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Why Do I Write Thrilling Novels?

Why Do I Write Thrilling Novels?

As you go about whatever you do while you read – sit, lie down, eat – I doubt you ever think about what it takes for a writer to pour out endless dreams, or horror, or love stories, whatever your taste. Did you stop to think that every one of the characters and places in a story first blossomed to life in the writer’s mind? And before all the things that jump right off the page and make you feel good or make you cry, or give you the creeps, maybe laugh so hard you pee yourself, before all that there are endless volumes of twaddle that an author wades through, gibberish of their own making.

That’s right. All those things you love had to crawl out of some primordial cesspool that some poor bastard, like myself, has disgorged like so much crap. It’s like a prospector panning for gold, only they have to sift through endless volumes of shit to find those quips you love and perhaps admire. Yeah, authors labor to come up with those pieces of brilliance that you imagine your favorite character think or say. Let’s hear it for the spur of the moment banter that resulted hard, time-consuming work.

You might ask yourself, why would anyone wade through manure to find a little rare morsel like that? I agree; it’s a sick image. There is something deranged about a deal like that.

It takes an ailing mind, or at least one somehow grounded in a different way than most to create wonderful stories for you. Not just fiction stories either, this includes non-fiction as well.

As I noted above, all writers live in a world filled with a slurry of a disgusting nature. It’s one in which most people wouldn’t think of living. With luck and a lot of effort, they are able to control that fluidity or at least become used to it. But all those things they endure are out of the ordinary and tend to make them all psychologically, uh, impaired in one way or another.

That’s right. We writers are these somewhat disabled people who live around you, afflicted with a condition that drives us to … create something. We can live anywhere, even next door to you. Holy shiznit, you may even have attended high school with a few of us. Who knows? Anyway, people like me aren’t able to function in a normal way. We live in a fractured world, half in a place where everyone else exists and a half in our fantasy world that enables us to spin your escapist afternoon when you curl up, relax with a good book, and a glass of Chardonnay.

We create our little darlings and then send them off for the approval of an agent or publisher. Then the first thing that happens is, our wonderful project receives a rejection. A writer’s universe is so full of torturous rejections from that approval process, we who live in it are doomed to walk around with horrendously thick skin. It eventually changes us into creatures from whom others expect the only perfection.

This is not a lament. All writers experience this, including J K Rowling and Stephen King. Indeed, we who labor over the correct word for our fantasies, do it so others can enjoy, and we take the hazard of rejection as part of the life. It is the way we learn our craft, and incidentally, how we live with all the sludge mentioned before. It’s the way the industry weeds out the people that can’t do from those that can. They call it paying dues.

I know from personal experience this process can be tedious and painful and is one reason that I am bald. (The other is my crazy family.) It took almost two decades for me to stalk my way through the rejection labyrinth. I was so impatient I didn’t want to waste the five or six years to learn how to write. Instead, I lavishly spent nineteen to twenty years flopping around to learn. Do you see how much muck and mire I had to slip and slide my way through? Hell of a quagmire I made for myself, eh?

In addition to all the bullshit labyrinth, each writer has personal problems to deal with. My own have to do with my children and their catastrophes deeds that happen while I write. I love the rug rodents, but there are times they frustrate the living piss out of me. For example, it has taken me eight days to jot this down. Can you imagine what happens when I write a 400-page novel?

Like every house with children, there are always emergencies at my house. I mean real disasters, like uh, “All the potato chips are gone! Someone ate my piece of cake! She is wearing the shirt I was going to wear!” Any of these things sound familiar to you?

Don’t forget the day to day things that take time, like the need to change a diaper, going to the store, or helping with homework. You know life never stops, not at my house anyway, so if I’m to write then I need to craft something I like, something that keeps my interest.

My life is so full of all those daily un-thrilling things, I need to spin a suspenseful yarn to keep me focused. Conflicts keep me zeroed in. Catch your breath cliffhangers do the same.

You’re sitting there thinking about all sorts of things, wondering about what this blog might be about. There is a myriad of things that have potential. But you know what? You have to wait a little longer to find out.

You see there? That minuscule stall created some tension, a little conflict, and the byproduct of it is your willingness to sit a bit longer. What do you know? I was right, wasn’t I?

That little phenomenon is connected with what happens to the human mind when it encounters conflict.

Tension and conflict beg readers to keep reading. Both are mainstays, the first and second clubs with which a writer has to play. Conflicts have to infuse the written project in one fashion or another while tension needs a rationing approach because it affects pacing.

I had a professor once that demanded I know everything about an author before I could understand what they wrote. What he asked was impossible to fulfill.  And all of that is undying horse shit anyway.

Here is what counts. Everything I write has my personality woven through it. If you read my writings, you will get to know me.

Read what I write and you will know me. But here is the humongous bottom: I love thrillers. That’s why I write them.

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Our True Depths

Yesterday I drove down a country road, the twists, turns, and all the unexpected things. Beyond those, or perhaps because of them, the entire drive had a concrete feel about it. At first, I simply drove, relishing the feel of things as they flew by – solid, strong, exactly as they should be. Everything had a single, distinct, yet undefinable essence permeating through it. Everything had a perfect … texture.

I remember wondering; is there a purpose to the feeling like that, other than to make those of us taking a country drive feel comfortable? It’s like –

I screeched to a stop. Uh, that is I stopped pondering, didn’t halt my car. My brain paused forward motion and hit reverse into what we normally call memory. I remembered several times in my past where I moved inexorably towards a disaster. These were moments where I was not privy to the disaster beforehand. Not even a hint.

Then WHAM! Something happened to move me in exactly the correct way to forestall annihilation of myself and probably others.

It was like the time I drove with single-minded focus, in the midst of passing a car, when my arm inexplicably jerked, sending me back into my own lane, missing the car I intended to pass by scant inches. I still followed that car, hadn’t passed it at all, but on the other side of the road, and out of nowhere there zoomed another vehicle rocketing down their side of the road, crashing through the sound barrier in the exact position I had been scant milliseconds before.

After a few quick seconds of introspection during which I tried to settle my heartbeat. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I mean, holy shit, fire! It was like a cosmic hand grabbed me, yanked me around, and then continued on doing whatever it normally did.

It’s things like this that made me a fan of Kismet, fate, or predestination and all that. I suppose I could call it Divine Guidance. But before anyone starts yip hip hurrahing – or thinking I’m a sorry sack of yak dung – let me tell you that I’ll be willing to bet my version of the Divine probably doesn’t match yours. Let me explain. What I just wrote doesn’t mean I agree or disagree with anyone. I don’t care whether or not you are an atheist or a sublime follower of one of the three religions Of The Book(Old Testament). Then there is Buddhism, Hinduism, the New Pagans. I don’t care what you are. Everyone has a place.

I am also a fan of personal choice. At every cusp, we must make decisions that will affect us and an unknown amount of others later in life. I will have to write another blog to explain how I can be a fatalist and simultaneously one that believes in personal choice. For right now let me just say I have worked it out in my mind, and am content with all of the different paths and religions.

If you have a belief, that means it’s good for you at this particular instance. It may not be for everyone, but it is for you. That doesn’t mean it has to remain correct for you through all time. Things change, as do beliefs. Can anyone out there tell me that you have the same understanding of the world and cosmic happenings that you did when you were twelve?

If you can, you aren’t very old. Things intensify, sometimes fade, at times they turn completely about. And I’ll go even further. In another twenty years, they may not be what they are now. Things change. Time passes, weather changes, and yes – shit happens.

I’m sure that the last paragraph has lowered someone’s opinion of me, and now it’s down to around, Oh … snake shit. Maybe even lower than that, whale shit, perhaps?

These things go to the heart of us. I don’t want to poke and prod at beliefs. They should be the most protected, and yet they seem to be the most unprotected as if we really aren’t sure if we believe those things or not. But to prove we do, a huge portion of people resort to attacking others’ in defense of their own self-doubt.

I think everyone should spend some serious time in deep contemplation, meditation, or some kind of soul searching to find out what our true depths are. If everyone did that, I think attacks on other people’s belief might slow. It’s time for Humans to grow up. Been, actually. Love to see it happen. Perhaps this new year will bring it around.

Subjects like this are sometimes slippery to nail down. That is one of the reasons I include themes like, “What exactly is love,” and “What is the nature of personality” in my books. Among all of the suspense, thrills, and plot twists there is a vein of serious thought, and it often takes an entire novel to explore that serious train of thought.

If you haven’t picked up one of my novels, please do. The Sigma Factor is for sale right now on Smashwords.com, Barnes, and Nobles. com, and iBooks. Amazon will carry it in the near future. Then there is my new one that will hit the stands soon, The Great Zero Sum. Both under the pen name J W Bell. I know you will enjoy them.