With this post, I'm introducing a new feature which will hopefully (and properly) motivate me to get of my fat backside and start writing again: sharing my second novel.
Much like the short stories I posted last year, this will be done on a weekly basis. My plan is simple right, simple he says : 1) keep people up to date on the novel's progress; 2) solicit advice, opinions and whatever else happens to strike the fancy of the people who read my blog; and 3) talk until I'm blue in the face about it, in the hopes that I can get this thing done by the summer.
So as to get the ball rolling, I'll start out by delivering some back story on the novel.
Back in 2006, I was at my creative zenith. I had finished writing my first novel by early March and was well into the process of writing multiple types of short stories. By the end of the summer, I had about five stories, of varying degrees of length, written out and completed.
While waiting for the tortuously long process of using an agent to sell my novel (who I ultimately decided to drop in late 2007), I decided to start work on my second novel. The topic was simple enough: write about the dark side of relationships.
However, as everyone out there is undoubtedly aware of, no matter what avenue of the arts you're pursuing (writing books, music, stories, blogs, etc.) it's hard to get a start on things when originality is a necessity.
Since being 100% original was out of the question, I decided on the next best thing: 50% original. I gathered up all my stories and gave them the once over. Since the theme of bad relationships was the one constant in all of them, I decided to make a novel featuring them. To make it interesting, I decided to give the novel a Twilight Zone (or Night Gallery) twist. I wrote about a half dozen two to three page short stories that interconnected with the longer ones. And for fun, I wrote them in the second point of view ex: You are walking towards the elevator and for extra ha-ha's, I inserted the reader directly into both the connecting stories and the main stories.
The other problem that I had was what to title the book. That was solved on a Saturday morning trip running a few errands, when the song Life Is A Highway was playing on the radio at one point during my trip.
Viola, a novel was born.
In essence, here are the main components to my novel, which I will elaborate more fully on in the coming weeks/months:
1) The running theme is the dark side of relationships.
2) The connecting short stories are all titled "Exit", followed by the appropriate number.
3) The reader is inserted directly (hopefully) into the stories as the main character throughout the novel.
4) The connecting stories, which have a Twilight Zone/Night Gallery feel to them, are mostly written in the second person.
I'm hoping to have a total of six medium-to-long short stories and about ten to twelve connecting stories.
In the coming weeks, I will be elaborating on the various stories I've written for the novel, as well the overall theme and progress that I'm making on it as well.
Hopefully, you'll learn a little more about what makes me tick as a writer and as a person.
In any event, get ready for a fascinating trip down the highway of my life. It's sure to leave you scratching your head when all is said and done.