Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Well, more brainstorming but, whatever.

I haven't written very much on the Pilgrim since I last updated. I think I've probably written less. I did six rewrites on chapter one before it felt right enough to continue to chapter two, and I've done three rewrites of chapter two that still don't feel quite right, but I think I'm getting there. And I think after the first complete draft is finished the first two chapters will just be one chapter. It happens. Right now, I'm not pushing the wordcount, but instead I'm doing what I probably should have done earlier. I've been brainstorming and fleshing out my ideas.

What I've been doing is writing within the laws of the bizarro world I've constructed, trying to make the plot fit in that way, but I feel I should be outlining the plot and then letting the laws run rampant. I've got my key bizarro elements down, and I've been working on extrapolating them to make the narrative wild and exciting, and I've been working on fleshing out the main characters, figuring out their purpose in the story, their personalities and actions/abailities, and I think I've got some really good ideas going.

At the moment what I need to work on is how I'm going to flesh the journey out and build it up, how I can keep it interesting and keep it really crackling along at an exciting pace. I'm having a week off work over christmas to go back home, and I'll be without a computer over that time, so I think it'll be good to just figure the bare bones of the plot out to the details on pen and paper so that I've got lots of fresh new ideas when I get back. I'll probably end up pushing self-enforced deadlines back further and further for the sake of quality, but at this rate, I'm going to aim for a finished first draft by the end of January and, hopefully, a more polished draft finished before uni goes back.

Now, obligatory blah blah about my own writing aside, here's another lovely review of a book I just read:

Washer Mouth: The Man Who Was A Washing Machine, by Kevin L. Donihe

A quick little side note before I get right into it: Mr Donihe is the editor for the Eraserhead Press' New Bizarro Author Series imprint, aka the guy I need to impress with the Pilgrim to get it published. So I figured it would be to my advantage to read some of this guy's work.

Washer Mouth is a story that looks like the sorts of books I would read in primary school. The concept is strange yet light-hearted, so I went into this book expecting a light, surreal, comical bizarro novel similar to the books I would read about intelligent cats or unfortunate toads. Of course, being bizarro, I knew it was going to be weirder than any of those children's books. However, I didn't quite expect those moments of dark, expicit sexual conflict or violence. It somewhat reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero. It's all fun and games and good times and then holy fucking shit what is going on? A change of tone, a change of pace, a change of clothes, and I must say that reading this book feels somewhat like rolling about in a washing machine. It goes through cycles and spits me out. And I love it.

Donihe breathes life into every one of his characters, such that no two washing machines are the same and no two celebrities are the same. The protagonist, Roy, and the antagonist, the Dark Washer, are both childishly oblivious to the world, but Roy is propelled by his love for the soap opera, Sands of Eternity, where the Dark Washer is propelled by a fascination (and sexual attraction) towards violence and aggression. People react differently to these bizarre, alien characters, recently transformed from washing machine into human form, and the washing machines' character developments are, I believe, what makes this book so captivating.

Some may find it hard to know what goes on in a washing machine's mind, or what goes on in the mind of a man recently transformed from a washing machine, but Donihe pulls it off so well, I doubt I'll be able to look at washing machines the same again. It's a brilliant and entertaining read, and I'll definitely be picking up more of Donihe's work (I'm eager to check out his poetry collection just recently released). Clever, humorous, a dash of completely fucked up, this is a must read for all fans of the strange and surreal.

Now, if only I could shake the thought of hot dogs being made out of long part...

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