Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Victoria's Asylum of Maggots

Well, I won't be using my weebly website anymore, as I am getting my own website that's going to be linked through the Sorean domain. I've decided to just use this blog, and so this blog will be linked to my website. Working two separate blogs is tiring and pointless and silly. I don't know why I did that.

In any case, I'm basically re-writing (with much more info) a blog post that's on my weebly account, because 1) I need something to blog about and 2) I want more followers for this blog, and in order to get more, I'm going to have to continuously keep my content updated.

As you all know, I've been hard at work, along with the rest of the staff, on issue 4 of Sorean: A Gothic Magazine. It came out several days ago, and you can find it at, go to the issues tab, and then download issue 4. I did not give the direct link because some people may have problems going directly to the .pdf. In it are two pieces of my writing, one being "Victoria's Asylum of Maggots" and another talking about Gothic Literature. Hopefully the Gothic Literature one will help those aspiring writers of Gothic fiction.

In one blog post that I deleted off my weebly website, I said I was going to blab about "Victoria's Asylum of Maggots", and I still am. A lot of you have probably already read the weebly blog post, but I'd like to go into more detail about the process of this thing.

I am extremely happy with the way my first part came out. I believe it demonstrates my best writing as of today, and I did my best to make it both about the words and the plot. Thus far people have thought it dark, scary, and uncomfortable, all wonderful compliments to me, since that's what I'm aiming for with this piece. I hope the rest of the parts will be just as good, and I hope I do not disappoint.

Now, if you have not read it, you need to, because this post won't mean anything to you unless you have.

Continuing on, when I first started editing for Sorean, and after issue 3 came out, I knew that I really wanted to start writing fiction bites for them. But I was unable to because there were enough. Well, things happen, life gets in the way, and I finally was able to swoop in and contribute something.

Before all that, and while I was still dreaming of writing fiction bites for them, I was dabbling around with several fic pieces, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to write for them. I wrote a prelude to my novel Witch Tourniquet, but due to legal reasons, such a prelude could ruin my chances of querying Witch Tourniquet. So I scrapped that.

I started listening to Emilie Autumn, I believe, around the time I was writing that prelude. If you haven't listened to her, you need to give her a chance, especially if you, and I dread saying this, enjoy listening to Lady Gaga. Just so you know, their music styles are in no way alike, but for some reason people who love Emilie Autumn also enjoy Lady Gaga, and the two are always being compared. Generally when I listen to a certain artist a lot, particularly a specific song(s), I get ideas for a story. Nightwish's The Poet and the Pendulum inspired Dead Poet's Pendulum, just as Marry Me and Thank God I'm Pretty inspired Victoria's Asylum of Maggots (among other things).

Originally I was going to write a series of ficlets titled Twisted Children that told the story of different children with dysfunctional lives. My first one was going to be about a boy who had a twisted, incestuous relationship with his mother. The second one was going to be Victoria's Asylum of Maggots. However, when I found out Emilie Autumn had written a book called The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, and I listened to a snippet of it, I began to realize that Victoria's story couldn't be told in a few thousand words. I needed to draw it out. I scrapped the Twisted Children idea and just went straight into Victoria's Asylum of Maggots. I began research on asylums, particularly Bedlam, even though I couldn't find much about said asylum. But I'm going to do much more research with future installments, so no worries there. I did just enough to draw an eerie picture of a broken girl locked in an asylum cell for the first part.

I at first wanted to use a boy for an asylum, because it seems like girls receive all the torture in YA stories and boys don't get enough recognition. Using a boy, however, wouldn't have shown the true horrors of an olden day asylum, because women were the ones who faced the worst torture. A woman could be put in an asylum for any number of reasons, including being an unwanted wife, as in the case of Victoria Wilson.

Although Emilie Autumn has already written a book showing that asylums haven't changed much, her book is sadly sold out and was limited, so no one else will get to know what beautiful story she's told until--and it's rumor, far as I know--a second edition is released. But I wanted to write VAoM, not because I wanted to tell a story or show my best writing, but because I want people to face the uncomfortable, the darker side of life that Goth is supposed to be about. We ignore the uncomfortable because it makes us, well, uncomfortable. Doing this, however, is doing a disservice to those who are forced to live in the darker side of life, because it makes us ignorant. When we are faced with a person who seems out of sorts, we automatically judge that person, believing he/she to be a lunatic or some other creature that certainly isn't human. We only judge because we know nothing about what this person faces or has faced.

It's my belief that the general population is still ignorant about mental illnesses, and I'm not talking about the advertised ones like depression and PTSD. I'm talking about the silent ones, like bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and panic disorder. Nobody talks about these disorders. Anyone with a disorder that isn't advertised on television seems to be insane in the eyes of the mainstream world.

As a YA writer, I recognize that there are YA books that deal with really dark issues, like drug abuse, anorexia, and mental illnesses. There are also YA books that have the characters thrust in asylums. What I've noticed, however, is that although the psyche of the character is being delved into, the mental hospital itself doesn't seem to be delved into enough, save for maybe Girl, Interrupted. The mental hospital acts as just a catalyst for helping the MC get better, but there are no books that talk about the abuse that still goes on in asylums. The characters are always in the "safe" part of the asylum, but I haven't seen a YA book yet that puts a young adult in the "loony" part of an asylum. I want my asylum to function almost like it a character, where I reveal a darkness so sick, it might make you angry, because some of what's going to happen in Victoria's Asylum of Maggots still happens in present-day asylums. The patients are just sometimes helpless to stop it, because who's going to believe a nutter? Who's going to believe the girl with hallucinations when she says her psychiatrist raped her? No one's going to, because that very same psychiatrist can just say it was a hallucination.

1 comment:

  1. Very well written. I agree with you. There are those no one listens to. No one wants to listen to them for the very reasons you wrote about.