Oddly enough, Paul Jessup is having a conversation at his blog right now about the (re)emergence of weird, and I happen to be knee deep in it. It wasn’t expected. At its heart, Dustman is certainly Neo-Victorian, with occasional splashes of steampunk–but more and more I’m seeing how much weird it has to offer. Granted, there’s room for it, as one of the main POVs is journeying seven hells for reasons yet unknown to him (but known to me… oh muah ha ha ha ah). So far he’s encountered coffins made out of blood, blood sucking sand, and visions of his ex-love as a teenager.
Yesterday things got even weirder. I entered a sex scene. I hadn’t planned it, but there it was. Let’s just say it’s the most curious thing I’ve ever written. I can’t even write it down and try to explain it without sounding like some crazy person, but I promise in the context of the story it totally makes sense (subsequently I’d love to see Jung and Freud’s takes on it!). There’s a tunnel involved, as well as thousands of horrifying creatures in pursuit, plus copious use of the word membrane. Then there’s a huge journey and a half-clockwork wolf of magnificent proportion who happens to have a very nice library and impeccable aesthetic tastes. And he may or may not be a god. Although, I should point out, the wolf has nothing to do with the sex…
There is something exceptionally freeing about letting the weird in. Sure, my character is hopped up on essences half this time, and we’re not even sure if his journey is real, or spiritual, or hallucination. But it allows me to stretch the fabric of my own imagination, to poke holes in it, to twist it and wring out all the oddities and then ink them out on the page.
At any rate. The chapter is almost done. Weird is win. One of my favorite bits:
Behind him, Dev could hear the shambling of a hundred limbs, heavy with rot and time. Grasping fingers, the detritus of gods forgotten in the forge of life, machine and flesh. Cogs turned, bones creaked, all creeping closer to him here, in the underbelly of the world.