deadlines are useful, trouble is, I don't know if my brain has time for it between starting
I think most of us understand this one! Thing is, to write a coherent novel, you really have to treat it like a job, and go to work on it every day, rain or shine. Even if you need that second job to put groceries on the table.
I have a couple of projects on the go, but unless I can work something out in the next week, I doubt if I will get my butt in gear and get something out before Christmas. But what I've been thinking of:
1) Maggie Atwood has a new novel out, and its a) another zombie novel (groan), and b) a co-written novel. She collaborated with another writer, they took turns writing chapters. No, I'm not the collaborator, I had to turn her down, but I have been thinking about doing this with my nephew. He's a huge steampunk/cyberpunk fan, and I think we'd have a lot of fun doing a standard good-guy cop has been framed and has to clear his name in a skiffy/cypunk setting. Hmm, could we both get nanowrimo chops for a single collaborative novel?
2) I've been reading Love in the Time of Cholera
, and after a slow start tis starting to grow on me. I've been thinking about a derivative novel called (working title only) The Notebooks of Florentino Ariza
based very loosely on the notebooks that, in the novel, are simply titled Women
. OK, my personal qualifications as a falconer are certainly not up to standard, but it strikes me that the purpose of the notebooks within Garcia Marquez' novel is not as monument to triumph, but as a testimony to failure. Alright, I haven't finished it yet, and it seems that the character is growing out of that stage of development, and that stage (or at least my understanding thereof)is what I would like to explore. "This is a book about the women I have met and loved. Inside, you will discover much that is useful about their habits of thought and feeling, and how these may be used to advantage. But be aware that this is also a book about love. It is about how I have tried a million times to love, and failed every time." I'm thinking about setting it in modern china with the alcoholic incompetent expat teacher as the narrator. That ought to keep it pretty far from home. I even have someone in mind, I could dedicate the story to his memory, and people who knew him would say, "I'm not surprised", no matter how far fetched the stories. That's part of the fun; give people a rogue to love and they love him/her. The wilder/more implausible/zanier the predicaments and escapes, the better. Storycraft 101.
I'm also looking at this as a philosophical novel on the nature of love. I need to reread Plato's Symposium, because there, more clearly and explicitly than anyone has done before or since, he makes clear that no one really understands what love is. That is my "all is new that is well forgotten" angle: as the narrator tells his story, the reader has to ask, "Is this love? Or something akin to it but different? What is it missing that it isn't, what does it have that it might be?" Yeah, a 50,000 word love story, should be able to knock that off in a few weeks. Call it 50 shades of brown or something.