I really hate posting stuff on blogs simply because it takes so much time away from writing on my book. But I have decided to start posting on my blog again as sort of an experiment, a declaration of freedom. You see, I have been posting my book excerpts, snapshots of the draft I am working on, on Twitter to try and generate some interest in the book and to carry people along with me on my rather detailed, very involved adventure. And believe me, it will be an adventure. Writing Literary Fiction is tough, requiring shavings from the author's soul in order for the text to achieve the kind of emotional influence that is needed to carry someone into a long, detailed novel. The novel is meant to be a total, immersive experience, which not only sticks to the reader’s soul, but visually stimulates the reader with illustrations that themselves invoke a sympathetic emotion with the text. Like many Literary Fiction novels, it’s not so much about the plot or the facts of a situation but how it feels, what the characters think, how do they resolve their unique life problems. The book delves a bit into philosophy, its child characters asking the questions that have bedeviled humanity for thousands of years. As most of these children are above an average intelligence, it seems appropriate for their fresh new minds to ask the question and be distressed at their lack of answers. Even though these child characters are little geniuses, I would like to think that a number of children do actually think about the world seriously in their quiet times, possible far more seriously than their parents realize.
Anyway, for an author, Twitter is really a sabotaging element for their development. Twitter is about Twitter making money. The algorithm is designed to jack with your mind and make you feel pining for attention, for connection, willing to pay to get it. The algorithm of Twitter knows who might be interested in what you wish to show and deliberately only displays your posts to a few of them. Even if you have a small number of followers, Twitter will show your post to many other people before it gives some of your followers a peek. And only some of your followers will see it. Why? To keep you willing to pay ever more money to try to reach the people you don’t reach, the ones it only teases you with.
I understand this strategy well, have actually paid Facebook for advertisement. What Facebook didn’t count on was me being a very detailed, numerically analytical person, using devious tactics to track their actions and to track what kind of people saw the ads. And what I found was that Facebook will show your ads to people outside of who you specify, people so unrelated to your target that it’s actually pretty laughable, if it wasn’t your money, in order to spend every last drop of the money you allotted them. So with Twitter, I came into the medium with the philosophy of “show me the gold before I’ll show you mine.” And as expected, the algorithm did its own little dance to extort my gold without giving results.
For grins, I will probably still post excerpts to Twitter on occasion just to see what it does with them. It’s my way of mocking their foolishness. But from now on I will post most of my excerpts here, on my blog. The longer format will also allow me to reveal more of the thought process behind the writing as I build up this complex, difficult to write Literary Fiction novel layer by layer.
I am going to kick off this series of blog posts with an excerpt from the book, which is currently sitting at 438,000 words. In this excerpt, Professor Kettil, the teacher of these advanced children, is having a conversation with Fredrick Docherty, eight-year-old Ty’s father and the head of ERID, the Extraterrestrial Research and Intelligence Department, a department under the British Prime Minister’s office. In his former job, Docherty was an undeclared assassin working for the government organization known as the Snakes. The thing to notice is how hard a person Docherty is, how much he is an unemotional, logical person versus the more humanistic, emotional Professor Kettil, someone you expect would have an interest in children’s wellbeing.
Excerpt from Chapter 4, "The Portal Opens"