My Online Literary Experiment: An Introduction

I want to do something dangerous.

Yes, I want to do something fraught with peril. Something that could literally make or break this little writing blog. Something that will put my ego (no matter how minor it is) on the line.

When I started this blog my goal was to get my writing voice back (I explain what I mean a lot more in this recent editorial here), and after seven months and 190 entries I feel I have done much of the repair work needed. In other words, I am happy with where I am creatively and I trust myself again to create.

My brain is back on.

Yes, I have confidence in my ability again, it has returned, but now I want to be tested. And if you stick around this blog you will see the result of this experiment I am giving myself… and like I said this could make or break the site and that confidence I have worked so hard in over 500 pages of editorials to bring back over this year.

For the next 25 weeks, I am going to write a novel right here on the site. You as a reader, each week will see the process happen, with a new chapter each week. Even from time to time, I may write editorials about the process and what I am finding out. This is a live experiment for all to see, and together we’ll see if this bird can fly.

What is even more challenging for me is I will write it in chronological order… This may seem trite to some, but I don’t write chronologically (for example in this editorial I started with the ending and then did the middle).

The novel will be called Permanent Spring Showers and it is based on a screenplay I wrote in 2001. A story I have not read in probably over 7 years.

Now before anyone thinks I am making this easy for myself since the story already exists as a screenplay, let me shatter that illusion now. I’ve studied writing in all of the mediums and when I create something specifically for a medium (film, novel, radio, etc.) I embrace all of the quirks that make that medium unique to the others. In other words, this script is filled with tricks that could never happen in a novel; things I have no idea how I will translate.

Characters will change, plots will be moved around, and dialogue will be cut all over the place like a five-year old learning to use scissors. If anything, having to see this story (and its interweaving plots) in a different light might add a level of difficulty that attempting to create a brand new work might not experience.

And since I will be creating one chapter at a time, consistency in the work from beginning to end might be out the window. That could either be a plus for the work, or make it too experimental.

Okay, I am starting to feel real fear around this idea.

But this is not the time for the meek! This is a time for jumping into the pool, Mr. Southard, not dipping one’s toes into the shallow end. This was the entire point of the blog, to see if you still had it in you!

Deep breath.

I did a quick scan of the old script and came up with the following table of contents. Consider this a lock so we can move this process forward.


Permanent Spring Showers

a novel by Scott D. Southard

The touches of rain…

  1. The Argument
  2. The Restaurant Meeting, Part 1
  3. The Seduction
  4. The Olympic Rowers
  5. The Next Morning
  6. The Awkward Dinner
  7. The Engagements
  8. The Strip Club
  9. The Interruption
  10. The Phone Call
  11. The Plan
  12. The Poetic Reveal
  13. The Walker
  14. The Work of Art
  15. The Restaurant Meeting, Part 2
  16. The Look
  17. The Famous Romantic Scene
  18. The Construction Worker
  19. The Needed Therapy Session
  20. The Other Awkward Dinner
  21. The Public Affairs
  22. The Hard Truth
  23. The Wedding of the Century
  24. The Holiday
  25. The Fires

An Epilogue in Rain


There it is- the 25 chapters (and one epilogue) I will be creating over the next 25 weeks.

Okay, my hand is starting to shake in nervousness. That is not good, right?

To make this even more legitimate, let’s add a quote to the front of the book. I have an old favorite from Shakespeare about spring, so we’ll use that.

O! how this Spring of love resembleth

The uncertain glory of an April day,

Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,

And by and by a cloud takes all away!

-William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Whew… another deep breath.

We have a table of contents, we have a plan, we have a plot, and we have an opening quote.

Tune in tomorrow when the grand experiment begins. I need to write Chapter 1 now.

There might be drinking involved.

How about checking out some of my finished books? I had two novels published in the last few years, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my author page here. Thanks for reading!

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