So for those that haven’t been following me for long, I don’t just write short stories. I am currently up to my eyeballs in a manuscript – or two, technically – for my first novel. Given a Work-In-Progress title of “The Veil”, this work has been my most ambitious project to date.
Why is it my “most ambitious project”?
Unlike my works in Fantasy or Science Fiction, The Veil is a Modern Paranormal Thriller. The two words in there that bring the pressure are “modern” and “paranormal”. Those two words are the ones that make this project much more difficult to work with than even the entire Science Fiction universe I designed.
“Modern” brings things to the table that we see if every day life. In particular: Police, the FBI, hospitals, churches, ect. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had to interact with the FBI before, nor have I had any extended stays in a hospital. It’s the research and proper implementation of these things we at least know of in our own modern world that makes this difficult. Get too many of these details wrong, and it’ll look less like artistic liberties and more like artistic dip-shittery.
“Paranormal” is easier to work with, but has the most potential for backfire. The reason is that what I mean by “Paranormal” isn’t ghosts or vampires, but angels and demons. Things that a massive segment of mankind believe in, in various forms, but that we have no physical facts on.
In order to work with this material, I told myself I’d use elements however I desired in order to make the best story I could; that I wouldn’t pull punches in order to to save face. Needless to say, I believe that this concept will either attract people or have them howling for my head on a pike.
So yea, powder keg? Meet the lighter.
For those that want a little bit of an idea what it’s about; “The Veil” is about a guy, named Alec, who has an incident occur when he’s out hiking. He wakes up two days later in a hospital, where he finds out that his eyes have been changed from brown to an almost luminescent silver, and a symbol has been scarred onto his shoulder. From there, he starts seeing his “guardian angel”, and is hunted by demons, the police, and a couple FBI agents. There’s more to it, obviously, but I can’t go spoiling everything.
The difficulties of working with this material aside, this is actually the second time I’ve worked on a manuscript for this story. I had started the first manuscript back in August of 2011, and then finished it in December.
After I wrote it, I went and wrote some short stories (you might know a couple of them: Synthetic Reality and Dawnstar ring any bells?) before I stepped back to edit The Veil. By the time I’d gone through the workshop at eFiction, failed to place in Bioware’s writing contest, ect., I had changed in my style.
When I went back to the original manuscript, I couldn’t even bear to read the damn thing. The grammar was bad, the punctuation was even worse, ect. The manuscript didn’t need editing; it needed a merciful bullet to the head, followed by a new start.
So, last week, I started writing the scenes for the second manuscript; The Veil 2.0, if you will. After the initial hurdle that the first chapter represented (read: my nemesis), I’ve managed to start working on chapter 2. The ball is rolling on its own now, and writing for it is becoming more of a flowing exercise, rather than a mental obstacle course.
That said, I can’t quite let my guard down.
The Veil will have excitement, thrills, and so on. To achieve those scenes, with the material I am using, will require some interesting maneuvering. Trying to get the real world details and the paranormal theories to collide and not wreck the book is a bit of a challenge, but one that I truly do intend to welcome with open arms.