November Novel Excerpt
This is my first time ever participating in National Novel Writing Month. For the month of November I'm writing 2200 words a day, every day, with the goal of having completed a ~60,000 word novel by the end of the month. So far, I'm on track. It's been a lot of work, but it's also been a lot of fun and, maybe more importantly, a good lesson in discipline and just getting the words on the page.
As of right now this book is under the working title of The Stonepicker Saga. That's going to change before it's done. At least, I hope it is, because I'm really not crazy about the title. It's taking heavy inspiration from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's co-authored masterpiece Good Omens, along with the TV show Letterkenny, and Stephen King's Dark Tower universe. The story follows a man named Gus Mears who encounters an inter-dimensional deity and is tasked with saving all of existence. Here's an excerpt, the 24th chapter, a brief introduction to the original seven beings from the beginning of time:
24. The Other Six
At the beginning there were seven.
This was before everything started coming in numbers of three, seven, or nine. This was before everything, in fact. So much so that nothing had ever come before this before. It was the first of time, first of actuality, first of something like life.
The seven sprung from one. The one was The Artist. It was the first, and often wished it had been the only. But its duty was to create, so it did.
Vast space was dotted with worlds and filled with life by its brush. Emptiness was made less empty, the cold void sprinkled with warmth. Only the act of creating brought The Artist joy. But, the more it made the less satisfied it was. Every world was critiqued harder than the last, every life less appreciated.
The edges of the canvas crept ever closer.
Six tried to love one. Six were pushed away. Time. Death. Light. Space. Love. Clementine.
Time dealt with all matters of its namesake. Its duties were complex and convoluted, often both linear and not in nature. It travelled through all the dimensional planes at once and possessed vast power. However, it was very busy. ‘Time never stops’, so they say, so it doesn’t (though, of course, once in a while time did have to stop. Everyone else gets a break. It’s only fair).
Death possessed the drabbest duties, and spent most of its time in a sullen state. It always envied The Artist for getting to be the one to create. All Death got to do was take the beauty of life away. Always viewed as a bad seed, never getting any respect or appreciation, Death was mostly depressed.
Light was the flashiest of the six, and the only one who could cheer Death up for a short time. Light found itself to be the closest to mortal of all seven immortals. After all, something so bright can only shine for a finite time. That was a battle Light fought hard and often. So far it was winning.
Space was vast and lazy. Its duty was simply to fill the void between The Artist’s creations. Again, it felt envy towards The Artist for always getting to bring life in to the universe. Space was always around to pick up the pieces, ever expanding and present to hold up a galaxy.
Love had the second-best job, next to The Artist, and knew it, too. Love brought purpose to all the creations rendered by The Artist’s brush. It was the reason for most of the beauty and joy in existence and didn’t hesitate to rub that in the other six’s faces. Love had a soft spot for The Artist and visited whenever possible. It managed to show the beauty of all things to The Artist for some time. Though, as things often go, Love visited less and less with more galaxies to get around to.
Clementine served no real purpose, other than to show the others that sometimes things just were. It was the bubbliest of all of them, because it had no job to do other than to be there. They all loved Clementine, though found its presence frustrating and didn’t spend longer than a century together at once.
All six knew the dangers of The Artist, and therefore made a pact to keep their eyes on it as often as they could. They had jobs to do, though (aside from Clementine, but it wasn’t in possession of conventionally great wisdom) and found it hard to juggle their own duties with keeping track of The Artist.
Who am I?
I'm Mark Karsten. I'm from a city called Lethbridge in Southern Alberta, Canada. I read, I write, and I snuggle puppies at every given opportunity. It's lovely to meet you.