The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Fueling The Insanity Of An Already Mad Story

Posted by BigWords on July 15, 2009

I wanted to share this with people because I am forever grateful to whoever came up with the idea. I love it when I am given a new toy to play with, and this is the best I have come across in a long while. The following is an excerpt from a zombie tale, naturally…

Today hell erupted. Everyone nudges death in shock, coping or managing in noticable grief. I am one of the survivors.
The end is coming. Nearby, under darkness, Grace is noticably getting colder, left outside so everyone realizes… Damn, it’s too bad. I liked her. Don’t you imagine no ghouls shall linger on wherever living yet-
Shit, there’s one… Nudging closer…

It is a bit clunky, and the first person narration seems stilted, but there is good reason. Lets look again.

Today hell erupted. Everyone nudges death in shock, coping or managing in noticable grief. I am one of the survivors.
The end is coming. Nearby, under darkness, Grace is noticably getting colder, left outside so everyone realizes… Damn, it’s too bad. I liked her. Don’t you imagine no ghouls shall linger on wherever living yet-
Shit, there’s one… Nudging closer

Both “The end is coming” and “Nudging closer” are hidden in the preceeding text. But what of Grace? She has been put outside where the undead are shuffling, in the cold of the night… What is she doing?

The end is coming. Nearby, under darkness, Grace is noticably getting colder, left outside so everyone realizes… Damn, it’s too bad. I liked her. Don’t you imagine no ghouls shall linger on wherever living yet-

Oh, so there ain’t gonna be a happy ending then…

It will make editing something so multi-layered next to impossible, but I’m already in love with this idea, subliminally influencing the reader into a certain way of thinking as they unexpectedly get flash-forwards, deja-vu and mild disorientation. I am going to suggest a third layer as well, which will occupy every # word in the text (fourth, tenth, eighteenth, whatever) as an added complication. As I said, the editing of this technique will be next to impossible, but challenges are challenges, and I don’t give in easily.

This idea harkens back to a few cultural touchstones such as The Bible Code, subliminal advertising and classic foreshadowing, but it has the edge of insane brilliance which gets me fired up regardless of its origins. Nearly everything I touch seems to need an extra something which remains tantalizingly out of my grasp, yet this- This is a tool which I need to use. The effectiveness of the text-within-a-text may be unproven, and it may turn out to be unprovable, yet the psychology is sound.

We take in information all of the time without knowing we are absorbing the information. It is how tricksters magicians such a Derrin Brown are able to convince people of the most unbelievable things, or to implant thoughts in the minds of unwary audience members.

Be careful when you read something of mine from now on, I might be prepping your unconscious for a bank job…

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One Response to “Fueling The Insanity Of An Already Mad Story”

  1. sputnitsa said

    YIKES. I can’t even imagine the control needed to write something like that. I clearly ought not read your blog BEFORE my coffee. *mental note* 🙂

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