10. Kill the Ghost

Poor Traits of an Artist as a Young Man: Kill the Ghost

For a table of contents of the entire series, click here. 


Little hard to write about this one, because it’s not done. As of the time I’m writing this, it’s about a third of the way completed, and I’m happy to tell you I’m very proud of it. If you enjoyed the first two books, you will love this. And yes, Sean will have his redemption – his journey will come to an end. No cliffhangers this time.

I’m also trying an entirely new technique. I’m leaving behind the split-mind (italics voice) from Shadow Box; Sean is now fully reunited with himself. The book hits the ground running, beginning a couple of hours after Shadow Box ends, and Sean’s dead within the first four chapters.

Yeah. You’ll see.

I am trying a new trick with this book, as I’m prone to do with each new writing project.

See, an advanced form of writing I strive to do includes binding together all of your metaphors and similes. You don’t just say “shadows crossed the man’s face” in the Keep the Ghost trilogy. The term “shadow” has a special place in this series’ mythos. If I say someone has a shadow across their face, I’m trying to tell you they have issues with ego projection. Same deal if I make use of the term “ghost” or one of its variants, like “wrath” or “spectre.” I’m trying to draw attention to the soul of the person who I’m referencing.

But let’s take it a step further. There is what I’m calling a ‘metastory’ in Kill the Ghost. The literal rafters from which the scenes hang. In the metastory, Sean is lowered by a silver thread into the underworld, and then the thread is cut. He’s trapped in the depths of the series’ version of hell, and only the clarity of self and banishment of his own shadows, gained by his previous adventures, can guide him out.

So as you read the novel, look for these themes unfolding – this basic metastory is woven through the entire novel, and Sean’s journey through the underworld works itself through the plot literally as well as metaphorically.

It’s coming soon, and I’ll let you know the moment it’s available. And just for coming along this far, I’ll give you the opening paragraphs as they exist today:

I am damned. Seven months ago, I committed a sin against the earth. For that, I’ve earned her wrath.

She cries out to me, always. A loathsome wail I feel in my marrow. But then, she’s going to be mad – my open grave makes for a deep wound.

Gambled my way this far. But, it doesn’t seem to matter how fast I run – fate wants this travesty corrected. I cannot escape a force that moves at the speed of dark.   

Whatever hand on high holds my thread lets out a few hundred feet of slack – the plane’s nose tilts earthward, scything through the white shroud toward the ground. Everything ends, even the sky.

Way down we go.


I have some other entries planned in the series, if you’re interested in reading more. Things covering my influences, my writing process, maybe going a little deeper into some of the unreleased works I discussed here. Let me know what you think by dropping me an email at scott@scottkellywritesbooks.com or leaving a comment below.

As always, thank you for reading!



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