This post ended up being a bit of a ramble with no clear conclusion. I’ll file this under philosophical musings and I/We can go off on it in other directions if philosophy is the tea that a good portion of my future following likes to drink. So, if you were looking for a post that really targeted in on censorship, that Censor Ship has sailed. Give it a read though.
The story I wrote for the upcoming anthology wasn’t the first one. The first I wrote for it ended up being outside the guidelines. I don’t know for sure that it wasn’t acceptable, but it likely wasn’t. I wasn’t censored by the anthology. I censored myself and decided to write another.
I’m happy with the story that I’m going to contribute, and it is likely more fitting as it precedes my novel and doesn’t give away too much of Nyth’s history. The other did, which is the only reason I don’t share it on the blog right now. But it was a far better representation, overall, of what one could expect from Nyth, as well as my writing.
But this fear of putting my mind out there is something I am having to combat while getting started as an author. What can I say? What can’t I say? On my blog, I would like to just be myself and hope that doesn’t scare people away. For example, my about page was (taken down, kept in a folder) in first person and fairly personal. Likely a big no for anyone intending to find a publisher but I intend to self-publish unless someone gives me a very good reason not to.
It’s odd to me that I worry so much about this. There was very little I wasn’t allowed to take in as a child. My mind grew up fast, but I was mature enough to handle it, I thought/think. Maybe it’s the reason I have such twisted humor (I’m easing you in as I become more comfortable sharing myself) and write such dark things. No problem there. I like what I write. Maybe it’s why I struggled with issues you wouldn’t expect from someone with as good a home life as mine was.
So, I wasn’t censored. I could express myself as I chose. That being said, there are a lot of things I don’t want my children watching that I was allowed. There are things in the world that I want to protect them from even knowing about. I was taught about those things (as opposed to being kept in the dark about them) and, while I had a firm understanding of the world and how to be safe in it, it was a bleak place from an early age.
And when I first created Nyth, it was a world every bit as bleak as I saw ours. But I made it fantastic. I made it so a single person really could do something about the darkness. But isn’t that true of Earth?
With Nyth, there is a security where I can say everything truly does happen for a reason. Again, isn’t this true for Earth? Even if we don’t understand or have the information necessary to determine said reason.
But on Nyth, those reasons are known. Everything can be followed in a logical web, connecting to everything else. The entirety of the universe encapsulated in a way that nothing outside its boundaries has any bearing on its reality.
You don’t know those reasons, Dear Reader, but I do. But that is part of the point. Nyth is a place where I went to feel safe. Not in the fact that it offered any safety, as it offers very little (whether it be as an idea or as a physical place) outside the fact that there, I know everything. I am in control.
Or I thought I was . Now, the things that happen there, it is as though they happen whether I guide them or not. I put Nyth on paper. I am its mouthpiece. Yes, if I don’t like what happens, I could change it. But if I did that, I would be lying to you.
This may have become obvious to me when I wrote a story for myself, wrote myself into the world (laugh if you want) to escape a dark time in my life. But when I got there, I found that the history I knew of it had little bearing. Yes, the broad sweeps were there (for the most part) but small details I anticipated (sometimes relied on) had changed on me. (This is one of the stories I intend to write for the public, but the protagonist has become a character other than myself)
Nyth is no longer the place I escaped to as a boy. No longer a place where I can be sure. Not a place where I can have power over those things that I want to protect my children from (as I must have wanted to protect my own child self from). It is gritty and real. Perhaps that change simply came with age. Maybe that safety net fell away when I got to a point in my life where I no longer needed it (and I needed it for longer than I would like to admit).
The short story in my anthology mirrors the transformation to an extent. It is based on a story I wrote when I was ten. It was dark, but overall hopeful. I took the boy in that story and took something from him. Took something from him that turned him into the protagonist of the novel I write now.
But it wasn’t really me that did that to him. That is who he always was. Who he was always to become. I just didn’t know that when I was a boy. Had I known that, I might not have been so in love with the world I created.
That isn’t to say there is no hope on Nyth. It just isn’t the idealized world that child needed. Many things end well for many characters. Life happens, events (good and evil) come to pass. Besides, how can a world be truly dark without hope?