The WORM Deconstructed (Part I)

Thus begins my first post on breaking down DEATH & DESIRE IN THE AGE OF WOMEN from inception to market. Today, I’m going to focus on ideas, dreams, and how the vile WORM came into being. Okay then, let’s rock…


(Alex McVey’s beautiful cover)

People are always (always, always, always) asking me where I get my ideas. Once they find out I’m a fully fledged author (with published books and everything), it’s the first thing out of their mouths. Sometimes I’ll stammer and shrug my shoulders, sometimes I’ll make crap up (my favorite), and sometimes I’ll give it the old college try, surprising myself with the B.S. that comes out. It’s never an easy question to answer (which is why so many of us writerly folk get sick of trying to answer it). Regardless of the difficulty, Loyal Reader, I’m gonna try to set things straight right here, right now.


(Where ideas come from)

So then, when I start in on a book my subconscious brain goes to work, and my fingers begin hammering away, and by the time I’ve got a story going I’m not always sure where it came from. There’s a weird sort of magic going on at the goopy juncture where thought, imagination, and nervous response join forces to power things along. When I’m in the groove, the story writes itself and…well…things are almost too easy. When blocked? Well, lets just say there’s a reason many writers are alcoholic messes. A block does quite a number on your psyche. It takes you apart from the inside out. Fortunately, I’m a pretty, patient person. I allow stoppages to work themselves out and do other things until the floodgates blow open and my fingers get back to dancing.


(Sometimes writer’s block can be fun!)

In the case of DEATH & DESIRE IN THE AGE OF WOMEN, everything went super smooth. I churned out a first draft in about five weeks time and then spent another week or two editing. All in all, I’d say it took about seven weeks to finish (not bad for 80,000 words / 300 pages). There were no blocks or hiccups or stubborn ideas, just fruitful, day-to-day typing and very little backtracking. The first draft came out clean – the complete story intact and ready for a final coat of paint.

But where do you get your ideas?

Yes, yes, I know. Okay, in this instance I can actually give you something solid. Well, sort of… The initial idea came from my wife. She is a voracious, vivid dreamer. Me? Not so much. I have dreams from time to time. Sometimes I remember them, sometimes I don’t, but I never, ever remember them with the clarity and detail that my wife does.

One fine morning she woke up and told me about a crazy dream where females ruled the world. There were many, many more details and even a nifty, action story about how she was trying to resist or escape or something, but like all dreams and things whispered between lovers in the early hours of the day, the fine little details have since been lost to constant thought and (constant) brain drain. Still, what struck me most about her story weren’t those little details, but how a world ran by females was scary even to a female. Males are such egocentric goofs that a world ran by men (literally – I know this is generally the case, but I mean a future world where men rule and imprison / subjugate female kind literally) wouldn’t frighten us. We would be happy to be on the winning side. Michelle dreamed about a world ran by women, but it didn’t empower her, it scared the hell out of her.


(Not quite as grand as the WORM, but it’ll do.)

And that’s that. That’s the pure seedling that got the ball rolling. I took Michelle’s basic premise and then began inventing my own details to drive a story. I came up with the WORM, because worms are such awesome, gross creatures.

Before I go on, I don’t want to get too spoiler heavy, so if you haven’t read the book, don’t worry, I’ll give a little, but hold back on the twists and turns. You’re safe with me, Loyal Reader.

Well then, in any case, I figured if women were going to take over the world and imprison mankind, a giant, planet-sized worm – a white worm even, laden with pinkish eye-orb-things and swooping, sharp segments – would have to float into the far end of our solar system and begin enacting telepathic control over Earth’s females (why females and not males? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s a reproductive thing. Fiction is cool like that). This psychic connection between women and the WORM manifests itself physically via the synching of women’s menstrual cycles on a global level. As the WORM floats closer and closer to Earth’s orbit, its hold on its female army grows and grows. Many plans are planned in secret, telepathically from WORM to woman to woman, but not every single woman is in the covert loop. A small percentage have a weaker bond (why? Genetics? Will? Again, fiction is a beautiful thing) and once the Master Plan is initiated and men are destroyed / confined, the women left out need to be assimilated into the New World Order. The book’s heroine, Claudia Mendoza, is one such woman. She misses her nuclear family and abhors the sudden, militant coup.

There’s a bit of how things got started. I thank my Michelle in the book’s dedication for her lovely dreams, and now you know why.

I’ll contine this discussion in a couple of days, filling in more details about the story and where key ideas came from. I’ll also be getting into the nuts and bolts of writing (outlines and schedules and the like), style, and talk about things like how killing kids (should you do it?) might be a deal breaker.

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7 Responses to “The WORM Deconstructed (Part I)”

  1. GREAT REVIEW! I pretty much agree with all your thoughts you said in your post, especially at the beggining of your article. Thank you, your post is very useful as always. Keep up the good work! You’ve got +1 more reader of your web blog:) Isabella S.

  2. […] then, tomorrow we’ll get back to deconstructing The WORM (here’s Part One in case you missed it). Good night, Loyal Reader, send a prayer my way – the energy may give […]

  3. […] was really hoping to post Part 2 to my deconstructing the WORM series (here’s Part 1 in case you missed it), but I’m getting a bit of a late start. Here’s something else […]

  4. […] Loyal Reader, welcome to Part 2 of my series Deconstructing the WORM. Last time (Part I) we talked about ideas and where us writers get them from using my latest novel, DEATH & DESIRE […]

  5. […] you doubt me, never fear. There’s big stuff on the horizon. More on my WORM series (The WORM Deconstructed Part I, Part II). FINAL DESTINATION 5, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and CONAN are on my movie radar. […]

  6. […] should really use all of this in Part III to my WORM deconstructed […]

  7. At this time it seems like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.

    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

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