I think I touch the edge of sanity, blur the lines of reason and skip along a path of obscurity somewhere deep inside my mind. I’ve kissed the Blarney stone for sure but that’s nothing unusual when you’re Irish. Sadly the stone has more than touched my heart it’s touched my head. I have just finished writing a chapter for my current work in progress, The woman who never wore shoes which is my first attempt at a sequel, in this case to Darkly Wood. When I read back over it as I do to look for instant obvious edits, I realised that anyone reading it will think I am insane.
It’s comes as no surprise to me that I may skirt this path, but for the most part it stays with me and I don’t talk about it, like a close friend that I’m not sure I really like but I have to be there for, because I’ve known him all my life. When I write, I let him take over a little and for that I am truly grateful. Not for his freedom but for the gift of writing which allows me to like him sometimes.
Writing is radio for me, it always has been. I learned as a boy that there were pictures inside books that I could see, the way only I wanted. When I write now, I make pictures, hopefully vivid but also with obfuscation enough to allow my readers to draw their own pictures in their mind’s eye. I like television but I love radio when it is done right. In there I listen and I am forced to picture what the voice tells me about and that experience of stretching the imagination is something I like to do in my writing.
Some of my characters get no description other than the way they speak or the way they walk. In there lies the secret of true description for the imagination. The heart of a character is in his stutter, his crooked stick or his wandering eye. The woman who never wore shoes is freaking me out – just a little. It’s not that I don’t know what to write, it is never that for me, more that I can’t fit it all in. In Darkly Wood I trod a dangerous path in that I made the reader wait just a little before they hit the action so to speak. Some people expect instant wham bam, publishers dream type opening and no one wants to wait. But Darkly Wood meant a lot more than that to me. In there I paid homage to many of the classics I have read. Perhaps it was foolish of me to write in a way that many readers have forgotten but I wrote Darkly Wood with a story teller’s eye. It had to grow to grab you at the right moment and then never let you go.
The woman who never wore shoes is an altogether different kettle of fish. It has the advantage of the scene been set so to speak. There is a lot to cram in and it freaks me out because I‘ve really let ‘him’ take over. The squiggle that runs through the madness of my mind has leapt onto the page and I am having enormous fun. The problem is that the world knows the dangers of freeing the beast. There are so many sayings, analogies and stories that refer to the risk of setting the beast free. Letting the genie out of the bottle, Pandora’s Box and who hasn’t seen the Incredible Hulk?
Today I imagined a direction which gave a new twist to the tale. I created a wonderful character and instantly fell madly in love with my creation. But then I took him to a place I cannot explain. I have to consider the possibility that I am truly strange inside. The part of me that smiled as I read it back, was also slightly shocked by the reality that I had only minutes before come up with such a thought. I felt proud but embarrassed by the shame of my pride. Make sense of that if you will, I certainly cannot.
What I have to accept is that for now at least, the real me is still in charge of the day to day stuff. Maybe as I get older, the other fella will take charge. Hopefully, I won’t be too aware of him if he does and my poor children will have to deal with the consequences. Payback for all those nappy changes and cinema visits to watch mindless Pokémon movies and countless sleepless nights from which I haven’t recovered. I love them to bits but they have it coming….
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : – http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower