Of all the books I’ve written, my current work-in-progress is by far the most fun. Part of it, I am sure, is due to the past months of reviewing and being reviewed. I am more confident of myself as a writer, more accepting of my style, and even though the words still come slowly (I average about a page of keepers a night; the rest ends up in the trash) they are coming easier. They don’t fight me as much as they did in the past. I don’t spend as much time agonizing over the perfect speaker attribute or trying to come up with an original metaphor, which I would end up getting rid of anyway, because they always sound trite to me.
Another part of the fun comes from knowing where I am going. Because of the blogs I did on creating the character, I know who is his, what he wants, what his internal and external conflicts are, which in my previous works didn’t show up until after I’d written about fifty pages.
But the most fun is how the mood of the story keeps changing. It started out as a whimsically ironic apocalyptic novel, metamorphosed into horror, and now it has become something completely different: an allegory. A biblical allegory, which is itself ironic because . . . well, just because.
Chip, my hero, and the torments that beset him are reminiscent of the book of Job, or so it seems. It’s been many years since I’ve even looked at a bible, so I can’t give you specifics. But the overall feeling is the same.
How did this happen?
Details. Although I know the story and my character, I don’t necessarily know the day-to-day minutiae until I write them, and the story is in the details. Each action, no matter how small, has a reaction. Each reaction is motivated. How does Chip react to what is happening to him, and why? Why are the things happening in the first place? By such little steps – the hows and the whys — the story builds. And deepens. And metamorphoses.
Summer is coming to a close way too fast and I will soon return to school. After nineteen years of teaching math, this year I have the opportunity to teach...