Friday, December 9, 2011

So You Want to Write a Book, Huh?

 The new book is now up to 270 pages.  Now, if you ever want to write a book, you should really consider how much insanity might be required for the project.  The caveat though, is that there are no enforceable rules.  Well, maybe spelling...

I started out wanting to write a children's book.  Then I discovered that children are a tough audience.  I mean, they can see right through your bullshit.  They only become naive and dumb once they become adults.  That scared me off.  So, I figured 'young adult novel.'  Except by the second chapter I needed the 'F' word.  Twice actually.  Sometimes no other word works.  Fudge, phooey, gosh darn...they don't do it. So, change course.  Just make it a novel.  I also decided I wanted Fidel Castro in the cast.  No, I don't know why.  Writers are a little bent upstairs, so don't look for logic.  Hell, I don't even have a plot at this point. With Castro, that meant it would have to be a 'period piece.'  So I thought, "Hey, nobody has written a novel based on the Cuban Missile Crisis that had nothing to do with the Cuban Missile Crisis."  Hell, why not?  By chapter 5 though, I had too many characters.  It was so out-of-control that I had to put butcher-paper on all the walls of my office and make notes with different colored Sharpies.  So then I figured, I needed to kill off some people.  Parents seemed the likely choice since they were kind of weak characters anyway and probably wouldn't be missed.  So the two main characters would then be a 14-year old girl and an 8-year old boy.  Wanted to center the book around the boy, but after a mere 2800-words, the girl took over.  What a surprise!!  Also thought there should be some teen romance, so I hooked her up with the class weirdo.  I was a class weirdo myself once and I wanted to see the weirdo get the girl for a change. I'd kill the parents off in Canada.  No, I wasn't sure why.  Foreign intrigue maybe.  The story also needed some sexual tension and since the girl was too young, I invented an attractive blond teacher who wore frumpy dresses and librarian glasses, but had some real Lolita things going on in the background.  I gave her an illegitimate child fathered by her psychotic ex-fiance and just had the cops kill him later as he was just background material anyway.  Then I hired a lawyer to handle the parent's untimely death and thought it would be nice to hook him up with the Lolita woman.  Also, since it was the 60's, I needed to throw in some race and gender issues.  So I created some black characters in leather jackets and an aggressive female lawyer from New York.  Waiting to see how that works out.  Then, I had to get this whole mess to Kentucky since I needed to have a damn horse in the story!  Otherwise the title wouldn't make any sense and that's how this whole escapade got started in the first place.  I picked Paris, Kentucky because I was there once and thought it was this cool, old-fashioned kind of iconic Kentucky town.  Trouble was, about three chapters later I went on Google Street View and it was the wrong damn town.  Oh, too late to change that.  Then, I invented two horse farmers -- a couple -- about sixty-years old, unmarried, ex-bootleggers -- one that questioned God and the other that warred with God.  See, I wanted some Baptists in here because they are more interesting than Lutherans, so...Okay, all you budding authors.  Still want to write a novel?

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