Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Life Is A Highway" (pt 5)

The third and final thing that I settled on, which in hindsight was actually the easiest thing for me to do, was the title of these interludes. Since the overall theme of the book was a highway, it was easy enough for me to title the interludes, "Exit #". For the time being, I have five "Exits" written, with one more to go and editing to be done on them as well (boy do they need it, as I wrote these things in the spring of '07).

Funny thing about writing those "Exit" stories, was that they were about the easiest thing for me to churn out. The stories that comprise the bulk of this book, took me on average, two to four weeks to churn out (gotta remember, all of these were written during that supernova of activity in 2006, that I touched on elsewhere in this blog).

So with all that settled, off I went. Because I was still dealing with some of the fall out from '06, the bottomless pit of anger was still doing it's job. Although somewhat tempered in its intensity, I was still able to make a decent amount of headway. The story, for the moment, is about ten pages in length with natural stopping points tucked in for the various stops (stories) along the way. I did try to end each section as an intro for each story. For example, the last two paragraphs for "Exit 1" dovetails right into the first story, Golden Texas Tea, (and yes, I know it needs major editing, but please bear with me, as what I know now, I knew not then):

You say “sure, why not?” The waiter says it’ll be about
ten minutes, so 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 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….

As you can see, I decided to start things off by inserting the reader into the story like they were watching a movie. I continued the Twilight Zone storyline by abruptly bringing the reader out of the story the same way:

The realistic sound of a gun exploding in your head jolts you awake from your deep slumber. Taking a minute to adjust to your surroundings, you see that the food that was ordered, is now sitting in front of you growing cold. “Excuse me,” you ask a waiter who happened to be passing by, “how long have I been out?” Only for fifteen minutes, responds the waiter, who continues on to his table. You look around and notice that the restaurant is now filled to capacity and the parking lot is overflowing with cars.

As for the first story (or rest area, you might say), I'll try to give you some background on it again. This story was my first attempt at writing a sequel to the novel "Shades of Love" and I initially kept the characters names the same and I significantly toned down the level of violence and sex was kept to a minimum. Additionally, I still stuck with the Connecticut locale for the bulk of this story.
Update on WiP: I had a splendid burst of activity during the week of 2/22 which culminated with me getting to the very last part of the second story. I figure I have another five to ten pages to write for part eight of the story and then I'm done with the initial rewrite. All I have to do now, is find the original beginning for the story (motorcycle chase in the mountain), which I think will work for an excellent climax to the the main plot line, with the secondary plot line of the funeral bringing up the rear.
All story contents contained within this post are (c)2009 GBMJr.


  1. The idea of exits connected to the stories is a really good one. That's definitely a hook.

  2. Thanks.

    I think overall they'll be about twelve to foureen pages or so in length.

    Still got to come up with a decent way of bringing the reader home and ending it.

  3. I think it is a great idea to "jolt" the reader's interest by throwing her write into the action. What a quick way to raise the reader's curiosity about the characters and story. The story seems to "move" right from the first line.

  4. Thanks.

    I wanted to try something unique with the stories that I got. All them have an common theme of mild decay (for lack of a better word) in the relationship, so I wanted to tie them together.

    So coupled with the fact that I always like to challenge myself when I write (duel plotlines for example), I figure that this was the best way of tying all the stories together. Plus at the same time, it keeps things fresh and interesting.


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