Thursday, April 24, 2008

The ADD Of My Writing Life

So I'm reading Silver: My Own Tale As Written By Me With A Goodly Amount Of Murder, a novel by first-time author, Edward Chupack. You can visit the site for the novel here. I wrote him this afternoon about how much I'm enjoying his novel, and I got a response back a few hours later. Which brings me to my first point: I love first time novelists and their books. Maybe being unpublished makes me partial. Last fall I read first time novelist, Mark Ferrari's novel The Book of Joby, and when I finished it I emailed him and said thank you, and a few hours later I got a very happy response back. I had mentioned it a couple times earlier in this blog, and was happy to discover that Mark Ferrari, noticing the link in my email signature, checked out my blog, and thanked me for mentioning his book there (so if you're still reading, thank you! that meant a lot to me).

The other thing this raucous swash-buckling adventure did for me was get me thinking about pirates again. I spent the morning thinking about how you never hear about modern day pirates even though it is still happening. So I got to thinking about how interesting a swash-buckling modern day adventure with ruthless pirates would be, but the fear of getting myself stuck in another novel start gave me pause. And then, while reading on train home and listening to rollicking pirate-ee music on my dying iPod, it hit me.

I've been trying to figure out what the story about the Peanuts narrator is. I talk about him here. I workshopped one of the chapters in my Fiction Seminar class and the narrator was a resounding success. His wit, his snark, his situation with girls. The problem was that it was this rather unfocused explosion of emotion and really excessive description of his apartment. Is his now ex-girlfriend important? Is the British girl he likes important? I had to make up my mind about what the story is about. And while the ex is able to offer an amusing couple of scenes the real story is about the British girl, and his attempts to get her, which result in a plane crash and the establishment of his own oil-platform-like country, Myland. So his plane crashes in the Atlantic and then he is floating until he happens upon this platform, and he has to get rescued. And I had no idea how. And then today it hit me. Pirates. I can make this novel into something of a picaresque absurdist adventure that plays by its own rules. He gets saved by pirates who agree to carry him to shore on the condition that Myland will be cool with piracy.

This way I'll be able to buckle some swashes and not get preoccupied with another half finished novel.

And I'm thinking now of calling the book "Finding Myland: Or Why I No Longer Date British Girls" or something close to that.