Writing an entire novel in public does not rank among the best ideas I ever had. Unfortunately it gives a glimpse into the dark side of writing, the side the reader shouldn't have to be bothered with. The vast majority of writing is work, plain and simple. Instant gratification does not exist when it comes to a lengthy piece of literature, although early on I can say there was an enhanced sense of accomplishment for having been able to turn out some of the sequences I did while people came and went all around me. Now, however, with a plot foundation that will require in the area of a thousand pages to be addressed effectively, the task seems somewhat daunting. Nevertheless, this thing I have started will be finished.

My immediate family disapproves that I continued that part of the book pertaining to the victim of a kidnapping. They seem to think that I should have just dropped it, and I really wish I could have done that. The problem is that no matter how many things that can be said about it after it is finished, so many more things could have been said about that scenario being dropped from the novel. I would greatly prefer to be judged for what I have written than to be the victim of speculation.

I shied away from writing anything having to do with sexual fetishes or abnormal sexuality for the duration of my career as a writer with good reason. I did not want to provoke nonconformist sexual thought among young people. That's the nice way of saying it. A harder way of putting it is that someone who reads about abnormal sexuality can be said to have been influenced by the author, and that such work instigates deviant sexual thought. My philosophy stands at odds with such an interpretation of the stability of the readership, and for that reason I finally decided that nothing ventured is nothing gained. Not that there is anything to gained here, considering I do all of this strictly for the sake of art.

I started the Ivana Curtis portion of the project with the completely real goal of creating spiritual positivity and advancing gender education with the story. The unpleasant angle here is that her story is linked to the rest of the book. With the project rapidly approaching 40,000 words, the starts and stops in the storyline have struck me as entirely detrimental to my original goal. Whereas if someone read what I intended to write straight from the beginning to the end there would be little room for negatively impacting a reader who is not fully matured, the way it stands now I have the very real feeling that what I dreaded all along may very well take place. Instead of being an uplifting piece about a young lady who becomes a strong heroine and a deeply admired character, parts of the story may be taken out of context and deemed pornographic. Her character runs the risk of becoming a sex object for the barely literate instead of the vehicle for an enlightened message and advanced morals.

Over the summer I went out of state. Back in July I stopped the Curtis part of the project for the reasons I just mentioned. I resumed writing it for reasons that won't be mentioned. Now I have to change strategy completely to avoid the fiasco I worried about from the beginning. The portion of the project dealing with Ivana will be released in two massive blocks which will contain the entirety of the story except the finale. The finale will have to be released with the rest of the book, because it depends on the other plotlines.

Because of the days of BBS (bulletin board systems) in the mid 1980's I looked at the Internet a lot differently for a very long time. Using my own name seemed like a bad idea, considering nobody else did and one could have bad things happen to them very quickly for being too open. After setting up a home office network where we spent time on newsgroups, back around the turn of the millennium, I decided to come up with a handle. A pseudonym with fake names would have been altogether too normal.

After coming up with about fifty and finding them taken I finally had what I considered a eureka moment. I settled on Lesserdevil. "It's not taken?" I marveled, unbelieving. "And it has a sort of double entendre: lessered evil!" What great fortune.

Like many of the decisions in my life that affected my future chaotically, I did not spend very much time on it. I did not choose that handle for mischievous reasons. I definitely did not consider just how many people would have a negative reaction to it. It was catchy and it was easy. I had written a lot of poetry, and a lot of it was dark. Lesserdevil was just a word I came up with that I felt fit some of the poetry, some of which was directly based on writing with occult themes, works like Dracula (imagine).

I had a lot of other things I wanted to write here tonight, but it's getting late, so I'm going to close with this. I have often wondered how many people think my writing and the choice of "Lesserdevil" was intended to make light of their spiritual beliefs. I absolutely do not take religious beliefs lightly. I worry about every single thing. My hair turned gray before I was 30. I worry about being a good role model for a child I do not even have yet. I worry about what people will think after I'm dead. I worry about pronouns and participles. When I write I worry about future interpretations.

I have a deadline. There's only so much I can write before I'm dead, so I have to make it count. I've considered that God may not be very forgiving, at all, that maybe I should stop writing fiction, or poetry, and just write sermons if I want to get into heaven. Then I consider how we all have free will. I am so thankful for free will. In the end, what you do is your decision. If some ectoplasmic turd used my writing as an excuse to commit horrible acts, that would be heavy. It would bother me. But it would be that persons's fault. All I can do is my best.

[hopefully not riddled with errors]
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Symbols of Decay is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License..
Related written works at Angelfire, Sex Symbols, Cymbals of Silence.Repent or Die