Ghosts of Love are Haunting my Novel



the ng RFID things you feel an image of a man in a tropical climate Fanning himself wearing a rabbit fur and Buck Hyde hat should tell you everything you need to know about the state of my novel nice to see you all can't see any of it you know what I mean people have been hanging around this channel for a while we'll know there's been a novel on the go there's a lot of you still pending for a free copy you financially supported the channel in the early days what happened was I got to about 120,000 words got an editor very good at a very good editor amazing bloke actually couldn't have found a better man for the job and he wants me to get it down to 80,000 words and every time I sit down to chop it up I write more you know that's not good it's unprofessional what son is ill disciplined you know to spend four hours working and to leave the computer having added to the problem is not good but it's reaching a point now I've star in – I think it's published before nearly said Christmas before the end before spring this will be out now I've had interest from agents publishers but don't need them unnecessary got an editor got a platform we'll be able to shift the load the thing that does mean the thing that's scaring me I mean it's obviously and it's all too biographical work but with anything creative you're you're putting out there its frying in even doing this you know the 500 odd videos I've got back so said a lot of things with that comes a certain amount of responsibility just in terms of what you've said and there's a lot of fear around this novel I was talking to my best friend earlier today I really wish we'd have made a video about I kept saying while we were talking you know to have two best friends who both studied the Arts he's a musician talking about the creative process you know hopefully I'll be able to get him on camera and we'll do have a similar chat but you know it's not uncommon when I tell a story on this channel for a couple of the comments two or three to be can't wait for your novel or if they don't know you should write a book or and there's a certain level of expectation and I understand that but the fear is that I think what's expected is a book of stories I'm a storyteller and it is a story but it's a love story and I'll set out I set out to write about addiction and it was almost as if it was almost as if there the architecture of addiction through which I wandered as a writer was haunted by love and that haunting that's an essential you know it wasn't inhabited by love and love was an absent it was ghostly and it was relentless you know the further I explored this idea of addiction this experience of addiction the more ghosts of love appeared and now having written probably hundred forty hundred and fifty thousand words having now cut that down to the cream of my abilities you've got a story of love now while within that there are tales of stupidity kind of what I'm known for tales of you know kind of almost now after after the contemporary literature boom of the mid 20th century you know almost standard procedure postcards from the edge within the text but it's fucking hard work to read it's hard work to read my novel it's not easy it's not baby food it hasn't been produced by a cultural industry for your passive consumption to get anything out of it you're gonna actively engage in giving it meaning something else you probably didn't want [Laughter] the original concept was to run two novels parallel a novel set in the prison told in the first person prison I am going down the road it is hot I put my hand in my pocket I pull out a pack of Baalak warm polos I now here present and then woven into that story of now was a story of the same characters past I was six years old the street I grew up in was like this and the idea being they would run next to each other informing each other contradicting each other working with each other now the problem is as the rioting has evolved I started chopping and changing with my tenses you know one paragraph can be talking about the here and now present and then talk about the past but it's the same moment because it's in the past for example let's assume I'm in Patong Thailand that's where the novel said and I'll go and buy a pizza so I could be saying I walk into the pizza shop I sit down looking up I noticed waiters and waitresses all present first person but then it might be like the pizza the pizza was the pizza was too big it was cold I wasn't happy and then go back to the prison and this happens a lot and it's confusing it's confusing for me fucking wig it's gonna be confusing for you and I said to me editor I said look I it seems a bit much but I might have to do a complete rewrite where I get these tenses in order so I've got the past and the present the two stories running together weaving in and out of each other and sticking to that rather than these confusing crude adventures in time travel and he said no he said you're gonna put not only you're gonna waste time and effort but you're putting it into tearing the heart out of your novel FairPoint and you know sometimes I'll do a bit of work on it and I love it I'll come away that from that session and I'm like oh oh magic just just magic this is wizardry that's rare more often than not I come away thinking why would anyone want to read this why should anyone and why have I not made it as easy as I could to tell a story which is all I'm doing so all anything's about for me I tell stories you know love heard of it it's a big one it's subtle it's nuanced it's delicate slippery it's contradictory it's everything we know it's nothing we know and sometimes I feel like I've dealt with that with a hammer and it should have been a scalpel you know I've often said this and they say it's a fundamental truth for me regarding artistic production and you know I don't want to separate writing from the other arts but I'm certainly more comfortable in speaking about it which will lend itself to what I'm trying to tell you but it's not about what you write in terms of storytelling it's not about what you write it's not about what you say yeah as a that as a purpose as a function the words you write the words you speak they have a function within the bigger picture but the real craft the real artistry the real beauty is what you don't write what you don't say because that's what you leave out and what you leave out you know a novel is what remains when you've left pretty much everything else out you know a novel is probably a drop in the ocean of reality viola at this drop makes sense of that all this stuff happened to me minute seconds became minutes minutes becomes hours hours became days become weeks become months become years is 130 pages next and nothing a like a again a ghostly trace like the Turin Shroud of my experiences during a six-week period yeah and then you as a reader rather than being a passive lump and proletariat consumer of predigested culture industry terms where you do nothing where you just absorb it it's just information it's like a report it's all there rather than that rather than you being a passive consumer you have to fucking work you have to be an active you become your own author you fill in the gaps you put your own experiences your own memories your own understandings your own fears your own wonder all of that you put yourself into those gaps into the missing pieces into the bits between the bits therefore giving it real meaning therefore having a deeper psychological not only understanding but relationship with the text it's become part of you you've become part of it and if you're prepared to put that work in you will understand the story and you'll understand why stories are so important humanity is a story a collection of stories a collection of stories of stories and we occasionally get add jobs edit in that shit but but going back to my original point I you know it's kind of rude of me to assume this but I can't help it I can't help but think that there's good there's these expectations that it's gonna be a book of tales like one of my stand-up shows and like I say there's some in there there's me on the back of a scooter withdrawing my bollocks loose while of one-eyed drunk taxi drivers taking me to your state to steal ten thousand dollars out of pocket you know they've fixed viagra for breakfast and a doctor in Patong telling me he's gonna have to stick a needle in the spongiform underside of my penis to manually pull the blood out of it's that a damn thing calms down riddled littered with such things but you only get you only get the ice cream if you eat yep your jacket spuds you know you got to get through a lot of potato before you're getting your chocolate flakes a love story yeah I'm not and I'm not unhappy about that you know I wanted to write something in the tradition of the people I admire and the novels I admire but you to it to have a conception of something as it's finished is cheating it's lying you know to sit down and to suppose story of addiction and to be relentlessly haunted by ghosts of love you're taken by surprised and you showed what you actually think the the issue that one of the main issues I've got is however I told a story with the emphasis and I emphasis not this this this doesn't bode well does it the enfant emphasis with the emphasis being on telling the story no with the emphasis being the story rather than the telling of the story have I remained honest and brave and competent and focused on delivering a story or have I been sidetracked by the act of telling a story because the novel's aware there is a novel the author's aware you're reading it the author's aware that he's right in it the author is aware is part of a story the frame of reality is continually overstepped in this tale which lends itself to the subject matter which lends itself to our frames of reality that which we know those limits those borders that define to an extent who we are and how how those frames of reality change frequently and regularly and in doing so change us you know if you were to ask me before I actually got busy out of 34 novel about a man who goes to Thailand to get off of heroin which is Dulles fuck really dull who cares I mean thank God thank the Lord I didn't actually thank the Lord I'm not actually that stupid that incompetent though I can actually write what I wanted to write because that is so unusually depressing and dull and mundane and yet in in investigating that the actual story of love of a lack of love of a need for love of ghosts of love just just went through the jungle of my arrogance went through the the jungle of my ego with machetes sharpened on the stones of hell just tore it to pieces this isn't what happened this isn't you this isn't the story this is the lie you use to prevent yourself from hearing your own experiences that's what the ego does and in a in a manner of almost apocalyptic self-destruction the truth you but the truth will out don't get to say what something means you don't get to choose the motifs of features you don't get to choose the meaning you get to choose a few words means a lot to me this story and it means a lot to me not just not just from the the point of view of the memories or the experience but it means a lot to me because as I've said before I want to do just I want to do justice and again I only learned this what halfway through the writing process which I open beyond who knows I want to do justice to the life of the woman involved and that is asking a colossal amount I mean it's the it's such syrupy grandiosity I'm almost choking on it now but it's just so damn sweet any real surprise that honey bees sting but what she gave me when I not only needed it most but was looking for quite the opposite sniffing around brothels but for that for her to give me that for her to see for her to see that gap in my story in in the story of my life in the story of who I am for her to see that and to offer a a gift of love that needs recognizing that needs sharing there becomes a social function not interested in decoration not interested in beauty for beauty's sake I'm interested in a social cultural historical function and art without that it's great for chocolate boxes you know making the underground look reasonably approachable but to be able to offer a partial event of love that people can identify with that people can can put themselves in that people can fill the gaps find other gaps to say to people who are loveless to say to people who have made their personality out of how to love no one to say to them is something glaringly obvious and absent in your life and it doesn't have to be like that there's a better solution there's a more human solution and to be able to contribute somehow to what for me is one of the most wonderful wonderful elements of our culture a whole history of tales of love of life and death a lover's discourse because everything comes back to love started with a needle in Heathrow Airport and ended up in love I can't argue with that why would you want to argue with that [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] you

23 thoughts on “Ghosts of Love are Haunting my Novel

  1. I must be in a good space to listen to an entire video on the art of the art of crafting a raw and honest story by a peculiarly hatted ex junkie with parochial English accent residing in Cambodia….

    and enjoy it!!

  2. God knows why, but while listening to you two lines of a poem by D H Lawrence came into my mind – "I detest lovable people, Somehow they are a lie". What I take from that is what we – all of us – do with love. If we have ever loved we know that all our vulnerabilities are laid bare – exposed. We seek refuge in a place where we can be most easily be torn apart. It is savage in it's warm enclosing and knows us better than we know ourselves. We know all this, but still love – because it is worth it. Whereas, loveable people are a lie, because they avoid love by possessing it.

  3. You're popular, I'm glad my phone is silent all day long that tinging would drive me nuts. Aaaaah , the joys of a zero social circle. TV and newspaper free. I'm proud when a work mate asks did you see or read xyz , I reply I would not stoop so low.

    I can see why my social life is non-existent , I'm sticking to it though as I'm the only rational thinking one, I hope.

  4. Most of the time it's not about the story, it's about how it's told. For me the first paragraph tells me if I keep reading or not.

  5. NZ writer, Barry Crump said, If it's hard to write it will be hard to read. He was a real character, and his books were many, and popular.

  6. You wanting the book to be perfect? It appears to be consuming and diluting the love of an for in many ways not just the book however, also your sanity. Get er done an give us a read.✌

  7. It's a "Chris tries to convince everyone including himself that he is going to finish his novel." episode. Must have studied at the George R R Martin school of procrastination. Don't worry Danger, it's only bants. 🙂

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