Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Demon Writing

On a very cold and rainy day, back in 1994 or so, I sat down and began writing a story about a Demon who was explaining to a human why demons are the way they are. The story began out of nowhere, and the things I write about, the history of Demons, how they live, how they die, what happens to them when they are dead, were all things I had never thought about before, and everything I wrote was brand new to me. The name of the Demon was “Regal” and he referred to himself as The Demon Regal. That’s the way some Demons speak about themselves, you know.
Oddly, this story never was completed, namely because when I started writing this it was very early in my life as a writer. I had been writing for less than a year or so. In fact, this was only the second time in my life that something came oozing out of my mind and onto the screen on its own accord. I did not sit down to write a story about a demon. I did not know there was a story about a demon. But there was, and it was coming out of me as if it was there all along and I had never known it.
At that point in time I hadn’t told anyone that I wrote. I didn’t feel like I was a writer. I could read the things I had written, and really at that point in time I could have read it all in about half an hour, and I could also tell I wasn’t very good at this writing stuff at all. Every time I re-read something I had written I discovered a glaring error of some sort and the word processing software, when I ran what I had written through it, had so many errors the computer would lock up and refuse to look for more. My sentences flowed like a river of anvils going uphill against the wind. My sentence structure looked like a raft made of different sized logs and limbs on that river of anvils. My ability to describe scenes and people read like a first grader trying to explain quantum mechanics to Buddha. It was ugly to the point of distraction, and my spelling was so bad I couldn’t use the spell checker. I couldn’t even get close enough for that to help me.
The cold and rainy day stuck me in my apartment and I couldn’t go anywhere. The apartment wasn’t a very warm place, and it was small. It was once an old hotel and it looked like an old hotel that had been turned into apartments. It was in downtown Tifton and other than the hour long aerobics class that was across the street from my apartment, there was little to do or see in the town. The class wasn’t something I did, but their upper window was at an angle to one of mine so I could see part of one woman who always worked out in the same spot. I never met her, or saw anything but one section of her body, but that one part, oh my. She became the inspiration for another part of the Demon story.

I didn’t start out looking to rewrite all things Demon, but that was the direction the story took.

One of the biggest problems I had when I began to write is I knew no writers. I had no idea what I was doing other to emulate the writing I thought was done well. Fortunately, I had always been an avid reader, and it helped to have a copy of the Lord Of The Rings as a reference as to how things were done, when things were done right. Yet the technical aspects of writing wasn’t my biggest problem. What puzzled me, and sometimes frightened me, was one minute I was looking out of the window at a cold and rainy day, and then the next I was pecking away at a story that hadn’t existed until that moment. Moreover, not only did I not know where it had come from but I also had no idea where it might be going. The cold and rainy day turned into a cold and rainy night, and I was still struggling to make the story work but it was working.
I wish someone could have told me all those years ago writers sometimes have little control over what pours out of their minds. Characters sometimes have their own ideas about where a story is headed, and sometimes they do things all by themselves. Yes, I do realize that sounds strange and believe me, the first time it happened to me it freaked me out. I could not explain why I was writing what I was writing, where it came from to begin with, where it was going, or why characters I had invented were doing and saying things I had not planned at all.

I put the Demon story away for a while, and got into writing essays and short stories, but would wander back on occasion and rewrite parts of it, delete parts of it, and more or less whittle at it. As of yet, some of my ideas on the nature of Demons remain fairly unique and that is always a good thing in stories like these. I wrote myself into, then out of a logical flaw, and that was a term I had never even heard of when I started.

Here’s an odd thing: I was sitting at my desk, watching the cursor blink, listening to the rain, and without warning, I wrote the words, “I am a demon, yes that kind, the kind that that possesses people.”  It was as if the words magically appeared. I liked the sentence, but it needed something. The demon needed a name. I decided to use the first name I saw when I looked around the room. The word “Regal” was a word in a newspaper headline…

“I am the Demon Regal, yes, that kind, the kind of Demon who possesses people…:

Take Care,
Mike

3 comments:

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  2. This is what I needed. Except I'm an excellent speelwr.

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    1. When I began I could not find the period on the keyboard with the lights off.

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