Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let Me Tell You About My Character

Pay close attention. This is a nerd telling you about his character. I mean, I guess it could be an author telling you about his character, as this is the main character of my current writing project. But really, no. Nerd telling you about his character. So you know this is a serious thread.

No, not this character-although it is hard to understand the one I am about to tell you about without understanding my Nephandi as well. They both exist in the same genre-delusional self insert fan fiction-but the Nephandi is the gutter half of my personality, the core that lingers in the dark gnawing on a bone and doing rails off a dead hooker. He has all of my flaws, but magnified, and he manages to turn weaknesses into strengths. The character in the current project is at the opposite end of the spectrum-he is my ideal self, with all of my strengths, and my weaknesses more covered or buried over. You could spot the similarities between them-especially in their choice of weaponry-but the differences are profound, and represent the yin-yang of my diseased mind.

But enough about old shit; lets talk about the Scum Lord.

The Scum Lord is a merciless survivor in a culture that determines succession by patricide; namely, you challenge and kill your father to get his shit. There are a number of lords, major and minor, throughout the blasted remains of Amrykana, each one ruling a holdfast. Major lords have a number of minor lords (single families) as sworn bondsmen, carving a living out of the wastelands by farming and ranching. The Scum Lord is a skilled diplomat as well as a ruthless fighter, who lives and dies by something called the Codex Kalachnikova (The Code of the Kalashnikov) which dictates personal survival as the guiding principle. There are a number of ways he differs from most other major lords; for instance, to most holdfast lords, follwers of the Codex Bushido, consorts are simply brood animals for perpetuating and strengthening their bloodlines, but in the Scum Lord's holdfast they are essentially his wives, and he treats them fairly and with the kind of unselfish dignity that can only come from love. He raises his bastards fairly, until the time comes to exile or kill them of course. And above all else he keeps his holdfast strong against the constant dangers of the Rust Age, a thriving holdfast in the Tex Arcane, peopled by bastards who are cunning and full of tricks. It is little wonder they are one of the oldest remaining holdfasts.

Like the Gunslinger, the Scum Lord Khalid is more of an archetype than a man-with all the associated costs and cheap writing tricks. Yet as I begin to fill in his story more and more, I am beginning to see the purpose he serves. The Scum Lord is an ideal for me to cleave to, a sort of Nietzschean Overman for me to attempt to become, a ruthless and canny survivor who deals fairly with his friends-but with all the elements of my personality present which give me advantages as well.

As I read over what I have written already, I don't know if anyone is going to buy this story. If I had to pick a genre, it would be Fantasy Action. It is not meant to be a deep, damning critique of society or a profound, existential rant, although both of those things are present in it. It is more like the Gor novels-a brutal fantasy universe from a diseased mind, something that shouldn't be read into too deeply. If it were a movie, it would be directed by Zack Snyder. But I am going to finish it anyway, for my own sake if nothing else.

For I have come to admire the Scum Lord-and I would like to see how his story turns out. I am thinking the ending might surprise me. But maybe not-its hard to get the drop on a Scum Lord.

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