“CKR” Diary Post No. 8
October 11, 2006
I'm editing Chapter 10 today, which is set in an Orlando hotel room. No sex, just three guys talking--sorry. Since it's mostly dialogue, my focus on this edit is making sure I get my point* across through inner dialogue and body language. (*Every chapter in a novel MUST have a point, meaning it furthers the plot by contributing some additional piece of information.) So I have my work cut out for me, considering inner dialogue and action are not my strong suits. And speaking of action...
The primary action in this scene is the passing of a joint between the three friends and this activity has prompted me to ask myself: Will there be consequences to my omission of consequences in this book?
On the one hand, I understand the "rule" for drug use in fiction: If a character uses, he should face consequences to underscore the widely-supported theory that Drugs Are Bad. M'kay? But what if nothing bad happens to the characters? What if things, in fact, end surprisingly well for them? Will that turn readers off, perhaps even subconsiously? Will it turn critics off? If Ted, Alex, and Jimmy smoke pot, should they be punished? And, considering they're representing middle-aged, working-class America, will knowing this secret about them influence the reader’s opinion of their characters? In what way? The answers would certainly help make this story believable.
“CKR” Diary Post No. 9
October 23, 2006
Chasing Kid Rock is on hold for a little while, until I finish my good friend Joe's book (he'd probably prefer I not share the title until it's in print, so we'll just call it Mercy Fuck for now--I know he'll like that). I'm loving every word of it. Since he's ready to start shopping it around to agents and publishers, I feel I should give it priority attention. So I am.
Speaking of good friends, I had lunch with Randy today and he gave me some serious points to ponder with regard to CKR. Starting with the idea of changing it to a first-person narrative. Hmmm. Imagine re-working 300 pages from third person to first. He also recommended I read Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. Specifically, he's suggested I read the first three chapters, then go re-write the first three chapters of CKR. He believes it will make a noticeable difference. If you'd like to "play along," I've picked up High Fidelity and will likely be starting it in a week or two, as soon as I finish with Mercy Fuck. Details to follow...
The most important thing Randy stressed today was the importance of VOICE and BACKSTORY (hence High Fidelity). It was funny he'd mentioned it, because I'd been thinking of both myself for the past few weeks. CKR's backstory is progressing as I learn more about Ted and I feel I made a breakthrough last week with Chapter 10. But once Randy had mentioned finding my voice AND using a first-person narrative in the same conversation, something struck me like a crescent wrench to the head after an all-nighter:
Yes, the blog. This blog, here on MySpace. I've worried for months that these posts might swallow too much of my time. But, since I haven't been altogether healthy these past few weeks, the blog has been the ONLY thing I've been able to work on. And in planning and writing the last three posts, I noticed something was starting to click for me. One of the most difficult things a writer has to overcome is finding his or her voice. I believe the blog is doing that for me--right now, as we speak. And that voice is exactly the voice I need for CKR.
For a while, I'm going to catch up on my reading and work busily on transforming my novel from a third-person POV to a first, hopefully improving the narrative along the way. I won't update you on the little stuff, but when something significant happens, I promise you'll be the first to know.
In the meantime, although it may be a while 'til you see another "Diary" post, rest assured there will be other blog posts forthcoming. In fact, I've got one nearly ready to go this afternoon, so check back. It's a continuation of the P-List* series, which focuses on experiences that changed my life, but this one will be available to anyone who wants to read it, rather than only those on my "Preferred List." I figure if I'm going to talk it up here, making it unavailable to most of you would make me look like a shit--that's not good for either one of us.
But the majority of the series will have to remain accessible to only pre-approved readers, specifically people 18 and older who are not related to me. I have my reasons. If you fit the criteria, all you have to do is send me your email address--the one you use to login here--and I'll add you to the list the next time I'm online. Which is probably about 5-10 minutes from now.
As always, y'all, thanks much for sharing the ride.
** NOTE, 2/13/11: On the MySpace blog, “P-List” ONLY (or Preferred List) posts are/were available to a limited number of readers, specifically those 18 or older who I manually “approved” and added to the list. At its peak, the P-List hit 300 followers. It was fun while it lasted. Lots and lots of fun...
(to be continued...)