I’ve mentioned a few times here and there that because of folks like Daniel Jose Older, Nk JemisinJemisin, and having an amazing editing thing with Court Merrigan (I’ll be able to tell y’all more later) and what I’ve been doing with my Yeah, Write stuff I have been figuring out how I do word-building.
One of the things that has been a constant in my writing life since I was a kid is my habit of seeing a literary thing, reading the fuck out of the thing to study it (and now I have mother fucking YOUTUBE for that, more on that later) and teaching myself how to do the thing.
I have experimented with huge grand world building as in creating an entire other, uh, version of history on earth. That is too much for my little nerd brain and I have a habit of getting bogged down. For instance. For an RPG character I wrote an entire religion starting in Sumeria up through modern life. I rewrote historical events from Egypt to Rome to the US to hide the existence of an ancient seer/sorceress/vampire.
When I tried the first time to write a vampire novel, I wrote in an entire alternate history for the 23rd dynasty in Egypt and fell out. So huge scope is not my thing yet.
I’ve been doing something else.
My skill leans more towards the intimate.
What I mean by that is for me and how I think, I find it more intriguing to write on the body closely, use sensation as a means of giving the reader something concrete to hold on to even if it is alien in presentation.
For instance from one of my Yeah Write pieces. This bit:
His Black body doubled and the darkness came out of his mouth and nose. It trickled from his eyes and rectum, he felt it ooze from the tip of his penis and he fainted.
Bolding for emphasis.
Now I will be very presumptuous and say that if you’re human you’ve probably had an OH NO moment in regard to something happening in your butthole region. Now I used the very concrete and relatable to ease the reader into a moment of body horror. The fear of something alien and wrong mingling with the terribly familiar.
This is what I mean by intimacy.
I took this approach from how I write erotica.
Skin is skin is skin and every ready knows skin.
One of the things I’m learning to love about worldbuilding in horror is that my love of creating a multiverse, multi layered reality means I can play with sensation and perceptions. There are so many small clues and ways to let the other peek out into the world we walk around in.
That is the type of worldbuilding I’m very into right now.
I want to create a world that is huge but small enough to peek out from behind the shadow of a child because the idea that this place is that close and doesn’t give a shit about our general sense of who and what is innocent, scares the fuck out of me.
I think that a lot of my horror and SF and urban fantasy is less about a BIG sense of another world and more about that intimate thing. I want to bring the reader inside and make them comfortable for five minutes then let them squirm.
I’m still figuring it out.
My ambitions revolve very heavily around balancing my epic dorkness in making alternate realities huge and beautiful and sweeping and my desire for that intimacy with the reader.
I’ve been really enjoying doing this.
And the fact that my ideas about this and methodology feel right cutting across genres is very pleasing to me as well. I used a bit of this for the project I worked with Court on, I’m using it in my Daiyu Saga, I’m using it in my latest Yeah, Write series.
Even though I know that a lot of the stuff I do is weird and sometimes doesn’t work well (see this Yeah, Write entry) I am extremely satisfied with what I’m doing.
Most of it is not publishable in the varying genres and that’s okay.
I find a huge amount of joy in this type of play. I fully believe that this type of play is how I’ve been able to find my voice and figure out how to use it. It’s how I learn and expand my art.
So there you have it.
AND okay, confession time.
This is also a bit of an experiment.
This is the sort of thing I want to put together (with more specific lessons rather than just me yammering about what I do) for the writing/craft lessons I have mentioned here and there.
This is not necessarily for folks who already are writing and publishing. It is for anybody who wants to give something a shot.
If you don’t write say flash fiction or erotica, would you pay for that type of lesson?
Let me know.
OR I might do a poll.
Okay I have a terrible migraine and I’m going to retreat to my corner of the internet and try not to head butt the wall.