Dissection of a Misanthrope

The Writing Diary of M Brace DeFreak


August 2017

The Blind Detective

Baynard Kendrick had an interest in Florida history and blind people, and I share these interests; even though, my interest expands beyond blind people; I’m interested in anyone who deviates from the norm. I allude to Kendrick, in my novel, and such allusions will be missed if I don’t record my use. The image on the left comes from a movie based on Kendrick’s book.

The block quote below comes from Kendrick’s Wikipedia page: Blind

Baynard Hardwick Kendrick (April 8, 1894–March 22, 1977) was an American mystery novelist. He wrote whodunit novels about Duncan Maclain, a blind private investigator who worked with his two German shepherds and his household of assistants to solve murder mysteries. The novels were the basis for two films starring Edward ArnoldEyes in the Night[1] (1942) and The Hidden Eye[2] (1945). Kendrick was credited by Stirling Silliphant for being the source of the Longstreet character about a blind insurance investigator. He also wrote using the pseudonym Richard Hayward. His book Lights Out was filmed as Bright Victory.

Bash the fat rich liberal icons of Hollywood

The disparity between my income and liberals of Hollywood who promote attacks against me is probably greater than what was going on in Civil War times, but the liberals have worked hard to send away jobs from guys like me. Fear the wrath of the crazy mad Timucuan if you are a liberal hypocrite on my Native land – If Kaepernick sets foot in Florida a Native American I may be butchering Peter King of Sports Illustrated for my Thanksgiving reversal dinner. I don’t care much for the Civil War statues but the greatest African American writer Zora Neale Hurston hated the rich White liberals of the North–read The Pet Negro and preferred her treatment in the South. I’m certain she would get along much with me than you progressive holier-than-thou’s. Bust up the Oscars and every celebration of fat rich liberals; whether they be white, black or somewhere in between.

Dialogue and calling the shot

You can narrate a piece through dialogue and that’s what I did. When you play billiards you can close your eyes after someone calls their shot and you can hear and predict the rest. In scenes where the setting doesn’t matter and only an exchange of dialogue occurs, you have little need for narration. But, I used too little narration in one particular scene and I botched the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule of writing by telling readers about wood carvings and never highlighting their presence by having characters interact with them.

I’m not a natural-born storyteller and I write this post as a reminder of what I did wrong. If you note something interesting within a setting — you need characters to interact in various ways. Yes, you can have the character announce his or her actions, but you need to activate another sensory process, don’t just say something is there.

Fun with Dialogue Tags

I share Cormac McCarthy’s hatred for quotation marks and devised a less obtrusive way of handling dialogue.  My method comes with risk, though. People prefer familiarity. On a whim, I started adding dialogue tags to my novel and I had a surprising amount of fun. By including a snippet of narration, I add movement and pertinent description to the scene. Many scenes still don’t need a dialogue tag or extra narration because the dialog carries the scene and the setting of the scene is unimportant, but adding a small amount of narration makes a big difference, in a handful of scenes.

I enjoy using a nickname to describe a character and dialog tags, offer the chance to humorously nickname a character. My previous method of marking dialogue has been done before, but the method is designed for a conversation between two people and additional characters cause a problem. Few scenes, in my novel, exceed two characters; thus, the other method worked well. Both methods have benefits and I still may skip the quotation marks, but I’ve seen the benefit of adding dialog tags.

An audio book does not indicate where a quotation mark is placed, so does written text need those marks. Many people enjoy, a book being read to them. I agree with Cormac McCarthy, quotation marks are noisy little critters and text and a reader doesn’t need them — audio books prove this point. You can avoid dialogue tags; as well, but the tags add narration benefits. People talk and perform physical actions at the same time and you can use dialogue to note the physical actions, but this method has limits and dialogue tag narration pushes you past these limits.

Content Editing Requires Creativity

In content editing, you bring life to your novel’s dead zones. Content editing also involves cutting out the dead flesh of text; which, requires decision-making, but you also need to add the spark of life.

Depression drained my creativity, as I entered the editing phase. Anxiety and depression eventually pushed deep into the tedium of line editing because I needed a place to hide my head. Today, I recognized content problems and solutions. Unfortunately, I’ll create errors for line edits to correct.

It’s Tough To Beat Ulysses

Statistically, Ulysses is a masterpiece. I outperform James Joyce’s other work, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, but he burns me with Ulysses. By statistics I mean, the Lexical Density versus the Readability index (using roughly the same word count). With lexical density, the higher the better, but an easier read; which is measured by the readability index (the lower the better). I bet no one beats Ulysses.

This isn’t the duel I want, but I don’t want to count the number of allusions in my other novel and Joyce’s other novel, Finnegan’s Wake. It would be a slugfest for certain, Ireland against Florida duking it out in all out ink-bath.

The Trouble with Triva

There may be a legal hassle with my use of trivia. Rarely do I use trivia without Florida connection and if a person stepped foot on my Native American–they owe the toll my trivia claims. My other novel is a Florida version of Finnegan’s Wake and this prequel compares James Joyce’s, Dubliners, in depth. Most should find my novels more enjoyable than Joyce’s work, even without catching the vast amount of trivia used.

I’m probably closer to Serge than Tim Dorsey, for several reasons. Serge is Tim Dorsey’s character and Serge is a Florida history and trivia buff who’s little nuts, just like me. My dwarf is us more criminally insane than all of us put together, by the end of the novel and that’s Joker level insanity. Harley Quin is G-rated rather than g-stringed, in comparison to my dwarf. Yep, my girl is deliciously bad.

Rude to the natives

I’ve helped apparent Muslims with car trouble and been friendly with many immigrants, but I live in an area where immigrants are an overwhelming population and what I get is more traffic to separate me further from family and rude behavior. Even the Seminoles are foreign invaders compared to me–that’s how native I am. Multiple literary agents show an abundance of love for immigrants, but I don’t see much love for native works.

A Different Kind of Family Saga

A gonzo Oresteia may be the best way to describe my series of novels. I’m not sure whether gonzo or Southern Gothic describes my style best. Hunter Thompson’s gonzo journalism applied to history creates gonzo historical fiction and my novels fit such a niche. Both novels take place in the contemporary world, but the past very much haunts this world. My novels lack a true genre and I some frustration in this predicament. Should I market my novel to the paranormal crowd because my novels somewhat fit? I’ll need to stop editing, eventually and I’m surprised I managed such a long streak.

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