This one was longer than I expected it to be, and I still think I could have made it longer. The gravedigger’s memoirs in particular are a point I know I could have expanded upon, but ultimately felt that the town didn’t need as much characterization as it could get. Maybe sometime later, if we revisit this town, the account will be more in depth, but for now the story still centers on characterising the Doctor. This one was still a tad on the dry side, but the next one should be both shorter, and more peopled.
And now to your regularly scheduled programming. This is going to be a longer story, which is why I decided to partition the showing of it into chunks that are laxly manageable for me to write. I’m hoping to maybe fool myself into thinking I’m doing a variety of things, by oscillating between the two projects, the game and this story. It’s just, that doing the same thing all the time quickly gets boring, and while I can keep doing boring things for quite a time, there’s just so much out there to do, that can be pleasurable and does not have to be boring. Anyway, This here is also my first step into LaTeX, which I’m already beginning to love. What I’m doing with it here is likely a bold underuse, but I’m training on the use of it for other areas of my life. If you don’t know what it is, and you ever felt there was too little programming in using regular text editors, give it a try. It’s pretty and challenging.
Going back on topic, the story I’m presenting here right now is one of a Plague Doctor roaming the countryside in a time period I haven’t pinpointed yet. I take it the first few chapters will be mostly character reveal, then possibly some human drama, and only then will the obstacle be presented. What I’m trying to say is, this will be a slow-burner. I’ll likely be deploying the story onto this blog chapter by chapter, because for now, they seem to be doing a steady 1.5k words. If they’ll tend to go shorter, I’ll try for the updates to keep a steady amount of words.
I personally don’t want to say all too much about the substance of the story itself, because I have so many ideas planned that I don’t want to spoil/overhype the reading of the coming chapters. I want the reader to be a relatively blank slate when reading, in contrast with the short stories I wrote beforehands, where this veiling of story points varied. I’ll likely create a summary of what I tried to imbue into the text by the end of my journey to its creation.
Update on the game:
Trying to go away from my formula of things that are not what they seem, because that get’s old very quickly, if done continuously, I’ve decided to do a completely Slice of Life story. Nothing incredible happening here, just plain simulation. Guy catches fishes, get’s to village, trades, eats and goes to sleep. Done. Neutral to positive outlook on life. Regular joe, with a regular day.
This one I had sitting around for a while, on paper, and it took me quite a while to transcribe it, virtually. You could say, I should have learned my lesson, and started writing virtually to begin with, as it’s easier in every single way to do it, but I haven’t. There is just something to writing with pen and paper, that attracts. That, and I hate proofreading, and writing it by hand means I’ll have to do it at least once, while copying it over.
There was little that I wanted from this story, when I started writing it, other than it starting in a bookstore. I usually write without thinking all too much about what I write, as I simulate, meaning that preceding events usually create following events for me, but here I didn’t even have a general idea of where I wanted this to go. It turned out rather well in my opinion, being a flow of memories, a tour of the city, through different people, and ultimately closing the circle.
I’m not sure, how hamfisted the killing plot was, but I like strong visuals, and the flight of the bullet through the air was a paragraph I thoroughly enjoyed writing. Which brings me to saying, I do not perceive the world as I make my characters do. I am neither paranoid, have children, am frustrated with life, own a bookstore, eat instant noodles, can fly, go to business meetings, nor deeply hate anyone to the point of hiring a killer. I don’t know whether I would even be able to kill, mostly because I think I feel not enough emotional connection to anyone, to be willing to kill someone for them. Me being able to write such things, just means that I could see, how someone could be acting this way, not that I would. Also, I’m not sure how often assassinations actually happen in big old cities. I’d have to check some statistics on the probability of the scenario I described. It seems like a number that would probably be more than I expect, but less than I would believe dramatic.
None of the characters are really fleshed out, nothing is really described. It seems to me this whole text has no meaning at all, but it’s at the very least an exercise in writing. I think the meaning one could take from this is, that all is connected, or that we pass many interesting stories, in the form of people and their lives, every day of our lives. It could be that the mundane of life and the most exciting are interchangeable, or at the very least, strongly interrelated. It could also be a clever way for me to advertise sunflower seeds.
I’m relatively content with this story. It has a lot of everyday life in it, and from what I observe from the people around me, it will be easy for people to identify with someone cynical and hating of his job. Although, Raj in particular might be a tougher case, as he’s also lazy and kind of a douche.
I’m not sure if the story works as it should, because I haven’t actually tested it on anyone yet. The way I tried to make it, was visual for the beginning. The first section was supposed to paint a cosmic image in the minds of people, a sort of firework on a grander scale.
The second part, the introduction of the setting, is a slice of life monotonous journey, bespeckled here and there with a tad of colour. It’s a day at an office job, something regular, but with those small events that make every single day stand out. No two days are the same, and it’s usually not because of the general tone of the day, but because of the details. It was also the part that was supposed to ground the story in reality.
The next part, after the bar night, was where contrast showed. It starts as a seemingly inescapable conflict situation, with the main character kidnapped and apparently being given as an offering to some gods, by an unknown cult. It is something improbable happening, but still grounded enough to be believable. But then they start their ritual, and mystical occurrences happen, showing that the cult is more dangerous than previously thought. Tensions rise.
Lastly, the penultimate part was supposed to show the absurdity of it all, but also, somewhat inspired by my lately readings of Lovecraft, the smallness of man, the faintness of his beliefs. The cult has power, but the god they summon is not what they believed, or wanted. Some kind of ritual is performed, but the cultists become the offerings. And the sacrifice is the only one not to be killed.
The ending was a link to the beginning, furthering the notion, that nothing makes sense in this world. It is but a product of the tears of a scared lost man, who had no intention for it. Although, another way one could think of the message of the story, is, that there live beings beyond our power, that try to scare us, for the continuation of their amusement. Or that the sacrifice of the many, can empower one, to be able to sacrifice much for the betterment of the even more.
There are many ways to interpret the stories given to us, and what I’m trying to say, is that if you have any idea, that you think sounds cool, about what the story means, then by all means keep it. I, as the author, see more than one possible message in this story alone, and with time could likely find even more. After all, art does not need a producer, all it needs is someone to interpret it.