First Draft of The Septagram, Finished!

Anyone interested in reading a fairly rough draft of my complete new novel The Septagram, have at it.  There aren’t an egregious number of typos and such, just writing that will surely need a lot of care in subsequent drafts.  I have a problem not giving character’s distinctive enough voices.  Not all the time, not every character, but I think it happened here.

It’s a little shorter than a Dean Koontz novel.  This was an attempt to make a horror-themed supernatural adventure story in a style like Hideyuki Kikuchi, who wrote Vampire Hunter D and Wicked City – so take from that what you will.  The content warnings are at the link.  I wasn’t as scrupulous in my anti-ableist language stance as usual, so bear that in mind as well.  Bon appetit!


  1. voyager says

    Great read. I’ve just finished part 2 and I’ll be up late reading more.
    Compelling narrative, well-paced and great tension. The scene with Bezos was fabulous – if only, eh?
    My only comment is about the character of Maddy. I found it creepy that a girl old enough to drive would still call her father Daddy and found Dad’s overuse of snookums and Princess equally jarring.

  2. says

    Thanks voyager! On the Maddy/Daddy thing, I’m aware of the pervy types that makes use of that lingo and how much it bothers people. I have those as blacklisted terms on tumblr to avoid accidentally reblogging something from one of those people and bothering people accidentally. But I thought it would be funny to make a completely innocent version – the kind of thing you see sometimes IRL which disgusts you in a nonsexual way, like, stop being so twee u bastards. They’re inspired by some characters from a horror movie, see if anyone can guess which.

  3. voyager says

    Sorry to take so long to leave this comment because I finished your book in a few days. It was compelling reading, and I quite enjoyed it.
    My comments are few because I found the book well written, but I did have some trouble connecting with the characters of Maddy and her daddy. Their relationship felt “off,” and Maddy seemed to age slide at times. I think this could be a strength in the book if you bring attention to the creepiness and make it purposeful.
    Other than that, I found the characters well fleshed out. I like your use of inner dialogue as a revelatory tool.
    I really enjoyed the imagery of the marching band and parade, as well as the ongoing mash-ups of beings.
    There was one thing that bugged me, and it’s minor, but “Occult Knowledge” instead of “knowledge of the occult” would be funny if you use it to reveal character.

    Thanks for allowing me to read your book. It’s good enough I would have happily paid to read it.

  4. says

    I’m working on another draft this month, if a hasty one, and will give some thought to Maddy and Jason. Not sure what I’m going to do exactly, but at least I’ll try to do it more consistently.

    I don’t think anyone is reading these comments enough for spoilers to matter, so I was wondering if you could explain your occult knowledge comment. I’m not sure I understand what you mean here, and I’d like to. And thanks for the kind words too.

  5. voyager says

    Occult knowledge sounds to my ear like the knowledge is hidden, not necessarily about the occult. That’s probably from my days as a nurse, where occult means hidden from view. Like occult blood in stool. Knowledge of the occult is what the character means and I was thinking that it could be used to show his hubris. Something along the lines of ”great, you have hidden knowledge. I hope you remember where you put it.” Or ”I hope whatever secret knowledge you have is relevant in this new reality”
    That’s just my generally literal brain and most readers probably wouldn’t care. As for Maddy and Daddy why not play with it and leave the reader wondering if there is something incestuous between them. A look here, a caress there. Can good people do bad things or can bad people be redeemed.
    Otherwise, I think it’s just Maddy’s voice needs to stay consistent. Is she a mature teenager or a kid. If she age slides up then I think some internal dialogue about coping on her own for the first time would make sense, but it will also change their relationship at the end. Being a young teenaged girl is an angst ridden age fraught with insecurites and if Maddy does take a journey and learns confidence, she won’t accept the status quo with Dad.
    Writing characters outside your own ken must be difficult, especially over the course of a novel. Maddy was the only voice I had trouble with, so I’m confident you’ll figure it out.

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