C. G. McGinn


Ramblings about Books and Writing

The Cult of Sound

So I've been writing pretty heavily on this short story that I hope sell to my small audience. My hope is that they love it, tell all their friends, who in turn will buy my story, and so on and so forth. Then you all would read my blog and ask, nay, demand more stories. And it will be at that point that I will make the transition from free man to slave. 

Now, about that short story. What I've written so far is strictly discovery writing. I learned a lot about one of my main characters. Most of what has been written will probably be used in the main novel.

The short story that I've decided to write is going to be about The Cult of Sound, a seemingly passive religious group that is nothing but accepting of others in tune with the natural harmony of life. They're sort of tame for out-there religions. More singing naked around trees in the forest, than drinking animal blood and sacrificing virgins. 

The cult will of course have motives other than perfect pitch and being one with the sound of the universe, and that's where our protagonists come it. Right now I have a list of 7. I'm probably going to shrink that down to 3, maybe 4 key players. My intention is to introduce these characters now, so that when it comes time for the novel, readers will see these characters as familiar faces. And if these characters from the short story happened to reference characters that will turned up in the novel, it could have a nice effect for both character and reader. 

So yeah, 3-4 mains. 

A strong antagonist within the cult. Not sure how I'm going to handle that yet either. I've got a few ideas, but nothing solid, and hopefully not cliche. I think I'd like to explore the notion about the 'cult of personality'. It would be easy to use examples like Charles Manson, and David Koresh to explain both the cult aspects, and their individual charisma that drew people not only to follow them, but to like and trust them. Presidential candidates possess the same sort of charisma found in cult leaders and psychopaths. It's how they win elections every 4-8 years. There's something dark and magical within these men who possess the power to get you to believe what they believe. Even more strange, is when they instill on you their agenda and when confronted with a differing view, their supporters will turn from normal, questioning citizens, to rabid zealots, foot soldiers marching the campaign trail. Cult leaders and politicians do not being with evil intentions. Power corrupts. Attention from the masses breeds a lust for more. The extremes that one can take suddenly becomes limitless. And in both cases, politician/cult leader, they have their devotees. Their supporters who will shut down and discredit the opposition, spread their leader's truth, and commune in circles of like-minded robots. In the beginning, both the president and cult leader are loved by many. But this popularity will dwindle when the unpopular war is not ended, when campaign promises are broken, prison camp are not closed down, and families are butchered by unmanned drone strikes while the president plays golf. The cult leader find that his charismatic hold will only work on some many for so long before people begin asking questions that he cannot answer. Outside elements, like a joint AFT/FBI raid on the cult compound can end a moment and it's people in fire and bombs.   

And other cult leaders, like Jim Jones would have a highly devout inner circle at the read, to systematically kill every member of the cult under the guise of entering Heaven by drinking poison Kool-Aide. 

Even a terrible president has it better than a cult leader. Perhaps the number of followers has something to do with where such people fly or fall. A small hivemind can only spin their beliefs so many ways before the message gets stale. Presidential group-speak, forms a much more organized hivemind who can twist presidential credibility and actions through so many iterations that the machine can keep moving and sharking long after someone else has the seat behind the Resolute Desk. 

The cult of personality. I think this cult is going to have Bill Clinton as their leader. Everyone loves Bill Clinton. He was banging a woman half his age (good on him) and then lied about it to everyone. But Bill Clinton can do no wrong and thanks to how American politics is ruled, Bill Clinton will always be Bill Clinton. 

But lets pretend that Bill Clinton, Cult leader of the Saxophone Blowers Job-a-thon Order of the Secret Beret wasn't in American politics. But instead he was a religious leader who enjoyed a sweet beat and mellow sounds and maybe passed the bud around while he hummed a little tune. And everyone loved him for being so awesome. 

Now let's pretend that Rasta-Bill decided to use his divine power of attraction and his ability to drop dem phat beats for evil. What if his endgame was to enslave not just one race of people, but all people under the banners of his cult? 

And here we have a rough sketch of my short story's antagonist. He's the guy at the party who, by the end of the night will be everyone's best friend. Hes' well liked, intelligent, and quick with a joke. 

His taste for power cannot be sated. He wants everyone to share the same song in his life. He'll make this a reality within the Dream. 

Who could stop such a man? 

I've got that part covered. And thanks to this blog, I think I have a strong antagonist as well.