Monday, July 22, 2013

Booze Mortem

Fun story to write. The random seed, if you recall, was from this web site and it spit out "The story starts when your protagonist is told s/he must get married immediately. Another character is an alchemist who just got out of prison."


I never did get Harry out of prison. By the time I'd realized I'd violated the random seed, I was already nearing the 1,000 word limit. In fact, I wound up going over by 100, but it's close enough for horse shoes and nuclear war.

Anyhow, I had fun writing this. This is the part where you're supposed to say something like "well, it was a fun voice to write for a few hundred words, but I'd never be able to keep it up for longer than that", but frankly, I could probably go on in this fashion for several dozen novels. Hardboiled is probably my favorite of the authorial voices. If I didn't force myself to write other things, pretty much everything I wrote would read like this.

This is a problem because in this type of fiction you're always skirting the line beyond which the cliche monsters dwell. Don't disturb the cliche monsters; they are hoary miserable old grues who will crunch up your bones and then drunk text your parents at two in the morning.

But you can call people "toots" or say things like "now you're cooking with gas" and nobody raises an eyebrow. How cool is that?

A lot of the background in this is a combination of what I've seen of Boardwalk Empire and one of my favorite books on the Prohibition called "Last Call". The main character keeps mentioning mixing--Harry, if he had not had the alchemist's stone, would have made a living taking cheap grain alcohol, or booze of similar grade such as moonshine, and mixing adulterants of various sorts (some healthy, many not) into it to make it more palatable/taste more like real alcohols.

So, the fact that his booze was relatively healthy AND tasted good would have made him rather remarkable.

Should be a bizarre week ahead of me. Teeth-pulling on this end, punk rock concert and beer festival on the other. In that time, I hope to have another bit of flash fiction finished. Who knows.

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