Writing the Lexicromicon

Over the course of the last four years I have somewhat inadvertently written a non-fiction book. This was a somewhat alarming thing to discover as it was never really my intention. I’m a writer of fiction god-damn-it. I don’t write non-fiction, that’s an entirely different discipline… I’ve been quoted in non-fiction before now, in fact I have even been quoted in a book on the Harvard Library reading list, which amuses the hell out of me, but I don’t write non-fiction… At least not on purpose…

So I’ve written a non-fiction book…

Regular reads of this blog may be able to guess what the subject matter of this non-fiction book is. Though it could be about the process of writing and self-publishing, because I’ve written plenty on that subject over the years. There are however more than enough fatuous books on self publishing out there, and I am sure the world can do without another. So no, its not a book on self-publishing, a subject I am well versed in, but instead its a book on the writings of Old tentacle hugger H P Lovecraft. A subject I have become well versed in almost in error.

I should perhaps explain. For Christmas, way back in 2016, my girlfriend bought me a beautiful Folio edition of the complete works of HP Lovecraft, which was a bit of an upgrade on my kindle edition of the complete works I had been browsing at for a couple of years. I love folio edition hard backs. I think of them as books the way books were meant to be. Cloth covers over hard board, those silk bookmark strings, the high quality paper and print. I own a few, generally the classics which I seldom read as I tend to have paperback editions. I buy them just to have them and satisfy my bibliophilic soul. But there it was on Christmas morning, a folio edition of Lovecraft’s complete works, which I felt a certain moral obligation to read. Which was why I decided I would set myself a little project of reading every story in order, which was the order they were written rather than the order of publication, and for fun write a little blog post,2/300 words or so, about each of them. It seemed a nice little idea, would give me something to blog about other than my usual stuff and wasn’t going to take over my life or anything…

I expected this little project to take me a year, at the most, instead its taken closer to four, and those short 300 word blogs when out of the window early doors, I found I had a lot to say, and not all of it good, about dear old tentacle hugger’s fiction, and on occasion I really couldn’t face reading any more of it for a while, there was also a whole lot of life being lived, books written, and just stuff getting in the way. So one year became four and as of this moment I am finally at the point where I only have two stories left to do.

So what do you do when your nearing the end of a project like this? Well if your me, more out of a sense of curiosity than anything else, you open a word file and dump all those Lovecraft blog posts into it and find out just how much you have ended up writing about Old Tentacle Hugger. So I did… and to my surprise, I’ve written a book. Well a first draft at any rate. A nice roundish figure just shy of 70k. On the face of it it would seem a bit of a shame not to do anything with it…

Of course there is rather a lot involved in turning a bunch of blog posts into a book. All I have is a rough first draft, and a series of blog posts written over four years has a way of changing in tone and scope. What made for a Lovecraft post at the start of this project is a lot different from the later posts. Also a blog post tends to have a certain style which isn’t want you want in a book. You tube links to bizarre student made movie’s of a particular story don’t really work on a printed page, no matter how hard you press them. The frame work needs to be right, and change quite a bit. So before I went any further with this idea I needed to start a second draft, make some decisions, and revise the style of those early, some what stuffy serious posts, to something more in line with the irreverence of the later posts. Tone is important, and a consistency of tone.

So this weekend I started a second draft starting from those original posts, which went well I think. I like second drafts, they are among my favorite things to do when writing fiction because you know where your going. While I have only worked my way through the first three stories so far I can feel it coming together. My accidental book is going to work, and be an informative, fun and entertaining read. At least I hope that’s the case…

How long it’s going to take me to get through all of them and a complete redraft, well that’s a piece of string question. How much the final book ( which will go through at least one more draft after this one I am sure) will reflect those original posts is also another open question. But it may be out for spring next year, if I get it all complete by then. And who knows, some one may even be interested enough to read it…

Still nothing ventured…. and besides its a fun project at the moment, and hopefully will remain so.

There was one other thing of course, which people may have seen on social media over the weekend. On Friday night was in the day job till the early hours, sat on a call while waiting for people to ask me to do technical things. There was much sitting around and waiting so I had time to kill, and I decided if I had indeed written a non-fiction book on Lovecraft I needed a title and a cover. I like building book covers, its an only soothing thing to do while stuck waiting for a guy on the other end of a call to finish testing a bunch of servers so you can go move a few cables… So a cover was created and played with and unexpected I am a little proud of the results… So while its very early , here a little cover reveal…

‘The complete Lovecraft, I’ve read it, so you don’t have to…’

This entry was posted in amreading, amwriting, books, cthulhu, dreamlands, editing, goodreads, horror, indie, indie novels, indie writers, indieoctober, indiewriter, Lovecraft, mythos, Nyarlathotep, opinion, pointless things of wonderfulness, reads, self-publishing, writes, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Writing the Lexicromicon

  1. “…I’ve read it, so you don’t have to.”


  2. andy hill says:

    This might well shift in good numbers, with a bit of judicious promotion in the right places or keywords. I have no idea where that might be but other Kraken consumers may?


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