There Is No Mercy Here
It’s been a lifelong habit of mine to make up stories in my mind. This could be the consequence of being an only child. More often than less my mental stories are silly stories.
The world is often harsh and people are often nasty but I have this internal nice place where doing battle is not needed. I’ve always made up conversations with my many pets. These habits never change as time passes me by. Once in a while my quirky ways would escape my lips into the world and one person or another would look at me and say that maybe I should consider writing a novel. My response was standard. “I have no idea how to write fiction.”
As a business person I can write just about anything. I know the language of business and how to handle it. Other than that I’m out of my element. I had this idea that writing a novel required pre-planning as if it were a trial. Too foreign for me. Years kept dropping like winter snow and yet again a friend suggested that I should write a novel. She said that being an avid reader she thought my blog showed a unique style that she had not seen before plus I have a certain “dark humor.” I cannot recall anyone ever saying something that would awaken me in such a manner. I felt empowered. I love the idea of being of the ‘noir’ elite.
So I called my friend and announced that I planned to write a novel. She reaffirmed that she would help edit the work and that she found that kind of endeavor enjoyable. I offered to pay in mutant avocados. A deal was made.
The search for suitable software was the first step. The obvious would be Microsoft Word but they insist in getting permission to become proprietors of my computer’s content. No thanks. Then I found Google.docs. It has editor features which allows my friend access to what has been written and she can make suggestions for changes or plain comments. Prior to the book idea I did all my writing on WordPress for my blog Capricorn Science or on plain yahoo email because it will never be lost or changed. Anyway, Google.docs was our choice of software and off I went to write my first novel ever.
First things first, I titled the upcoming work, There Is No Mercy Here. I thought about a title, this one descended upon my mind and that’s the title. I thought, nice, no struggles.
With my spanking new title at the top of the page I sat myself before my mighty computer and wrote a 240 page book in 29 days. I had checked Stephen King’s average page output per day and followed those guidelines. My editor-friend /friend-editor seemed baffled by how I could just invent, organize and deliver this story in such a brief period of time. And if I may say so myself, it’s a really good story. I would have never dared even try without her.
She and I would chat about how I would dream that the characters were real and I’d enter the story, wherever that was, and we knew each other. The characters knew I was the writer and I knew they were the characters of my book. During one of those dream visits they got news that a nuclear attack had been deployed on Earth. I stood there looking at my arms waiting for my skin to fall off. When they noticed my fear they told me I was safe with them. The explosion could not harm me while I was with them. I then woke up.
Other times I’d dream that they were standing waist deep in my computer screen talking to me. “What are you doing? This copy isn’t even legit. You could get hurt!” I’d say.
“Stop worrying. We’re fine. We know what we are doing.” They’d wave, smiling happy faces and I would wake up.
People saying, “I want to get out of here.”
I’d respond, “But you are a character in a book. Where would you go?” “I want to get out of here.”
I finally figured out that he wanted to get out of my mind and into his proper place, a novel.” I wrote him out the following day. His name is Jake, the Dark Passenger. Maybe I fell a little bit in love with Jake. He is wonderful.
One of the oddest and yet to explained things that happened while writing this novel was how sometimes characters hid secrets. Deb Dau was meant to fall in love during the novel, but it just wasn’t happening. Granted, I’m the writer but to believe that I was in control of this story is to lie to myself. As the story grew Deb Dau would meet people and I sought to feel a vibe between them. Is she gay maybe and likes so and so? Nah. Finally a character emerges and I feel a ping between them. Then it was gone. Much later, behind my watchful back they reveal themselves to each other and let me in on the news when they are good and ready. I kid you not.
I have no writer friends so I have no way of knowing if their experiences are similar. I joined a FaceBook group, Writer to Writer, with about 16,000 members. I don’t dare show myself and tell this story since it’s odd and a bit silly. I will tell you here and now that my book is not perfect but it is a labor of love. I have succeeded in creating the world as I would like it. A world with enough of everything for everyone which includes peace and love. Yeah, yeah. I sound like a hippy. They were truly on to something.
The book, There Is No Mercy Here, has 149,347 word count carefully placed on 493 pages. (carefully because my friends live within. I hope to see them again soon.)
Thanks for reading.
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Debi Willis · September 10, 2022 at 7:03 PM
It’s a POIGNANT story, Mercedes. It is a story of love and life, as we now know it and it’s a pleasure to read.