Sirs, madams, small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.
You and I are about to be part of a grand experiment, which will determine the future course of our interaction (if not the future of this blog itself). The experiment is this:
Thank you for your participation.
Now. You may or may not be aware of the tiny novella that has been growing chapter by chapter on this blog for the past few months.
I mean, even I didn’t know it was a novella until literally ten seconds ago, when I realized the Short Story categorization would become mildly disingenuous after the next chapter took us past the 10,000 word mark (actual halfway mark still somewhere in the distance).
Bloody Thursday originally started out as the script for a (proposed) half-hour movie about a campus wastrel who has to juggle a murder mystery with his ongoing downward spiral, but I only got as far as three scenes and some expert criticism regarding my inability to stay grounded.
After a few months of jacking off to more-and-more ludicrous setpieces I realized the visuals in my head hadn’t been as intriguing as the central character, who seemed less-than-likely to be taken in by said glitzy high-def.
A bit more streetsmart. A lot more cynical.
For the plot to draw him in – for his fellow characters to elicit his involvement in potentially life-threatening situations – there would need to be some moral ambiguity, maybe a few more nods to his life before things got horrible; plus the sharp reparteé that is one trademark of a noir story.
It took a further month before the chapters outnumbered the scenes.
This is an extremely long intro to give a yarn that might have missed its mark already, but if you haven’t read any of the chapters so far and yet stuck this long with my idiot rant:
Jimmy wakes up in Hospital. He outlines the theme to his weeklong bender. He stares at an inebriated landlord. He meets Babli (and The Crow). He gets in a fight and is saved by a girl who knows him (but not vice versa). Said girl invokes a campus myth called The Reverend Ma’am.
Then Jimmy remembers who the girl is.
There. You are up-to-date, more or less.
The first chapter has just over eighty views at the time of this writing, but it plummets down to less than a dozen by the time The Reverend clocks her first appearance.
That brings me to the original reason for this post: the intermittent update pattern is not really suited to a story with any narrative tension. The half-dozen glowing reviews I got have long faded into cold static and dusty curtains.
Plus there is hardly any scope for playing around with linear chronology when the chapters are arriving piecemeal on some random schedule.
Memory can be an unreliable customer, especially when a week’s worth of happenings have to be recalled from a cramped hospital bed; but the way things stand, one would have to go back and cross-check against months-old posts for potential holes in Jimmy’s story.
Even I don’t do that all the time.
So now, instead of posting links to chapters as and when they pop up, I will come back next week with the result of this experiment.
In any case, sweeping declaration!
- This blog will now be updated more regularly with reviews and shorter pieces! (Fun fact: I recently discussed my favourite Al Pacino movie here without spoilers). Since Bloody Thursday is trying so hard to be a hardboiled yarn, most of the movies/books/thingies I discuss in the near future will be in a similar vein. Expect a lot of bodybags!
- I don’t know how the everlovin’ fricassee I will manage it, but said yarn will be over and done two Thursdays from now. Like, available online before you start rolling your eyes at pretentious new year’s resolutions like this one (and without a cheaty oh-he-died-of-an-embolism-I-guess-we’ll-never-know-now ending, either).
- I know you are already sniggering (especially since it’s eight months since we began and I said earlier that I’m not halfway done yet) but at least I’m not blindsiding you with multiple new chapters in one post!
- Click on this link.
See you in 2016!