From time to time over the last year or so, I’ve been writing a little, I dunno, serial ambient microfiction (snippets, but this is what they more accurately are) that started with a post over here last winter, The Problem With Poppets, and just sort of turned into a sporadic Thing on Twitter by accident. Recently, I hit a point with them where I realized that I could actually start doing a longer, epistolary version from the Poppet Witch’s perspective, and then…
My brain froze in indecision. How do I write her? Do I do journal entries? Letters to someone? Who, if so? Will I fuck it up if I switch from the third person that the snippets are in to a first person voice? Do I give her a name? How much detail do I give her larger world? Do I let people know her timeline? Should I ease into that? How much information should I give on the poppets and keep them both charmingly whimsical yet somewhat unsettling and menacing, without ruining them? Can I write her dialect properly? WHERE DO I EVEN START? Do I pick up where the snippets left off? Do I run the snippets and entries on different timelines?
Most terrifyingly… Can I write the longform and keep it interesting to read or am I going to kill it?
So, yeah, I might have worked my brain into a wee little panic state…
On the positive side, I managed to break the seal yesterday and have gotten a couple of paragraphs down, so yay! Hoping to get the first one finished up and posted within a week, and trying to get one or two a month out, depending. (Did I mention there’s an ambient component? I might be working on an actual set of poppet chimes, because Reasons.)
In the meantime, a small taste (liable to change somewhat between now and full posting, because draft changes)…
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The Poppet Witch speaks:
I’m told that, given recent events, I should start writing stuff down a bit more than usual. I was always bad at it, and leaving a paper trail always seemed a bad idea, but something about “documentation” and “for the love of God, what if something happens to you?!?” and all that, so I guess I’ll give it a shot. I ain’t gonna promise to be regular about it, though, and fair warning, there’s some things you can’t pay me enough to write down and others that ain’t no one’s business but my own, even if I’m dead before anyone reads it.
Haven’t kept a diary since I was a teenager, so damned if I know what I’m supposed to be writing down.
Folks have lots of theories about what the poppets are and where they came from. Souls of lost children, mine or someone else’s, are a particular favorite. Stolen souls, in general, seem to be popular. Bargains with devils were made, they’re devils themselves, familiar spirits summoned to do mischief, that sort of thing. Course, they’re all wrong, but they do amuse me just the same.
Truth is…No, I think I’m not going to say what the truth is. Where would be the fun in that? Folks need a little more mystery in their life. The world’s getting too tame and besides, too much information is bad for you.
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(Originally posted on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/riversdaughter.)