Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Life Is A Highway" (pt 3)

The basic I idea I came up with was this: since all of the stories I had written had a running theme of doom/despair/unhappiness, I thought I would weave one longer story of gloom throughout the novel.

I know what I just wrote sounds very confusing, but bear with me on this, as I'm gonna do my very best to clarify.

Because I like a challenge I started off with the basic premise of writing the story in the second person. Example is the first sentence yes, I know it's a run on. I wrote this back in '07. of the opening paragraph: 'Driving down the road one sunny Saturday morning, you're lost in thought as you make your way through the meandering countryside, trying to forget about the argument you had with your girl earlier."

With each section of the story, I made sure to put in both a Twilight Zone feel to start with, then have it morph into a Night Gallery feel. Finally, at the end of each section, I have the reader get put into each upcoming story. Again, as an example, the last two paragraphs of the first part, which has our intrepid reader being put into a story called, "Golden Texas Tea":

'The waiter says it will be about ten minutes before your food is ready. In the meantime, relax and enjoy your drink. As you start to enjoy your drink, out of nowhere some melancholy music starts to play and suddenly everything starts to go a little fuzzy. You try to get up but somehow the music and the drink conspire to melt the ability of your body to function properly. As you start to drift off into another world, loud voices start to engulf your entire head until it's about ready to explode. You try one last time to clear the cobwebs out and the only thing that comes into view is a very large circular movie screen.

Just before slipping into unconsciousness, you hear a female voice say, So look, I'm fine. There is nothing wrong with me. I'm not depressed, nor worried, stressed, hurt, thinking about killing myself, or angry at the world....' {the preceding paragraphs are (c) 2008 GBMJr}

In this instance, the reader starts out first by witnessing the beginning of the story. As this particular story progresses and as this novel progresses, you'll see how I'm putting the reader more into the start of each story, until finally, the main goal (I hope) is to have the reader be part of the last story.
Update: I'm still working on that second story. I now have 29 pages written and the outline is helping quite a bit, as it's forcing me to flesh out the story so as to make it more cohesive, and to have it make more sense. Nothing worse than writing a story that makes no sense. For the moment, because of what has gone on for the past week, I have only worked sporadically on this story. This is due to the fact that I don't want to go completely overboard with the violence, as I don't want my real world to bleed too much into my writing. This was one half of a running theme to the pounding I've been taking online (the other half being too much sex), so I want to make it realistic, but not cartoonish.


  1. Ya' know, I really wish there would be a bit more second person out there. I think it works super well in erotica.

  2. Hmmm...never thought of it that way.

    I started writing in the second person for this novel, simply because I wanted a challenge. I wanted to write connecting stories for this one, and I didn't want to do it like everyone else or like what I've written previously.

  3. Second person can work in horror as well, though I think it works best at short lenghts.

    I'm interested in what the difference is between a Twilight Zone feel and a Night gallery feel.

  4. Well, the Twilight Zone feel would be what Rod Serlings early stuff was.

    The Night Gallery, his later stuff.

    Seriously though, I want to give the impression that even though some of the things that go on in the short stories sound far fetched (a radio talking back at you; witnessing the beginning of the story first hand), that they are common place/nothing out of the ordinary occurences.

    I want to try find a meld between the lighter fare of the Twilight Zond and the darker fare of the Night Gallery. I definitely don't want to go Tales from the Darkside.

  5. George, I was just thinking, we're about to hit our 2 year Topix anniversaries. Dang.


  6. How exciting...sounds like you are having fun with this story. Good luck!

    Second person is interesting. I'm not sure I can sustain it for very long in an ms.

  7. It is.

    Fortunately, each story averages about two and half pages in length.

    If I had to do it for an entire novel (from beginning to end), I think I would loose whatever grip I had on reality.

    But, I like a challenge. And writing in the second person is definitely a challenge.


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G. B. Miller

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