Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Angry Young Man... he ain't so Young anymore...

I got started in this writing "biz" (... which I'm not really in, yet...) by writing angry, shocking stories.


There was a guy at school, named Roy Johnson, who could write far better than me and, big-mouth that I am, I said, "Ah, that's nothing. I can do that." Before too long, someone called my bluff. (I can't remember who... the jerk...)

This was long before My Side (the original one... the book... any of it!). I wrote several short stories that were dark and angry... the kind of stuff that gets kids put into counseling these days. Fortunately, I wasn't. I was encouraged. (Then, again, look where encouragement got me!)

I was branded (by those few who read my stuff back then) something of an angry, young man.

... which was kind of cool.

But, you know, you get older and try to get wiser and that whole AYM bullshit fades after a while.

... which leads me to this morning.

I hit the 35,000 mark on the new book today. I was writing a portion about a suicidal man who can't communicate with anyone and his dysfunctional father who's trying very hard to communicate with equal results. And it was dark shit. Bitter shit. (Which is dark chocolate shit, for those who are wondering.)

"Shade up ahead," John called to him, still ahead but wearing quickly. "Come on."
Victor cursed him, this dishonest, delusional, suicidal punk... his son.
But there was shade, just up ahead, from some railroad tracks the road went under. Rather than dead end, the road was taking them north-eastwards.
It wouldn't take them anywhere, however, until they had a little rest under the shade. It was still miserably hot down there, but bearable.
Why did I do this again? Victor wondered. What was my logic?
It had been to show John how wrong suicide was by presenting him with someone who was going to do it. But that didn't work; John was more interested in reaching the canyon than Victor. If anything, it had spurred John along! It had been a horrible plan with horrible results.
And Victor's feet were killing him.

And it occurred to me that this, too, was pretty dark in its own way. Pretty angry. (If you don't believe the "angry" shit, just read about the shit his sister does to children!) And that got me thinking.

I've been writing angry characters for years.

Tsurtor, the bad guy from my fantasy trilogy, was pretty twisted.

Abby, the protagonist in Vampire Society, was pretty torn up.

With Eyes to See had a serial rapist whose prime motivation was loneliness.

And No More Blue Roses is an existential comedy about a family on the brink of suicide.

Somewhere, way deep inside, I'm a pretty angry guy. I've got demons. I've got issues.


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