My novel is up to 37K and needs more umph. It’s tough to top Chapter Two of The Flesh Sutra when the stage magician is turned into a worm-man eating his own mother’s corpse. Whither the grotesques of yesteryear?
What this novel do gots: self-crotch-immolation, two forms of eternal soul torment, a living mummy, possession, Demon In A Drum, a gory crushing by a pile of jagged scrap wood, and a death by gunshot.
So it do gots some ewww.
What’s with my odd language? English is a laboratory and I’ve been taken by whims. Adapt!
Advice! I’ve mentioned before about character arcs, and that all the characters and even your setting should be changed by the end of your tale. The more mature and accepted transformation is all become “sadder but wiser”, usually to the tune of “September” from the Fantastiks. My preferred method seems to be horrified realization, because I’m an anxious man who drinks way too much caffeine.
For greater emotional impact, have arcs occur in combination with each other. Scarlett O’Hara’s fortunes follow that of Georgia, from defeat to econmic vitality. “The Silence of the Lambs” would have been dull if Clarice’s life had been endangered, then some hours later she cracked the case and saved the hostage. Sports novels and movies are reaaaally good at bringing dramatic arcs together for greater impact; try both the movie and novel for “The Natural” (be warned, the endings are very different).
Talking about character arcs, I waste yuuuuuuge amounts of time on Alt-Right blogs SWIDT? Some pieces of their agenda are agareeable in that they believe we live in an oligarchical surveillance state (we do). I’ve been reading them for three reasons: my temperment is comfortable in a state of dismay; I am jealous of their confidence; and watching them is a big soap opera.
I will not mention the specific sites, but fans will know them by content. Currently, the well-meaning-yet-hard-case Catholic writer is realizing the burgeoning media mogul is now far less Christian than Machivellian, if one remembers that M’ism includes using your friends as tools and then moving on.
I was reading the mogul back when he was a mere gadfly against well-heeled SF authors (another thing I agree with him, in that some popular writers are overrrated).
I could go on and on, but this already occupies far more of my RAM than I’d prefer.
If you take away anything from this post it is this: life is filled with drama but writers should choreograph that drama to greatest impact.