saddleblasters Yeah I don’t have a specific idea of how to fill the mystery box there in a way that’ll actually feel satisfying. It seems too cheap to just lean in on, “Well, the main character has a dubious grip on reality, so anything he hears could be profound to him.” I’d much rather hit that uncanny feeling of not knowing if something is profound or insane, that makes the reader question their own sanity before (after?) feeling superior to these characters. Just after writing this I was made aware of a writer who might be good to study for that purpose.
Bits and pieces of acquaintances, family and old memories came out in this, which is funny because I went in with only the most abstract idea and let everything flow from the unconscious. It felt cathartic to look up methods for suicide without consciously floating the possibility of using them on myself (for a change). I’ve never personally been in a psych ward, but I’ve been threatened with it and people I know have gone. If I continue the story (and there are a lot of places I could go with it) I’d like to tap into some balance between detached irony and the absurdist horror of that experience, in a way that doesn’t just feel like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (which I thought was exploitative). I’m also trying to do a little research on esoteric mysticism and philosophy to give myself better tools to work with as far as understanding and deconstructing the laws of reality. (Yesterday I was trying to understand a bit of Saul Kripke - there’s tough steak.) I’d like to end this story with the universe transforming radically in some way - like the death of humanity in Childhood’s End, only instead of an epic global event it’s just two men in an institution stumbling on some absurd truth that unmakes the world. I have friends who know way more about this kind of stuff than I do.
I wrote another thing I didn’t completely hate that was sort of the beginning of a cyberpunkish noir, a bit of Gibson, David/Brandon Cronenberg and the movie Klute. The genre’s been done to death and my working knowledge of tech is not great, but doing it with a more personal interior focus as opposed to the exteriorized, expressionistic qualities of most fiction in that vein seemed like a good way to express very personal anxieties about the future. idk, it probably needs to be more fully formed. I can post it after a few more edits if anyone’s interested in giving feedback.
The irony of daring to write something I sort of like is that I will be that much angrier if I then notice major flaws in it or unfavorable comparisons to more practiced readers/writers. I just wanna be not-mediocre at something I care about for once in my fucking life lmao. But that’s why third-party critique is important, I need to know if people with standards think there’s something there who wouldn’t flatter me if they didn’t.