I’m not the first person to write epistolary fiction, but I am the first to use it exactly the way it was used (with the time stamps, with it continuing for five months— the closest thing I’ve read is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and that’s still pretty different). Which isn’t some big achievement, mind you, that’s not what my point is. My point is that I spent years getting used to the weird cross-“stream-of-conscious” cross-“prose poem-y” cross-“Twitter” journal thing and by now I’m used to it enough to use it to say a lot of things I couldn’t have said earlier. A lot of the journal style focuses on what isn’t said, or on specifically how things are said, or on the rhythm of sentences, or on the context, or.. basically a lot of things.
I guess what I mean is when you’ve seen some of the fanfics I have (and there were many more than I’ve put on this Tumblr), you realize people don’t read Rapture looking for the reasons I wrote it, they just read it for escapism, which is not something I like in fiction and feel extremely uncomfortable seeing associated with the Rapture world, which was specifically about internal hell and constant abuse. I can’t think of anyone who would actually want to escape to a world like that. It’s not supposed to be cool or a bunch of dreams come true, it’s supposed to tear the narrator apart and expose all the reasons why their dreams can never come true and make fun of all the things the narrator thinks are cool to the point where they are forced to become a different person.
There’s already hundreds of posts explaining how to properly use the journal style. The best examples are under that “A Book of Names or PUT THE SUN DOWN” button on my Tumblr. I mean, if you’re writing a story that has nothing to do with Rapture, go right ahead and do whatever you want with the writing style, I don’t mind whatsoever if there’s any influence from my own. But if your story is specifically some kind of homage to Rapture or set in its universe (whatever that really even means), it helps to show understanding of what that universe actually is.
I would love to be surprised and see someone use the journal style in a way I’ve never seen before, or see it used similarly to how I used it. Frankly, I’d rather see it in the former. But maybe the last reason I don’t like seeing people use it is because I just know people are going to use it for a little bit, give up, then dismiss the merits of the whole thing.
To try and drown out the mind-numbing noise of what is probably PTSD, here’s nineteen-year-old me doing what is officially his job. That is, here is me from a few days ago.
I’ve never even seen a Planet of the Apes film.
Between August and December 2011, Jordan Dooling hid, from his parents, in the divided state that is America, trying for an answer, hoping for help, a stranger in his home(town). When not sleeping in class or enduring the decapitated laughter of hatred taking refuge from him, he wrote. On the internet, he would write away at Rapture, initially pure fantasy, but hatred and abuse soon crept into that too. One cannot escape from cold silence or heated attacks.
Perhaps in attempt to make Rapture’s fantasies more of a reality, Jordan started keeping an actual journal. I recently discovered the complete object hiding in a drawer.
The first dozen pages are drawings of Rapture creatures and characters— many drawings of Fentzy and Anna in particular, and many more drawings of Jordan (though most of these are crossed out heavily). An eyeball with two irises. A mutated Camper. Lots of scribblings of plot outlines for single logs, sometimes for serials, usually stuff like “where are the protagonists going and what places do they pass in getting there?” A map of apocalyptic Earth’s political boundaries. A surprisingly good full-page drawing of The Choir distorting sight and sound.
The second dozen pages mostly shift between the occasional school-related page (math problems, notes for theater class, reminders of what to do for English homework) and Dream Theater/Between the Buried and Me fanart. Since a lot of these pages are blank, much of this section has been used recently to sketch A Book of Names Fears. Then there’s some finalized drafts for Cipher battles. A few pages of Marble Hornets fanart and fake movie posters. Memories of hanging out with friends, written out like propaganda posters for exciting events (“A Trip to GEORGIA STATE: Smokin’ Meetin’ and greetin’ Eatin’”), plenty of slender man sketches.
Then we come to the poetry.
Written whenever Jordan wasn’t sleeping in class, in the distant semblances of a consciousness wishing to perish.
"Running from Humans"
Nothing means a thing to me now.
Dad has taken my family long ago.
They pretend to be free, but he holds them hard.
(S)He clutches to theirmy throats.
I am a Camper.
I have almost been broken.
I escaped. I saved my life. I thought I was free. (“thought” written several times in one place, as if to simulate boldness?)
The world has already been changed.
It was in the streets, painting sweet anxiety.
He was in the faces around me.
Nowhere feels safe to me now.
It might have my friends.
It already has the protectives.
It almost has me. I can feel its branches clinging to my clothes.
Where will its seeds reach for me next?
Who else does it grasp? Who else has faced its greed?
Who else cannot resist its fruits of flesh (stones of pain)?
How do I run
when I can barely breathe?
How do I run
when it sabotages my legs?
Where do I run from my panic room?
How do I run when I don’t want to stand u anymore?
I only want to sleep.
"(Opening) Locked Doors"
(A Rapture log)
Down the rabbit hole, where the sweet turns to sour
Your friends all abandon you every hour on the hour
Abandon your hope and break out the dope, I’m going in.
I’ve been down the rabbit hole for many months now
Time passes strangely, and Fear always takes its bow
Life is dead to me now.
Death by sabotage.
Please (don’t) keep me here.
Please (don’t) get me out.
(Hell)p (is) me.
It’s my own fault.
Then we have pages of Bonnjo Vjonsped planning, mostly consisting of song names Jordan and Eric thought would be really cool. Then there’s a complete map of the God Machine’s Cipher realm. He was threatened with a gun that night, so the next two pages are blank, as he just.. didn’t want to associate anything with.. memories.
The next page to have writing on it has, in small text, “I miss my life.”
Then there’s a drawing of the slender man patting a Masked Massacrer on the back. Then we have more math, never actually done, just written so Jordan looked like he was doing work. We have plenty of drawings that are thoroughly redacted, subtitled “BAH, I CAN’T ART”
Blank page. Anna drawing. Jordan tried, with most of his drawings, to give off an important “CINEMATIC PREVIEW” feeling to his works. Three pages of theater class notes, or rather a quarter of a page and then the rest of it is just vague and incomplete. Blank page. “Put things in fridge to slow down reactions,” written in marker. Blank page. Torn-out page. Three short math problems. Map of the Grand Gtheru’s Cipher realm. Blank page. Vague notes on The Beast, as well as a small drawing of a Door opening to a highway. Blank page. Math problems, a short message of disbelief at one girl’s kindness. A page declaring love. A page where the only content is one small diatribe about some ancient dynasty that sprawls off into sleep scribbles. More Rapture notes, an incomplete sketch of the Realm King’s Cipher realm. Blank page. Drawings I did recently. One page says, simply, “ACT I ACT II ACT III ACT IV Apple Banana Pear Clock Can”
Many pages later, we have more private notes of love, Jordan’s only consistent escape. Then we come to a lot of pages I used recently for later notes. There’s a surprisingly not-bad prose poem Jordan wrote in an interesting time in his life, but I won’t recount that here in its entirety; instead, I’ll transcribe the second page:
As my memory gains new satisfaction, my journals beckon for the solemnity of mind, the topography of thought. As I see red, I wear blue.
I am a Camper. I am The Camper.
How do I let it go?
How do I let the red fade to blue?
Neither of these are giving up.
I have no idea how I would.
Underneath those clouds, those freezing clouds,
I can put the cold behind me and
bathe in isolation again.
Or can I? Do I want to?
More later Rapture notes. More private notes of love. On one page, Jordan drew a vivid hallucination he had in the bathroom mirror— eyes looking different ways, blood dripping from every feature. More blank pages, later notes, a page of notes on Julius Caesar for class. One page simply reads “Cipher: The Virion Complex” followed by in large letters “VAGINA”
The last few pages are all recent and have no structure to them, though the last page does have a lovely little sketch Rappu did of herself creeping into the journal, wanting to bring some joy to it. You can probably see why.
So there, that’s one of Jordan’s real-life honest-to-EAT journals. Hopefully somebody found it neat. Rediscovering this thing may have triggered some very bad feelings in me.
I’m not against them, but then again Rapture was a very personal thing for me so if people write things set in its universe, or with some of its Fears, I often get confused. And then there’s the fact that I get very critical of people using the Rapture journal style and not taking it to its fullest potential. But as a whole, I’m always flattered by people taking some sort of inspiration from me.
Yes, I have considered it. As it stands, I explain plenty of it on this Tumblr anyway. The story hasn’t even been done for two years yet, it’s a little soon to so exhaustively explain all the fun. ..plus that would seriously be a lot of effort.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LOGIC
THIS SONG WOULD COST 25,000 DOLLARS IN ROYALTIES TO FINISH SO
PALLEAN ONEA LOGIC
Behind the Stars is R’N’D-related and a sort of continuation of a video I made when I was fourteen, Symphony No. 2 is something people already know about but I’m putting a codename on it for reasons, and Blind Man’s Book is a collaboration with some of the best damn writing I’ve ever done as well as me writing in a way I’d never really written before. Blind Man’s Book will cost money. The fact that it costs money will not be a surprise to anyone when they know exactly what it is.
I’ve got most of the next DCA episode written, I’ve had it all written for a really long time, but I may have written myself into a corner. I dunno. We’ll see where that goes.
Symphony No. 2
Behind the Stars
Possibly more Kullermes stories
Fearblog of Fear
Blind Man’s Book (pretty unrelated to Abon)
Right. I have more projects than I thought I did. I think my focus tonight will probably be on what I’m calling “Symphony No. 2” as a bit of a codename. Then again, that will probably take a lot of effort and I need other people for it so maybe I’ll wait.
..just felt like making this post to assure people that, even when I’m not updating blindrapture, I’m still doing plenty of writing.
You mean PLAN 31? Or the I-330 cameo in the logs?