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Channeling My Mad Scientist

frankenstein-1931-its-alive-its-aliveHenry: Look! It's moving. It's sha--it's... it's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive! It's alive, it's alive, it's alive! It's ALIVE!

Victor: Henry -- in the name of God!

Henry: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it's like to BE God!

- Frankenstein (1931 film)

My revisions are going great. I have sixty pages left to go through. Granted, I'm just tackling the big stuff right now. That sixty will lead me right back to the beginning for another round of a different kind. I'm doing it in manageable layers to keep my sanity. And yet...

I'm feeling quite like a mad scientist. Not just in the sense that I'm inventing and creating a new novel (and losing my mind) but also in the sense that I'm creating a monster. What I'm writing goes against the grain in some ways. It's somewhat psychological, contrary - edgy maybe. I'm not even sure I have my mind wrapped around what it is in its entirety - yet. It's one of those novels that's really going to need the right agent and the right editor with the right publishing house if it's ever going to get published. So, in a business and a market that's already hard to break into, I feel like I'm willingly laying the mortar down where the odds will be stacked against me to form an impenetrable wall. And if I do break through the wall, despite the odds, I fear what I will face on the other side.

Dr. Waldman: This creature of yours should be kept under guard. Mark my words. He will prove dangerous.


Maybe I'm being over dramatic. The novel will just have to find a home where other edgy upper YA novels have, and I'll just have to face whatever backlash follows, but these famous lines from Frankenstein kept coming to mind anyway, so I looked them up and found some quotes from the 1931 film. You know what Henry's response to Dr. Waldman is in the film?

Henry: Dangerous! Poor old Waldman. Have you never wanted to do anything that was dangerous? Where should we be if no one tried to find out what lies beyond? Have your never wanted to look beyond the clouds and the stars, or to know what causes the trees to bud? And what changes the darkness into light? But if you talk like that, people call you crazy. Well, if I could discover just one of these things, what eternity is, for example, I wouldn't care if they did think I was crazy.

And that is why we persevere in the face of unlikely odds, why we believe in our unique creations, and why we must always ask ourselves and explore the age-old question, "what if?"


(Oh, but... let's not channel what happens to Frankenstein at the end of the movie, k?)


C. N. Nevets said...

I think by the time a writer's at where you're at in your process it gets a lot more difficult to accurately assess the nature of the novel.

You might be surprised when you get it in decent shape, if you have a reader or two look at it. Their outside perspective often sees an obvious characterstic of or niche for a work that an author is blinded to.

So don't fear! It's not a monster! It's just a book! :)

Keri Mikulski said...

So true! :)

Cheryl Reif said...

I love your mad scientist analogy. It sounds as if you're taking chances on this novel...which is a great way to grow as a writer. Where will you get if you always play it safe?

I wish you happy rewriting (and the occasional mad scientist cackle,as required.)

Casey Something said...

Thanks all.

Cheryl, there is plenty of cackling and wheezing going on over here.


Unknown said...

LOL! I love this post! It's just brilliant.

Casey Something said...

Thanks, Beth!