Vincent’s Descent is a 26 part story (16,022 words total) that began on April 1st, 2023. If you are interested in reading it, after slogging through the below reflection, I suggest you start HERE. Comments are always read and welcome.
Vincent’s Descent began as a writing prompt.
It was generated during A Prompting of Writers, a group I created and moderate that meets on Saturday mornings (10 am EST/EDT: contact me if you are interested). The prompt I gave the writers was to use any creative figure that they truly loved and knew. Flash Fiction, just under an hour of writing, and then we share with some feedback. The idea stemmed from The Pale Blue Eye show on Netflix (Edgar Allan Poe as the MC) and a few other uses of literary figures as characters.
Vincent Van Gogh was my choice for the piece. I enjoyed what I wrote, and when I decided (extremely last minute) to join this year’s AtoZ, that story was what I used as my jumping-off point.
Van Gogh remained the base foundation for Vincent’s Descent: his color palette, how he applied his paints, the swirls, the golden fields, the starry nights, and his madness. It all influenced many aspects of what I wrote over this challenge.
Almost every title of my AtoZ was based on Art terminology, primarily fine arts but also architecture. I plumbed the online FreeArtDictionary for title ideas when nothing immediately came to mind. Some of the posts (Yosti in particular, but others as well) gave me the clues I needed to complete that day’s posting.
The whole thing with the birds came about with the letter B, and The Beatles song Blackbird got stuck in my head. “Take these broken wings and learn to fly” led me to Vincent breaking one of his attackers wings. With his teeth? Well, horror/brutal, y’know.
Also, I’m not a huge fan of birds.
People have asked me about how I name my characters/places. Usually the name must have a meaning that fits the story. Vincent seems obvious, but beyond that it means “Prevailing.” Humi, Vincent’s late addition father, means “Twilight.” “Oralee,” Vincent’s mom, means “My Light.” I chose Maria as that was the name of the daughter of Sien Hoornik, the only woman Vincent is known to have lived with. As to Ms. Faye Smythe (the only character with a surname): Faye was a play on the Fae (elves) and Smythe came about from looking at my bookshelf, seeing my copy of Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe, and boom! Faye Smythe.
As to anything disjointed or lost over the month, my apologies. If you’ve followed my writing at any time, you know I am a Pantser. I write daily (well, um, yeah, a few days I couldn’t write; I don’t pre-write, seeing that takes the challenge out of this being a challenge.) without an organized schematic, no notes, no plans. The characters/story take me on a daily journey, and then by the end of the month I’m trying to pull it all together and plug up all the holes, big and small. Sometimes it works out.
I’ve mentioned this here and there: I look at the AtoZ as my First Draft Plus. Previous years have had wider followings, and I’ve been asked to take the work, add to it to novelize it. The Abysmal Dollhouse series is one I continue to work on. It keeps alluding me.
I want to thank everyone who did follow along and left commentary and likes. This was my least visited year with AtoZ, but the point is that I so truly appreciate those of you who did follow along. The comments were extremely helpful. Some made me laugh, others had me twiddling my fingers and doing my best villains laugh. Chilling.
Taa Daa! We can now tie a bow around the 2023 AtoZ Blog Challenge.
What did you think about Vincent’s Descent? This Reflection? Tacos?