Finally we’ve reached the last Behind the Scenes article regarding Red Sheets, and, boy oh boy, this is the one I was looking forward to write the most! In case you didn’t know, of all the stories in this book, Shattered is my favorite one. That’s why it is the last tale, because I strongly believe that you have to save the best for the last. I don’t know if it’s actually the best story in Red Sheets, but it is indeed the one I like the most, and I put a lot of hard work into it.
There were many factors that led me to the making of Shattered, but it can be said that I did not do it on purpose. This tale is a conjuction of pieces that, from one day to the other, showed that they fit perfectly together; I think that if I had planned it, I couldn’t have done it on purpose.
Madness is crucial in this story, an element with which I had wanted to toy around for a while. Of course I won’t talk much about that, because it would spoil the entire tale for you and that’s not what I want. But, yeah, madness was something that I had wanted to use ever since I read the magnificent H.P. Lovecraft.
Another important piece in the puzzle that is Shattered were the resources I learned in Semiotics while I was in College. Of all the disciplines that I learned, this one was the one I most liked.
Fun fact: as I enlisted in my college career and I saw the subject program, I read “semiotics” and the name scared me a little bit, because to be honest I had no idea what it was. Who would have known it would end up being my favorite one!
Anyway, I will not bore you with a Semiotics symposium; roughly, it’s a discipline that studies linguistic signs, speeches, texts as stories… well, and much more. One of the things that we study is how texts are structured, and how it is possible to elaborate a story without turning to a series of events that occur temporarily. I mean, it is possible to tell a story beginning at the end, or by the middle (always speaking of temporality), and then continue at the beginning. Which isn’t that crazy at all; remember that there are hundreds of movies, books, series and games that use this resource.
I wanted to study this a little bit further and play with temporality, in a tale that I initially named “Shattered in Pieces” (which now I know it isn’t grammatically correct), as it was the first thing that came to my mind… but I never sit down to develop the story. Nevertheless, when I started writing Red Sheets, the idea of a tale with a main character with Chris’ mental illness sounded absolutely appealing.
So I had the idea, I had the elements I wanted to use, I had the outcome and the ending… but I didn’t have the context nor a trigger for the story. And here it is when the final piece of the puzzle came out of nowhere: as if it all had been a semiotic game, the final piece of Shattered wasn’t the last thing I created, but something that came from the past, an idea that I had already imaginated years ago for a tale that I never wrote.
And then, finally, I had to decide if I wanted to tell the story using the first person or the third person. I changed my mind several times, and I had like a hundred reasons to go with the first person and a hundred reasons to go with the third person.
If you read the story, you already know that eventually I chose the third person, and I must say I’m really glad I did. I love the final result and I’m totally satisfied with the tale itself. Maybe one day I’ll develop this tale even further; I would totally love doing it!
This has been all for today. I hope you enjoyed it and stay in touch for the next article!
Duilio Giordano Faillaci