Thursday, January 2, 2014

What To Tackle Next

Regular readers of this blog - both of you - know that I maintain a writing season.  Well, I'm about to begin the next season, and I need to decide what to do with this one.

This didn't appear to be a difficult question not long ago.  I've had an idea for a novel tentatively called The Onyx Cluster for quite some time.  The Onyx Cluster is going to be a sci-fi/horror novel about a time traveling scientist that gets stuck in the future after an apocalyptic event.  With no way to power his machine and bring him back to his own time, he has to scavenge the world for answers as to what happened to the world.  Along the way, he gets the feeling he is being watched.  At the same time, he begins to witness horrific events as any large gathering of people is slaughtered by a group of shadows that no one can pin down.  This enigmatic group of shadows appears out of nowhere and seems unstoppable once they target someone.  The main character senses that these shadows are the key to his ability to return to the present, so he decides to investigate further and gets caught up in in a play between forces he can barely understand, much less oppose.

As you can tell from the description above, I haven't really given much thought to the "book blurb" reading of it yet.  I know the general outline of the story, but I still need to refine how to describe it to others.  Still, I've been thinking about this story off and on for several years(a good portion of it came to me in a dream), so I feel good about starting on it.

However, I recently had an afternoon long burst of inspiration, and it got me curious whether I should try to tackle my new idea next instead.  A pair of TV shows spawned a new idea.  The first was on H2, and it was entitled God vs Satan.  The second was an old favorite of mine called The Devil's Advocate.  In that movie, Keanu Reeves reminds Al Pacino that "In the Bible, you lose.  We're destined to lose, dad."  At which point, Al Pacino responds, "Well, consider the source, son."  Putting these two together, it got me wondering - what would the world be like if the Devil won the Battle of Armageddon?  After all, the inevitability of God emerging victorious is only apparent in the Bible, and it's in God's interest to make His victory seem destined, but what if that was just propaganda?  A world in which Satan won, could a small group of people lead a resistance?

The concept I have in mind for this book is gory to say the least.  Envisioning what such a world would look like has given me nightmarish visions that might freak out even the most hardened horror readers, for I couldn't be gentle with my descriptions, at least in the beginning, if I wanted to establish what an awful place it would be.  I find myself wondering if the audience would tolerate what I'd have to do, or if it'd get me burned at the stake as a heretic.

I'll make a decision this weekend so I can start outlining and writing next week, but I was wondering if anyone from the audience had a preference.  Is there one of these stories you'd prefer to read?

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