Okay, first things first, (which is a majorly obvious statement because whatever is first is first so it’s actually a wasted 16 bytes (17 if you include the comma to satisfy all the grammar snobs out there) and we all know there’s a limited amount of bytes (would I kid you?!) in the universe and the internet is gobbling them up like a doper with the “munchies” inhales peanut M&Ms, so forget I mentioned that saying, aphorism, idiom, expression, motto, slogan, colloquialism, phrase, archaism, etc., or whatever it is and go right into the shameless promotional moment you were hoping for).
Okay, the first thing (or is it now the second thing?) is a shameless promo for my novel Hell Cop which is now available in paperback for the e-reader impaired or those of us who just like to hold a damn book in our hands, sniff that new book aroma, and turn real pages. Plus, isn’t it more comfortable with a real book lying open on your stomach when you fall asleep? Not falling asleep with my books, of course. Just all those other hacks. However, if you’re fully digitized, go to http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com for links to all my bytes, vampire and otherwise.
I wouldn’t bother to tell you about these books, but I’m looking out for your well being. I want you to be prepared when the zombies attack, which it seems could be any day now by the number of books, comics, TV shows and movies about them. You wouldn’t want to be trapped in that ancient, leaky bomb shelter for months or years without a good book or two because that (safe?) genetically modified killer virus escaped and wiped out most of human kind. And no good books for all those years while cowering in that high mountain cave after the whole globe turns into a deadly environmental disaster area because global warming (that’s not happening, according to some____(fill in your own naughty word)) kicked into high gear–Oh please, no. BTW – If you don’t believe in Global Warming feel free to buy that beachfront property that seems so cheap.
Monsters? What monsters? Oh… yeah, them. I’ve been rummaging around the 720 page, 500+ words/page (whew) book, The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker. The first one is Overcoming the Monster. There’s plenty of monsters out there — Medusa, Cyclops, Grendel, Mr. Hyde, Moriarity, supernatural nasties by the score, ex-wives/husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, vamps, and, okay, okay, zombies. According to Booker, since stories began thousands of years ago, Overcoming the Monster stories have 5 stages– Spoiler Alert! — If you’re a reader you might want to scroll down a bit. You don’t need to know how stories are written. It might take away some of the mystery and excitement that are my books. And… well… maybe a few others.
1. The Call – Anticipation stage
2. Initial Success – Dream stage
3. Confrontation – Frustration stage
4. Final Ordeal – Nightmare stage
5. Miraculous Escape – Death of the monster.
Most all overcoming the monster stories follow this pattern. It seems to be in our genes. What struck me was that, though it was finished before I read the book, I found my latest novel, Blood on the Water, (at the publisher, sequel to Blood Justice , paperback here) – naturally followed the 5 stages. Do yours?
What if your monster was your ex-wife/husband. Your divorce seemed amicable enough, but your spouse was not happy, carried a grudge, and was slightly (majorly) unhinged by it. You’ve moved on, found your princess/prince. The Ex seemed to have moved on, but hasn’t. Then your princess disappears. (Call to action) You’re down and out but rally, search about and discover that the Ex has taken her and locked her in the attic, basement, pit, cell, cave, high tower. (Initial success) You man up, confront the monster, but the princess is gone and you get the shit beat out of you. (Confrontation) You despair, want to give up, but your love rallies you, and win or lose, doing whatever you have to, you once again confront the monster (final ordeal) You’re up, you’re down, you fight through and finally rescue the one who makes you whole (miraculous escape) The monster is defeated and you and your princess/prince live happily ever after.
What if you were a kid and instead of monsters under the bed, in your closet was another world. Not a magical one with talking lions and such, but your world, only different. In it you are someone else, a nice person, with a nice boy/girlfriend. You like these people. They’re happy, you’re happy. Then, tragedy. The b/gfriend is murdered. You’re a witness. They’re after you. You run. You see the date; it’s tomorrow. Back in your bedroom you freak out. Parents think you’re high, big sister thinks you’re crazy. What the hell? You have a name, know their school, know somebody who knows somebody there. You go, search, just miss them. You saw where it happened, but don’t know where it is. You look for someone to help you. You find a nice (very) goodlooking person, with a great smile and sympathetic eyes who doesn’t think you’re nuts. Together you search for the coming murder scene. There it is! There they are! “Stop!” Bam. A car hits you. You’re hurt. Doesn’t matter. Running, limping, you chase after. There’s the killer, the monster. Only one thing to do…. Your new friend with the eyes and the smile is very proud of you.
What if there really was a monster that was guarding an artifact that would bring you unlimited riches and power over the world? So you and your evil henchmen go to the desert, mountains, jungle, city, underwater, space after it. It’s a tough slog. One by one your men are lost. You don’t care. You want that power, damn it. Hurt, starving, you come across a poor family. They show you kindness. Local bad guys are harassing them, stealing food, taking their daughter. They don’t ask for help, but for the first time you’re willing to give it and you take care of the bad guys. Finally you confront the monster, and being an evil genius you defeat it and gain the artifact. The family knows of the artifact and advises you not to use it. Of course you don’t listen and head back to civilization to put it to use. –End of the book in the series.
My monster is promoting, marketing my books and stories. Reviews, likes, shares, and word of mouth would all help slay that dragon.
Watch for Programed for Murder a mystery available soon. In return for a review I’d be happy to send you a PDF of the book.
A preview of the novella Young Blood is available here. I’d appreciate any comments and answers to the three questions.
Website – http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com — Find info and links on all my work here.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DBurtonWriting