a new Flash Fiction piece coming out on Wednesday. A new Reaction for DOL 39 on Friday. This weekend I put some pictures of my twin boys up as well. Have a good week everyone!