September 21, 2016
All of the stories I've published so far can more or less be considered message fiction. I still have plenty of "message" I want to say, but I'm at the point now where I'm ready to start introducing stories that are just stories, no deep message parsing required.
This could almost be considered a different genre for me. At times writers will use different pen names when writing in multiple genres so that readers won't be confused about what to expect when they pick up a book or a story by that author. I don't want to go down that route, but I do want to differentiate between my message fiction and my other stories, so I created a new publishing imprint within my indie publishing company Silver Layer Publications named Weird Imprint. Moving forward, anything I publish using Silver Layer Publications can probably be considered message fiction, whereas if I publish something using Weird Imprint, then you know my main goal is to entertain.
That said, you can expect some gray between the two. People talk about message fiction, or fiction with a message, but I think most (if not all) fiction has at least a little bit of message inside. How could it not? Authors are human beings, with their own opinions and their own concepts of what makes the world go round. Inevitably, the way we think about things will bleed through our stories in the form of message. But I think motivation is important here. For a lot of my stories, I have a very specific message I am trying to illustrate (usually on a controversial subject), and that is why I'm content to refer to them as message fiction. But I think of my Weird Imprint stories differently. Again, there will likely be some gray at times, perhaps a little bit of a (probably noncontroversial) message you might detect lurking beneath an interesting story, but the bottom line is that when I choose Silver Layer Publications vs Weird Imprint, there is a reason why I do so, and you can use that to inform your expectations of what kind of story you are about to read.
Now with all that out of the way, let me introduce my latest short story, which is also my first Weird Imprint story. To understand the inspiration for this story, just know there is Alzheimer's on both sides of my family tree; and so, in the absence of medical breakthroughs, there is a large chance I'll be dealing with this later in life. But what impact will that have on all the characters running around in my head waiting for their chance to be part of a story? Allow me to introduce "Writer's Dementia":
A character inside a writer's mind, Natasha has been waiting patiently to be put into a story, but when she is infected by the writer's growing dementia, she can't wait any longer and has to take matters into her own hands. With the help of Alter-Simon, a discarded draft of one of the writer's characters, she must find her way into a story before the writer's dementia makes her vanish forever.