Category Archives: My Growth As A Writer
My trials and tribulations on a journey that has just begun.
“Literature is all, or mostly, about sex,” Anthony Burgess.
But what sex? Sexual Intercourse! Oh-Jeez, not the dreaded “S” word again.
To look at this quote is, of course, to look at ambiguity. I am fairly certain Burgess means to use sex in relationship to gender, another ambiguous term in psychology when applied to individual morals.
But I am not speaking about gender, sexual identity, or being a man or woman. I am speaking about the act of physical sexual intercourse. I am sure in today’s modern over-sexed society, Burgess has been misinterpreted plenty. When I first read it, I was like…what?
Literature is definitely not, not even “mostly”, about sex. It is about desire. The need to understand, to comprehend, and even to share empathy with characters, or situations, in which we identify with or find interesting by learning something about ourselves or the world.
But what about sexual desire? We all have it, right? Well most of us in one way or another. But sex scenes have often been said to rape literature of it artistic value. However, sex in literature has been around for a long time. The Bible’s Song of Songs is an interesting example. Dante in his Divine Comedy makes an adulterous reference, though excludes to describe the act. In fact, sex is clear in many works of literature written during times we believe society to moral and pure. The Victorian Gothic is often filled with reference. Jane Eyre resist Rochester’s grouping and she listens to his stories of debauchery while in he is visiting France. D. H. Laurence, Bram Stoker, Virginia Woolf, and even Poe uses perversity in his story Ligeia.
Somewhere, during the great feminist movement, sex, in one way or another became graphically written on the pages. I can’t say I’ve read an Angela Carter story that hasn’t used sex as a metaphor, but most of her work that I am acquainted with was written before the so-called “second wave” of the feminist movement in the 1970’s.
Today, sex is everywhere. Books, TV, internet, bill boards, street corners, magazines, you name it, it’s there. I believe that for some modern writers, sex seems necessary. Romantic and Erotic Authors make their money wooing the wiles of women and men. However, when it pops up in popular contemporary literature, even genre fiction, critics place it on a double-edged sword.
And then there is the stories where sex must be used. If you have read any Bret Easton Ellis, then you know how he uses sex to convey his characters and modern society. American Psycho had so much sex in it, I thought I was reading Penthouse fan literature at times. Less Than Zero was like verging on the tip end of a moral dilemma. Yet it was necessary to show Bateman and Clay’s psychological state.
I am no amateur to implying a sex scene in my work. However, I have come on a character who requires me to express her character in the terms of sex. I guess her being a girl has made it all the more challenging. I penned my first graphic scene last night using sex as metaphor for drug abuse and anorexia. My theme explores, sometimes in brief, all the hot topics of our day. It is my first attempt at being generally Contemporary; though I am attempting to raise the bar, so to speak, on what is and isn’t acceptable to speak about in my rural society. Here is an excerpt:
I hesitate at first to do the same. Not that the thought hasn’t crossed my mind to be with another girl, just there is an overwhelming sense of disgust in myself for finding her attractive. I feel intensely bitter exploring the fine patina of her firm tummy and crevasses of her protruding ribs. Suddenly, I witness the letters E-P-I-P-H-A-N-Y floating out of her glossy blue eyes. I hardly know if it spells anything, but I realize her flesh is like an offering from God and I am at the altar.
Of course this is subject to change and I do go into rather graphic detail between Alex and Mouse, but I am attempting to do so much more than have two girls, people, have sex. Sex written for the sake of being written is wrong. It must have purpose and move the plot.
It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.
Characters are the bread and butter of any novel. Especially, in Fantasy and Horror. As far as Science Fiction is concerned, the science can stand up as a unique character on its own. I am sure the same is true with the world in Fantasy or this suspense of a good horror, but without a rememberable hero, or a villain, that is memorable, then story seems as just that, another fantasy story.
Some of my favorite heroes are Drittz, from R. A. Salvatore’s Legend of Drittz series. Terry Goodkind’s Richard Cypher and Kaylen Amnell from the “Sword of Truth” series.. I like Kaylen far better than Richard. Darth Zannah from “The Rule of Two”, and yes I believe that Anakin/Vader is the greatest character imagined on-screen. I’ll attempt to stay with books from now on. Robert E. Howard’s Conan is awesome.
What makes these characters great is that they stay to themselves. They all have a code of honor, whether good or evil, and stay true to their character no matter the consequences of their action. I have an arsenal of favorite characters that I love to write about and I am figuring out the more that you work with your characters, like the more you hang out with your friends, the better you get to know them. No matter how much I think I know them, the more they continue to surprise me with each scene I lay down, each situation I throw at them they begin to take on a life of their own.
I don’t know if this is a sin to prematurely give the names of your children, but you should look for Anawle the Black soon enough. Anawle is an assassin, who as child was kidnapped by Naz’ Wraith, the dead beyond the plane of the living, so that they may build an army of living suffering. She is my favorite to work with at the moment. I have plenty of others; Akina, Draven, Damoth, Mortimus, and Feral to name a few. These are all characters from the novel that I am working on. I know that I have posted any work in a while for the eyes of my friends and the few fans I have, but lately, I have worked on creating a language that will hopefully be found beautiful.
I will settle on no less than giving my readers the best.
Would you like to visit WNC, but have no clue of where to go or what to do? Well check out this article for some ideas!
This a link to my famous love poem “The Letter”. It is about a person who loves someone so much they are will to wait forever.
This article addressing REACH of Haywood County, NC. REACH provides immediate assistance and funds to victims of domestic violence and rape victims. If you wish to know more follow the link.
“We learn from failure, not from success!” Bram Stoker.
No truer words can be said that by the reinventor of the vampire. We all have dreams. Whether your dreams are to be the quarter back for the Dallas Cowboys, an actor in the next hollywood blockbuster, or perhaps, something more subtle like getting married and having family.
And more than anything we wish to succeed at what we want to do. However, human motivation is always quick to fail when we realize the hard work and focus required to reach our goals. It usually starts off with of failure, followed by procrastination, and then we put our dreams on the back burner, like a evaporating pot of boiling water . All that’s left is the possibilities of what were.
That old cliché that someone is a “natural” is, well, just a cliché. There is no such thing as a being a natural. When you see somebody that does something well it is because they are trained. People who train and succeed have learned one simple thing that allows them to be good at what they do. Failure!
Failure is part of achieving your dreams and goals just as much as doing it. If you believe that because you can just go out and get a contract with the UFC just because you have ripped abs, and brawl on the street well, you’re wrong. Sure you may be good, but when you get into the octagon with someone trained, unless you have luck, you’re going to fall. Google Kimbo Slice to see what I mean.
It’s that failure you have to learn from. Your faults speak more about your character and type of person you are more than your success will any day of the week. In the last couple of weeks I have learned much about my own. I have a problem using the right tense and choosing the proper form of irregular verbs; though apparently I was told that I write great stories.
My dream is to be a published author that makes a comfortable living doing what I enjoy doing. As a secondary dream, I hope that I will hopefully have one book in my lifetime be on the NY Time Top Ten list. However, I know that I still need a lot of work between now and then. Seven times this week I have been rejected, but now I know where my faults lie, and that four of these people are willing to publish my work if I can fix the structural errors in my stories. This has given me a guide to go by to better my for chances for success. Now all I have to do is reformulate my strategy for success.
A good writer is coherent. The writer can arrange words on paper with unambiguous meaning and understanding without the reader need read twice. A good writer understands what he or she writes and uses strong command of language, grammar, and mechanics to imbue the reader with emotional response. A good writer leaves all questions answered, but will provoke within the reader a strong thought about the mysteries of life, culture, or lifestyle. Whether the writer’s idea is attained through the median of entertainment of the short story or novel, the informative or argument essay, or the commentary journal piece, the good writer must do so with style, a voice of his or her own that says originality. The good writer pursues life and combines experience with vivid imagination. The good writer uses craft to articulate good writing to permeate the reader’s sentiments with ideals of life with originality and imagination.