I don’t write stories about generalizations. My characters aren’t plot devices to move the tale to its most exciting point. My word-flow isn’t flowery for no reason or hurriedly written down in order to fill up white space. I don’t have to force any character into a situation that doesn’t ring true for their actual nature. No, I write…something else.
My stories are about specifics. My characters represent ideas and points of view. The words I write are as jarring, haphazard, or nerdy as the character possessing my left hand at the moment. Relationships, fears, and dreams unfold for each character as their personality and circumstance dictates. My stories are full of chaos, beauty, and hidden agendas unfolding and tumbling inexorably to their logical conclusions. Monsters, demons, angels, humans; no matter what they are, they can never escape their true nature.
To write cuil is to break from the molded and modeled expectations of the literary profession. It hacks and twists the normal modes of storytelling to knock the breath out the reader. It is dripping with sarcasm and absurdism is buried so deeply in each letter that even the most normative occurrence leaves you in stitches as you grasp to sort it all out.
Other writers focus on worlds or characters, often at the expense of one or the other. My characters and worlds are literally made for one another. The created people are not blanks into which I pour whatever qualities are “in” or standard. My characters make me uncomfortable with their depth, uniqueness, and vulnerability; they’d certainly make many readers feel the same. They are also trapped within the rules of the universes they reside in, by the societies they hail from, and by their own personal limits.
There are barely any flat characters in my stories. Even ones who are hardly mentioned are usually dynamic characters in some way. They all grow and change, just like real people. I think dynamic characters aren’t used often enough in stories nowadays or are only used to round out the plot all pretty-like. When I began writing 14 years ago, I dared to let the characters show me who they really were. I gulped as I let the worlds they inhabited take over my mind and become organic structures.
My books aren’t like any others out there. Not just because they’re semi-autobiographical in a sick and hilarious way. Not merely because many of my characters are of color, queer, and/or polyamorous. Not even because I throw in bits of actual history, philosophy, and science alongside mysticism, idiocy, and creative license and dare the reader to tell the difference. My books are different because of where they are heading and what I hope they will do. I hope that my writing can help change the way people think about themselves, and in turn about others as well. I hope to bring to light all the people the world never wanted to see and find that they are still very human. I want to show how we all embarrass ourselves time to time, how we all doubt, and how we all fight to keep living. I mean, there are other books out there that I’m sure cover some of these topics. But are they written in a cuil way?
*If you happen to have had your interest piqued or just would like to know what I’m rambling about here, head on over to my links page.