Overcoming the Monster

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?

Ideas

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

 

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Hey, Gaia, how hot is it?

Maybe it should be, how hot will it get? Whether you deny the reality or accept the fact – it’s getting hot outside. And I know why. Well, we all know why, hydrocarbons, human inventiveness, cow farts, all that. But why is all that and more making the Earth hotter every year? Because we have an enemy whose sole aim is to destroy humanity.

The enemy is not aliens bent on making Earth uninhabitable for humans so they can move in because they need a new planet and Earth looks pretty good except for the 7 or 8 billion pesky humans running around taking up valuable real estate.  And  they already made their own planet hot and uninhabitable, and know how to do it so what chance do we have? No, not them.

Nor is it some supernatural entity who wants to make the surface of the Earth available for all demon kind who are tired of living down under. (Not you Australia, farther down) Of course, even among the average Joes and Janes of the supernatural entity masses there will be some who resist change (meaning they would have to accept logic and facts) no matter how good it might be for the people as a whole, or their descendants. Though some might think differently if the Greenhouse Gas oven we are building cooks the humans to a delectably putrid state. Yum. No, not them, either.

No, it’s Gaia (that’s the Earth in case you missed that day in your mythological geology class because you had to spend half the night before figuring out how to update your Facebook status from straight and sober to a loosey goosey high, and back)  herself. I have it on no particular authority that long ago Gaia recognized that humans would be bad for her so she put together a short (in geological time) plan. She knew, with the prescience of 5 million years experience,  that in a few thousand years even though the new hairy beasts only used two feet instead of four, they’d leave a BIG messy footprint.

So she created oil (you do not want to know where that really came from – zooplankton,  algae, dinosaurs, leaves and twigs? Oh please.) figuring they’d figure out how to burn the stuff irresponsibly, causing the atmosphere to heat to uninhabitable levels. Then, in a short 5000 years or so, they’d all die off from flooding, famine, heat stroke, wars for the few remaining resources, or high temperature viruses and bacteria;  or figure out how to leave the planet altogether. Either way, what does she care, peace and quiet at last.

IDEAS

What if you were an astronaut and were sent to Mars with the idea of moving all the remaining humans to that cool red land? There, you meet the God of Mars, Gaia’s younger brother who she tormented endlessly when they were young just forming planets. Mars realizes what you are planning and wants nothing to do with an invasion of immigrants. He also knows some of Gaia’s secrets and sees a payback opportunity. So you make a deal; Mars will spill his secrets and help you return Earth to a habitable state, if humans stay away. You, being a shrewd wheeler-dealer, negotiate the rights to develop one crater as a resort. What a deal. Except we all know what happens when you let a few humans in the door.

What if Gaia has a brain? And you find it while lost deep in a cavern. But the brain is under attack by a virus that had mutated due to the excessive heat on the surface, and even Gaia can not control it. If the brain dies, the power of Gaia dies and the Earth will spin apart destroying all. But, you are a doctor and you cure Gaia’s brain fever. You also convince her that some humans respect the Earth and deserve to live. Grateful, Gaia agrees, but a limited number only,  one billion, the rest must go. She gives you the power to choose. You must mark the areas – cities, states, countries, islands, continents  – for destruction, or all will be destroyed. How do you choose?  Who do you choose? Do you choose? Will absolute power corrupt you absolutely? Will humanity, a billion of them, anyway, be saved? Will you be seen as villain or hero?

No matter how crispy it gets outside, keep your cool and think about why it’s so hot. Then do something about it.

I’m hot under the collar, (or would be if I wore shirts with collars)those people put another of my stories up in their little contest. This is my first and final plea – Please vote for An Accidental Vampire at www.voteformyebook.com. It’s hot!