On Oktober

So I’ve basically gone into radio silence about myself and Oktober. This is for a couple reasons, a job, vacations, pursuing other ideas, a tad of writer’s block, but primarily, laziness. I just haven’t been able to keep up with the fast pace of writing I used too, and probably because I’m so desperate to get past what is currently happening in Oktober and get to the end. I’ve scrapped the current entry multiple times, I just can’t get it to feel right. It’s almost done though, so this Friday it’ll be up, and I promise regular updates after that.

Oktober is actually very close to its end, I’d say about four or five chapters left. As such, I’m looking into what my next project should be. Oktober has been an enlightening experience and I think the most prominent thing I learned is that I don’t want to write another novel any time soon. I need to refine my craft before embarking on something so daring again. Additionally, as well as the episodic release has worked for Oktober, it is not a good format for a novel. Things that I’ve already written are set in stone, which means I have to painstakingly plan and choreograph everything to make sure I don’t end up contradicting something I’ve already said and create a plothole.

I am working with some friends of mine on a film project, as the screenwriter of course. It’s going to be a sort of pretentious and artsy project that deals with the perceptions of characters and of the audience. It’ll either be horrible or great, hard to tell. I’m thinking it’ll be a great concept that will be executed poorly simply because we lack skill and resources, but that’s fine because that’s how we learn.

The other thing I’m considering is making a video game. I’m a very big believer in the whole “games are an art” thing, and I really want to try my hand at making one. I’d have to get some help from some programmer friends, but I’d pull my weight in my areas than just plot. I’m actually relatively skilled at pixel art, and often times that can make or break a game. If I decided to go the 3D route, I guess I’d have to learn modelling. I can already do textures though.

Lastly, I’m thinking another writing project would be fun, but as a collective anthology done by friends and other talented writers I know. Probably something like the Machine of Death by which I mean we take a simple concept and explore the social repercussions. Collective world building type thing.

Another excerpt from Ilmora, I really wanted to have it out today.

So that’s one reason why Ashland is evil and I fear that there are insane demonbeasts lurking in the shadows, the other is that those 36 of the 100 that die? They die in absolutely goddamn horrifying ways. One article I read described a man found dead in his apartment. I’m sorry, half a man found dead in his apartment. His lower body, his legs, were found shoved into the toilet. The entire bathroom was covered in blood, literally, every square inch was painted red, the tub was filled with two inches of blood, exactly, and as some sort of hellish centerpiece, the lower half of a man was wedged in the toilet. As though he had tripped, fell face first into the toilet, and then his upper half just, tore itself off and wandered off but not before making sure the bottom half was firmly lodged in the toilet, I guess? This baffled the police, but what really spooked them was when the upper half of the guy just showed up in some woman’s freezer eight days later. She was preparing her dinner in her kitchen, alone, when she heard a large thump come from her fridge. She opened the freezer and found the warm upper-half of a man just resting in it, still warm. Then, presumably, she soiled her pants, screamed for a solid hour, and called the police. The police said it was a murder, but the case was never solved. So the police would have you believe that a killer cut a guy in half, made a sick shrine in the man’s bathroom, then held on to the upper-half for just over a week, preserving it perfectly, then snuck into a woman’s apartment, and hid the torso in her freezer, while she was in the room, leaving absolutely no traces of dragging the torso in, and then disappeared into the night, forever. Also, I guess somewhere in there he would’ve had to microwave to torso for a few seconds, to emulate that “recently slaughtered” fleshy warmth.

Update on the Final Chapter of Oktober

It was due out on the 11th. However, I didn’t update. Quite simply, it’s not ready. I was without a computer this weekend, so that delayed it a bit, but the true reason is that I’m having some difficulty writing it.

Well, that’s not exactly accurate. I’m loving writing it, it’s probably the most fun I’ve had with Oktober. The problem is making sure it seals up all the plot holes properly. I wrote it a long time ago. You know the typical theory of writing that you begin with your ending, then you write your beginning, then you use the middle to give your story meat and flesh out how your characters get from the beginning to the end, that way, you know your ending and you can constantly write towards it?

That doesn’t work. A story is a living thing, and it grows organically. It doesn’t want to follow the route you have planned for it, especially a novel like Oktober, which is essentially just a string of bizarre, surreal, and nonsensical events strung together only by the characters. As such, the ending I had, well… it doesn’t fit precisely with the standing of events as they are. Oktober was telling one story at the beginning, and it’s telling another now, towards the end. And I’ll be honest, a bit of that could be called lazy writing, but it also has to do with the fact that, as a writer, I’ve grown since I wrote those first chapters of Oktober. I’m genuinely proud of a lot of the writing in the later chapters.

But I’m straying away from the topic at hand, to sum issues up, I basically need to reread Oktober to make sure the ending fits, make some definitive decisions (that will really change the entire nature of the book) and then write it in a way that makes sure the ending is satisfying for the reader.

Part II of that same concept. I’m thinking I might rename Ilmora to “Black Day/White Day” or save the name for a film or short story, I have a few faint lingering ideas but I’m digging the tone the images give off.

Both photos I shot on UMBC campus on my way to and from class.

Chapter 8: Smith

Author’s Note: Look at that, two updates in like, under an hour or something. Unprecedented. Chapter 8 is the third to last chapter, however Chapter 9 will consist of only two entries, and Chapter 10 will consist of only two aswell. Each character has one entry left before the end, however.

1/1/08

I’m finding myself at a lack for words. I never was very eloquent, Natasha and Nick seem to be better at expressing themselves through language than I am. I’ve seen them both scribbling away in their journals I know that their accounts of what we just experienced will be much more vivid and impressive than any recollection I choose to document. However I also know that they will get caught up in the drama and forget to recount some of the more important events that have happened even more recently.

The radios are still broadcasting, though most of it is music that has been left on a loop at the stations. However a few clever individuals have hijacks the waves and been sending out cries for help every so often. It’s all most nightfall now. We’re nearing the border of Switzerland. We drove all day, it’s almost midnight now. Hell, it might even be past midnight. I don’t have a watch, or a phone. I’m pretty sure I remember us all getting rid of phones a while ago, but then I think I’ve seen Matthias using one since then.

I don’t know what our plan is now. I don’t think I really understood it to begin with though. Here is what my understanding is though, currently. Project H is something that Rousseau International, the previous employer of Matthias and Natasha, is creating at the whim of its leader, Midas. Project H is meant to destroy all life on the planet, because Midas believes humans to be evil and feels that for the betterment of the universe they must be elminated.

I don’t believe that, for a couple of reasons. One, it’s incredibly stupid. Someone as evil as Midas, someone so… cruel, would bask in the corruption of mankind. I’ve seen his monstrosity first hand. I’ve been scarred by that beast, and I know that a man like that has no concept of right or wrong. No concept of good or evil. His only goal is his own advancement. Two, if they truly had a device that could kill all of mankind, why would the armies of Rosseau International, armies amassed supposedly from the disgruntled middle classes of the world, be invading the first world countries of our planet? Furthermore, how could they? Where would they even get the resources?

These questions aren’t just poking holes in the logic of Project H, but in the existence of Rousseau International itself. It is impossible for such a company to exist. These things that I have seen are impossible. I’m more willing to believe in the ancient beasts that have slept within the Earth since time began than the immense power of this shadowy megacorporation.

But I suppose I have no choice but to believe, to reject this reaity would be to admit my own insanity. To admit that I am seeing something that is unreal. We are supposed to destroy Project H, but I don’t know how we’d do it. We have few weapons, and the weapons we do have are supposedly controlled by our enemies. They could shut off our guns at any instant. I suppose then we could steal the guns of our assailants, but then they would merely shutdown those aswell.

That isn’t even my real concern, however. My true question is this: what would destroying Project H achieve? This is the Shattered Earth. I’ve seen the Sahara swallowed into an abyss. Our world is ending, the fissure is widening and the two halves of the world will seperated. One will drift off into the icy cold of space and freeze while other boils in the center of the sun. We will be dead long before that happens however, I’ve been watching my brothers and sisters take their own lives from the last sunrise to tonight’s twilight, and even now in the dead of the night I see hungering souls striding like wraithes towards the sea.

Perhaps I’m more articulate than I thought.

This hunger that consumes them, I feel it inside myself aswell. It’s as though I can smell paradise from across the ocean and I wish to turn and run towards it, but for some reason I cannot fathom I struggle onwards, towards the hopeless, incomprehensible, unachieveable goal that we’ve been fighting for this entire time. I think, that maybe, the force that drags me onward, is revenge. Only its taste can be sweeter than paradise, and if it is indeed revenge that I strive for, I will gladly forgo paradise for a mere wiff.

We are the only four left, we are what remains of humanity. The rest are drowning themselves seeking paradise. Here I am, condemning others for walking blindly towards their death, and yet what is it that I do? I am not convinced that we are the ones who see clearly, infact I cannot tell you the last time that I’ve felt that I have seen the world infront of me unobscured.

This is to know one’s own death. This is what it must feel like for the prisoner as he awakes on the morning of his execution, or for the soldier as he is ordered out of his trench. The end is here, undeniably. There is time before it comes, however brief, enough time for us to pretend that there is some shred of hope that we may survive, but in the back of our head, in the area at the base of the skull, where it meets the spine, we know we will die this day. Soon the sun will dawn on my last day. It does not matter what we achieve tonight, even if we surmount the insurmountable odds and destroy Project H, even if Midas is slain, the world has cracked. We will die.

The prisoner and the soldier feel the same dread at the end. The king is greeted by the same chill as the beggar. Death holds all men equal.