Friday, January 04, 2008

Vicky hates it…

The tragedy of life, I seem to remember Jean Renoir saying, it that everyone has their own reasons.

The title of this blog entry is an inside joke. Vicky hates it when I put words in her mouth, such as when I say about one of my books, “Vicky hates it.”

Vicky and I were talking about the new book last night. Today, I hit the 25,000 word mark. This book is planned to be very short, probably 80,000 words, so I’m very nearly one-third of the way through the book. This book is a departure for me, as are all of my books; I’m fortunate enough to still be hitting landmarks.

Let me tell you why. My writing style is usually very optimistic. I do not like to use good guys or bad guys; those are old devices humanity has long grown tired of, for the most part. We seem to accept them in our political fictions but not in our literature. So, I don’t use them. I approach each character as a person. Bad people don’t want to be bad, I suppose, they just are. They can’t help it. So, I fill my books with accidents and mistakes and people who try to do good. Or, I should say, I did.

My new book is filled with horrible people who do horrible things. They do not try to do good because the world has shown them that any attempt does not pay off in the end. So, they fuck each other and fuck with each other. They manipulate. They are cruel. They kill. The only language they speak is hate.

Last night, Vicky said, “I don’t know if I like it. It sounds too over the top.”

She’s right, of course. It is. And I have to laugh because these kinds of stories, when made into movies, are the movies Vicky loves to watch. So, maybe there’s something to it, maybe I’ve been wrong all along. This is not to say that this will change my writing style for good. As a matter of fact, I hate these characters and I hate writing this way. It’s like writing with my fists and I feel the need to draw blood on every page. I don’t like it.

After I finish this book, the plan is to develop it into a longer narrative. Yes, a second book. The second book will be about the writer and the world he lives in. The reason for that is very simple. For all the horrors that I write in my book, all the manipulations and machinations, cruelty and murder, the world we live in is far worse. The book I am writing portrays a serial killer as a good guy and the second book will address the reality that we live in a world where this actually may be true.

Vicky questioned this idea. So, I asked her, “Who’s worse? A guy who rapes and kills several dozen women or Dick Cheney?” I mean, of course, that Dick Cheney is far worse because he’s been behind the deaths of thousands of people. He has disenfranchised entire populations of Iraqis, stolen their homes, stolen their oil, and has made a bundle off of it. And he is the Vice-President of the United States. And he is admired by many. So, who’s worse?

One of these days, I seriously need to write another comedy.

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