Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wise Man Says: A Finger In the Nose is Not the Nose

I'm just shy of 40k on my WIP, working title of "Amity". I'm procrastinating starting writing for the night, because I have to get up from my chair in about 10 minutes and make dinner. Just enough time to blog.

This story is different than anything I've written, and different than anything I've read. It looks at a subversive community--a real community, mind you--and, as such, uses a lot of the extremely non-PC, offensive language of this group. My fear--other than it will never see the light of day because it sucks--is that it doesn't suck entirely but nobody will publish it because of said offensive language. I've also considered that it will get published, and that the people that this group mocks make a big deal out of it. It's not the worst thing published, by any means--think of, maybe, American History X or Brokeback Mountain, and the language that an antagonist would need to use to develop the persona of a, well, a hateful prick. It's that kind of colloquial banter. I'm wondering about potentially alienating an audience right out of the starting gate. But, that's definitely cart-before-horse. I need to finish the damn thing first.

Does it seem obvious that the writing is not the writer, or do you just draw that connection automatically that, for example, based only on the works and not interviews, etc, that Annie Proulx is sympathetic to gays, or Chuck Palahniuk is an anarchist, or Ayn Rand is hyper-conservative, or Dan Brown is an iconoclast, or Hunter Thompston was, well, whatever the fuck Hunter Thompson was?
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My copy of Barry Napier's Debris just arrived. I have been very neglectful of my reading and still need to knock out my current book, but I'll probably put that one next on the pile.
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9 comments:

Natalie L. Sin said...

I think things come off differently when it's the author's opinion v. the character's mindset. If certain themes or situations permeate several stories/novels I am more likely to attribute it to the author. For example, I am fairly certain that Stephen King really does like baseball ; )

Jamie Eyberg said...

I think a certain train of thought does infiltrate a writers works but the works also allow a writer to explore subjects from a different point of view. I know I am not homicidal in nature, but my characters can be. ;)

Jeremy D Brooks said...

True...I guess when Hunter Thompson spends a whole chapter in first person extolling the virtues of psychedelics, it's kind of a giveaway. I think I'm probably safe as long as I can distance my narrator from my hate group character(s).

Barry Napier said...

I hope you enjoy Debris!

I think Vonegut is a great example of how the man himself was sort of an extenstion of his writing. of course, that was a good thing for all of us...

Jeremy D Brooks said...

BTW, Barry, I had Under the Dome and Debris both in my shopping cart, and suddenly got frugal and opted to eject King. That's gotta be worth something, right? That means if you ever meet him, you can poke him in the chest at least once. A little. ;-)

Aaron Polson said...

I do live with dead children in a pond behind my house. Really I do. We make up games and wear cockroach carapaces for Halloween.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

Hah! I knew it...Aaron is exposed. You have a city of little people living in your backyard, too, don't you?

katey said...

What Natalie said. I think it's obvious when it's personal opinion and character opinion. Themes in general tend to reflect an author's leanings, even if on accident. Character's opinions, not so much.

I think about it too sometimes, as in the last book I wrote I had a lot of heavily opinionated characters with whom I violently disagree, personally. I think it's right and admirable to be true to your story, and honest about the kinds of people who inhabit that world. Right on, dude.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

Very true...that's basically the stance I'm taking: the story is greatly diminished if my characters run around saying PG-13 insults, and I may as well not write the dern thing. So, the bad words are in.