When A Novel Come’s a-Gnawing

It’s been gnawing at me, this novel, especially over the past few months.  I’m gonna have to get off my ass or on my ass and in front of this keyboard and start knocking it out – without really knowing where it is going.

This has been aggravating me for two years, this book.  No, it has nothing to do with “The Boy”, part two, which I am supposed to be writing.  (Finishing up, actually, changing a few plot line details.)  It’s about a post-apocalyptic child, a little boy who doesn’t know what’s happening, has been sheltered against the world; Matthew, our teen alter as himself in this type of ‘situation’ – and who we know has been plotting the storyline as well as a few “others”.   “13” is going to be there, presenting himself as the result of a government experiment . . . because in a way ‘he’ was . . .

Reading over what we wrote in the Nanowrite competition, we saw where it’s a descent into madness.  Just like “The Boy”, it opens up the door . . . and drops you in.  In a pit of insanity or a mind going insane.  Into the mind of a child.  And child abuse.  Love’s betrayals.  Hard settings and soft.  “The Boy” is “richly written” (in terms of detail, a reader wrote) and so is this one, apparently.  Though I’m trying to ‘cut’ the descriptions . . .

“Write what you know,” they said, “write what you’ve done in life . . .”

In a way I guess I’ve kinda lived several lives, some of them at one time.  It also explains ‘my’ style in fiction: dark (or light); psychological & physical horror, abuse, and worse.

In both “The Boy” and this new novel we have bad things happening to good folks and good things to bad ones; good folks doing bad; or the evil ones in their hearts wanting to do good – or something like that.  I had some say they sympathize with Harold Thompson, the main protagonist in the boy.  A child molester, sadist and liar.  And a racist, too.  A few said they could understand “his descent into madness” and Jeff’s confusion about sex and love . . . how he could come to want it, the physical aspects thereof.

I can understand it, too.  In a way you could say I “lived it” in an alternate world, over the years, here and there.

I suppose this novel, with this ‘pressing’ pressure building up inside – it’s gonna be one of those, too.  It’s like a play and I’m involved, whether I want to be there or not.  I’m gonna have to ‘see’ it and  . . .

Let’s put it this way.  In my lifetime I’ve written four full-fledged novels (of which only 1 was published).  3 of them dealt with . . . ‘us’ in a way.  Years after writing them I could “see”: they described my life (or the life of one of my alters) in some way.  In one of the big 1sts (during high school) it was about the loss of emotion.  This one has the same “feel”, as if it (or someone) is trying to tell us something, “feel” us something, give us something . . . special.

And I haven’t a clue what it is.

LOL!  Oh well, needless to say this ‘new novel’ has been gnawing like rats between my  ears.

I wish I had a good plot line laid down, one that I could follow.  “This happens, then this, then this here – “, but so far it’s just a string of scenes, a novel partially written.  We know how each one ties in in some way – but we don’t.  Each will have to be written – then as I’m writing things, “it” comes to me: the connection, and it’s written in – by the alter who is doing the scene.  After all, ‘he’ is the one who thought of it.  And there’s various ones of them ‘plotting’ this thing out in my head – it’s like a conference room door closed, and I can barely listen.  And ‘they’ only ‘come out’ in a gang together to work on this thing – and then I’ll get some idea of where it’s going – and then: lights out.  I’m left to wondering.  Like a mushroom in the dark and all that kind of thing.

Then I go back and try to polish what they’ve written.  Some long-winded bastards in there, LOL’ing!  But on the other hand they are trying to make a point – and “I” as the adult alter with the help of ‘Elvis’, an impersonator of our creative “artist” (who’s heart we know lies within the heart of “Little Mikie” – yeah, we’ve spent some time tracking this shit down) . . . sighing . . .

A snail in the back pocket couldn’t be more aggravating.

A pencil head that keeps breaking off . . . that screeching sound a blackboard can give off . . .

rats in the brain gnawing on the wiring, ghosts in the attic whispering down the chimney, bats in the belfry beating themselves about senseless against the bell.  Cuckoos in the corners softly cooing amongst themselves, a few cards cut from the deck . . . it’s a gnawing feeling on my concentration

Pulling teeth.

That’s what it’s like sometimes, writing. :/



About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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7 Responses to When A Novel Come’s a-Gnawing

  1. interopia says:

    sounds a lot like the novel kicking around inside me….i’m going to spend the next 3 months confined to a sofa writing it


  2. jeffssong says:

    LOL, ouch! We’re trying to get back to consistently working on those books. And when a story is gnawing at cha’ – well, I guess you know the feeling! It will gnaw until you’re done. :/


  3. Oh yes, the gnawing. Mine’s been eating at me for…oh my goodness, 7 years? Life keeps interrupting, some of my alters interfere and take the novel in a direction I never intended. But I like what I’ve written so far, it pleases me. I hope the gnawing never goes away until I’m left with the finished product.


  4. Marty says:

    I can throw out posts

    Have over 1800. A book stymies me so far.



    • jeffssong says:

      It’s easy to write a novel – but then the work comes in: the polishing and editing.

      Ever think of bundling posts into an inspirational ‘book’ you can publish using online tools? That would work, too. 🙂


      • Marty says:

        Thought about it

        I have evaluated many other blogs and see mine is different no better different

        Asked who is my audience or who might be on the future

        I have some subconscious block I am addressing

        Would like to hook up for direction from a writer.


    • jeffssong says:

      From the posts I’ve seen I would think a self-help/inspirational organized by “chapters”; e.g. “The Id”, “The Ego”, “Ignoring Others & Defining One’s Self” type of sub-section themes. Sections would just be posts, cleaned up and edited for spelling / grammar / comprehension.

      As to ‘quality’ from what I’ve seen out there it doesn’t really matter. You never really know what’s gonna sink or swim. A lot of it is publicity / advertising / promotion. You can use Createspace to publish (for free) your own work. I did – or rather, ‘me’ and my alters did. It was a combination approach. Including the artwork (my avatar/logo thing there). Chapters by Title with subsections being appropriate posts (with non-infringement artwork that is appropriate) could be done, and done by yourself with determination & grit – and a lot of patience with yourself. And as you’ve said yourself: don’t let others judgement of YOUR work affect your vision of yourself – or your decision to pursue such a work.


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