So over at Digger, at long last, we’re getting Ed’s backstory.
I can’t imagine it’s a spoiler for anybody to learn that Ed’s story is an unhappy one.
And y’know, it’s funny. I’ve known his story for YEARS, I have mulled it over in the back of my brain and planned it out on sleepless nights, and yet, as I write it down, I still find myself hurting for poor Ed. Feeling bad for your own creations may be a sign of lunacy, I dunno, but I think it helps–I write out the narration and it’s like exploratory surgery, finding the phrases that hurt the most.
It’s sort of a relief to have it out, at last–I’ve been the only one who knew Ed’s history, and there’s a certain catharsis in finally sharing it.
Of course, there’s also more than a little fear–this is dark stuff I’m dicing with, and at the end of it, I don’t have a clearcut moral, and I’m treading on some very thin emotional ice, and I more-than-half-suspect that by NOT having a clearcut villain and blameless victim and so forth, I’ll piss some people off, and having all the usual gender roles reversed, since they’re hyenas, is probably not gonna buy me any slack on that front.
(Okay, okay, this may not make any sense right now–come back in a month, really.)
But I gotta say…and this probably makes me a bad person, but other writers admit to it too, so I’m not the only one…there is a really EVIL glee involved as well. I have been setting this sucker up for YEARS. I may yet screw up the ending, I may lose the reader, I may wallow too much in misery before we hit the end and leave people feeling pissed-off and manipulated instead of emotionally moved, but for the moment, by god, I have the readers by the emotional short hairs, and I intend to pull.
There is obviously a sadistic streak in writers, and it’s kind of scary how fun it is sometimes, when you feel you’ve really earned it.