I wrote Curse of the Black Swan years ago. Seven years, to be exact. It has undergone countless rewrites, each time (I think) getting stronger, as my writing matures and what not. However, there was always something bugging me. Violence. It simply wasn’t violent enough. Well, the main character Nathaniel wasn’t violent enough.
I wanted to portray a dark core, locked away in the body of a womanizing, drinking, swearing, swashbuckler. Think of Han Solo, James Bond, etc, if they were trapped in the movie The Departed.
Back when Brian first read this novel, he said it wasn’t violent enough. So I added more killing and such. But I still wasn’t satisfied. The problem I had was that the Nathaniel, as he existed on the page, couldn’t become that cold blooded. There was a limit, as a writer, that I could take him.
So I came up with a solution two days ago — and it opens up a myriad of potential. I drew inspiration from a lot of places — most recently being Two Face from The Dark Knight. Plus Dexter…Unforgiven…Hulk, a lot of different sources to come up with a really simple solution (but one that wasn’t evident to me).
The ole Jeckl and Hyde routine.
I know I’ve not created anything new here. This is an old device, but one that works well here (IMO).
Nathaniel is through a first person perspective. He’s a fairly humorous guy who is quite dense, yet is an eternal optimist. He can explain how any bad situation went exactly according to plan. It just didn’t work that he could become so evil, so cold…didn’t make sense.
But inside of him is something else. Is it natural? Another side of him? A separate entity? He’s not sure. But when this entity takes over, he is merely a passenger to the carnage and slaughter that will follow behind.
When the Other takes over, the story switches to third person (much easier to describe death and destruction without alienating the reader).
Very simple…one of those things that I don’t know how it wasn’t apparent earlier. Takes away a lot of problems.
Is this what was preventing this book from being published? No. But that was the ‘loose tooth’ of the novel for me. The thing I kept coming back to, trying to figure out how to fix that particular problem. I cringed at some of those scenes — they simply weren’t strong enough.
This adds another dimension