Make your reader carry the horror
Thanks Chuck! I should really tape "create the disconnect that creates humor, then escalate to the disconnect that creates pathos" onto a small mirror and hang it on the wall facing the mirror over my sink.
This is great! Thanks for being so candid and straightforward with the process behind the piece, it’s really interesting to see.
That part where Celeste’s ghost evaporates at the orgy, would it be too much or out of character for the narrator to remark, “not the first time Celeste was taken out by splooge.”? That, and, what with Celeste’s pristine, prissy princess personality, I guess it could be funny if the narrator comments on how her ghost never leaves behind ectoplasm. “Even when dead and turning all of our shoots into the ‘Blair Bitch Project’, Celeste the permanent pest is still too prissy to make a mess.” Look forward to seeing the post where you read it at Hind Sight!
P.S. Hope Spain’s nice!
I can't wait to watch the video!!! Safe Travels!
Thank you for breaking it down. This is very helpful. 😊
Thank you for the story and the story behind the story. It reminded me that I'm not all that great of a person all the time as I found myself identifying with the narrator on occasion. My day job is being one of the nameless bodies on a film set, and I harbor some grudges towards "talent." Reading this story amplified my petty thoughts and was a nice wake up call to sign the damn sympathy card.
It's funny, but reading on my own, at the line where the priest requested the company shoot a boy on boy scene, I didn't laugh that hard. I just accepted it like, "Yeah they would. That sounds correct."
At Hindsight, that laugh stopped the story for a minute, just to let the crowd howl.
When I was reading, I kept finding laughs I didn't even know I had. I think it was Bathos on my end, but it was still very cool to track.
RIP Randy Morningwood
The deeper the better.
Thank you for Celeste. I didn't know you've read this at Hindsight, looking forward to the video. It really feels like it's written for a live audience, dont know why? As I couldn't help but imagine myself sitting with the narrator in a bar late at night. Funny, and a great great laugh out loud ending.
How the story came to be in your head -- chosing from different versions, the process fascinates me. It shows there's more to writing, than just writerly instinct and clean prose. You gotta feed us more of these, whenever you can boss.
And enjoy Spain. If by any chance a little trip to South Morocco comes to plan along the way back home, come play Poker here, I won't let them take your money!
Seeing the process is fantastically helpful. Thank you for taking the time to walk us through.
Thanks for being so transparent about the process. Quite helpful.
The female AI narrator version of this and the original story was an interesting choice. (look for the audio headphone graphic in the upper right of the substack app and tap it—pun intended) Found myself trying to locate certain rhythms and pauses that would have heightened my listening experience and engagement—but were obviously missing. At the same time, there's a kind of cold inhuman aspect to the AI voice that kind of aligns with that business.
Looking forward to Chuck's reading of Celeste.
Recently this French sentence came up during my daily Duolingo time,
"Le fantome disparait quand Papa venait" - "The ghost disappeared when Dad(dy) came."
I put it down in my notes thinking this is a story to be written, thinking I'm so creative and original...
I need Duolingo to pump out more weird sentences like this.
Read your interview in "El Pais". My good friend from Spain knows what's up and sent it to me this morning. Can't wait to renew my subscription. Thank you for all the great tips and lessons. You're a wonderful teacher.