Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bringing the Lightning

A dear friend of mine, Yen, suggested I should start a blog here...therefore, for those who stumble upon this, this will be my attempt at an introduction to you.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Charles Spencer, and I'm a writer who wants to make his written word known. What I write is what excites me the most...what I write is based in genres of fiction that excite me, too. My greatest inspiration has been Stephen King, but other authors from Laurell K. Hamilton and Mickey Spillane to Andrew Vachss and Tom Clancy have been dramatic influences. The focus of my writing power, in the end, is in both fantasy and horror. It isn't just the case I want to express myself that makes me want to write. Hell, one day what I really want to do is write and direct films for a living. But for now, I'm more than content to write.

I've even written a novel I'm self-publishing...a full-throttle beast of a book called "Hell Knight". I'll tell you where you can find it soon enough. You'll even see short stories I've written here on this blog from time to time in the future. But as I said, I don't simply want to express myself. I want to excite people, and failing that, I'll probably put some noses out of joint and offend some of you out there. I want my written word to be known, but how to do that?

There's only one way not caring if what you want to write and what you want read will offend or not.

The way is by bringing the lightning, and I'll explain what that means.

A little over a decade before the calendar turned to the Twentieth Century, there was another author who didn't care if he put noses out of joint or not. He wrote what he wanted to write. And I have no doubt that like me and other writers Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who became best known as Mark Twain, wanted his voice heard. And I think he encapsulated that in something he wrote in 1888:

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter -- it's the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning."

To be a writer, to earn readers and to be known, to have your written word read, I imagine Mark Twain had to know you couldn't just float through life issuing your light in time with the rest of the lightning bugs around you. You had to be brighter. You had to be lightning, in both brightness and impact. He often put noses out of joint, so to speak, with his writing and his view of the world illustrated by those words. And he often wrote what was almost right...what some could easily (and eagerly, I'd suspect) take offense to. These days, I have no doubt that 'almost right' in his time would be called 'incorrect' in ours.

This is how I see his words, anyway. This is how I want to write. And if I'm not mistaken, Stephen King did his fair share of offending, too. Like King and Twain, though, I'm not here to offend. I want to write what excites me, and what I believe will excite many of you.

But there's another reason why I think of the lightning when I want to earn those of you as readers who might be excited by what I have to offer you. It's because of something else Mark Twain wrote exactly twenty years after that statement about right words and almost right words. You might agree when you put this statement in context with the last...

"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work."


  1. Awesome intro, Charles! Let's make a storm!!! ^.^

  2. By all means, dear friend, let's.