But if I actually have to write . . .

. . . what then? Overnight, I’ve been thinking –> maybe the novel form is actually . . . actually, for me. Maybe, apart from the headbanging spacebar challenges I’m having on my ageing MacBookPro, I really need to put my head down and develop the story and the characters of Sequel, just … for … me. Just for me.

Not for any competition validation. Not for an agent’s target sales. Not to fulfill the next step on a ‘How to self-publish successfully,’ uber-blog as at JerichoWriters.com. No. This approach looks like it’s writing for my own intrinsic value. Not for writing group. Not for distribution until it’s done. Not for sharing. For my own questions. My own concerns.

I’m aiming to start off with Evelyn’s labour, as she works to deliver twins. Thereafter, it’s the story of a nuclear family. Maybe they’re not identical; maybe they’re fraternal: brother and sister. Maybe they’re just growing up in the new world I’ve envisaged, and dealing with the restrictions, dealing with life. Even as second generation biome dwellers, they’d still chafe at the biome wall challenges. It’s the human condition to want to be free.

From despair (and absolute bloody frustration at the MacBookPro’s butterfly keyboard and the reluctant spacebar) and failure…what gives? What’s the challenge for Evelyn and Adam’s babies, Constance and Abel? I’ve developed a few short story initiatives, but I might could look more closely at the nuclear family context. and follow the narrative arc as the characters develop.

Another few months then, deeply immersed in a developing story, avoiding most social contact, and interaction, as the story works its way along. A few brief forays into writing group just to see the light sometimes. Otherwise, a hermitage. I can do that. I think that’s what I love best, after all. A quiet, semi-isolated retreat.

I wrote Prequel because I was told specifically that the only way to successfully self-publish is to build up a series. So the Prequel backstory came along after the main event, my first novel, was finished. I wrote Biome NE47: A Novel, to see if I could handle such an extended project. By the end, even after its seven drafts, I still loved the novel form. But I’m not sure that Prequel answered any real questions, not the way I want to dive deeply into questions of the nuclear family that I want to explore.

I’ll try to keep thinking. But this strategy is better than despair. And as for competitions, why don’t they take a flying, you know?

By Larry Winger

Retired scientist, devoted diarist (AllendaleDiary.org), community-minded aspirant novelist, I've lived on a smallholding in the East Allen Valley for the past 30 years, delighting in watching our family grow up, in experiencing the development of our grandsons, and in taking care of our small flock of chickens and garden.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s