My Online Literary Experiment: Passing the 20% Mark

Updates, updates, who wants an update?

Calling From the Future…

So somehow, without my realizing it, I got a chapter ahead.

I know, I know this sounds impossible but it really did happen and I didn’t plan it in the least. It was all a nice little surprise or present or whatever you want to call it.

See, one of my goals in creating the book was to force my creativity to keep up to the demands I had put upon it. Put myself to the test, as it were. So the table of contents I created before I did the first chapter were done on a whim after a quick glance at the screenplay plot which is interestingly disappearing as the book charges forward, more on that in a bit.

Anyway, I wrote this really long chapter with two major points of action happening, it was only when I was about to share the chapter online that I realized I had made a mistake. Chapter 4 is the first part of that initial draft of the chapter, The second half was supposed to be a bulk of Chapter 5! So because of that little glitch in the Scott brain, Chapter 5 and 6 are almost done and Chapter 5 is scheduled for this Friday.

Yes, thanks to my unintentional bit of brilliance, I am in the more relaxing position of being one chapter ahead of my readers.  I wonder if Charles Dickens every got ahead of his readers like this? I mean, in many ways I was inspired to do this by him. (The fact I have so many characters and plots also is part of that inspiration; think more Bleak House than Great Expectations, and you will see what I mean.)

Hopefully, I can keep myself ahead like this for a bit. It definitely takes a lot of the stress out of what I was feeling during the first few weeks, knowing I would be sharing it with the world that Friday and trying to figure out what I might or might not do in the future while dealing with the pressures of simply writing in the present.

The New Story

Let me say this first, I love the original screenplay, don’t get me wrong. When I wrote it originally I was coming from a very “Woody Allen place” in my writing, inspired in many ways by Hannah and Her Sisters. The screenplay went on to do pretty well in some national competitions, and I think as a whole still works well even today, more than a decade later. I would have absolutely no misgivings giving the work to a producer, knowing it is still a solid work on its own and ready to film tomorrow.

The fact is the book that is emerging, inspired by this unproduced screenplay, is a different beast in many ways.  For this writing, I think of the screenplay as merely an outline, a starting point. To be honest, it has been a few weeks since I have even opened the screenplay to verify what is there.

It is a character study, filled with hints and little surprises. One thing I’m enjoying doing in it is revealing something new in each chapter than can make you reconsider what you have read in the previous one.

Another thing I’m getting a kick out of in the writing are motives. In the screenplay, yes, everyone had a motive, but here because of the different medium that is a book, I’m allowed to expand and, in many places, create a brand new one.

This is fun, but this is also trouble.

Yes, what I’m doing, on a literary writing level, does feel dangerous, since I am giving it to the readers as it is ready in bits, assuming that by the end everything will fit together like I’ve intended. Really this is in as much of real-time as any writer can make a book (save the fact I’ve become surprisingly a chapter ahead, see note above). See, I can definitely and very easily, by creating so much new material and ideas, write myself into a tight little corner.

Who knows?

Maybe like a soap opera I might have to claim some of it was merely a dream? Heeheehee… Okay, now that is kind of funny. It reminds me of something Henry Fielding might do.

Or maybe I can do a Voltaire and claim someone is not quite dead… Wait, does anyone die in this story? I don’t think so, not yet, but that might be an interesting twist.

Yes, creativity is dangerous, most especially to those who dare to wield the weapon.

The Final Product, As I See It Today…

I’ve passed 50 pages a bit ago, which means this book is coming out to the length I imagine it will be, around 250 to 300 pages. A good-sized novel, not super long. This is not George R.R. Martin by any stretch, of course… .Or maybe a better reference is Bleak House. Even though, I must admit there is some Martin influence with the use of perspective from time to time in the writing; of course, I am different in how I am doing it. While Martin does each chapter from a different perspective the narrator voice really doesn’t change. He is still the storyteller, the character who it’s about being the only thing different.

In my book I am giving the character a little more free rein to control their own telling. Does that mean I have voices in my head? Well, yes… yes, I do. Is that a problem?

A part of me still wonders what I am going to do after this is done. I might be building myself up for something, hoping that audiences and audiences of readers are following along and then it is done and… silence.

It’s not like I am reaching out to publishers or agents about this experiment. That’s not the point of the book… yet.

As Charlie Brown would say, “Argh…”

It’s just so hard for me to lose sight of the business of making money. Heck, when I studied writing at the University of Southern California I took two classes alone just on the business side of writing. (Many of the classes involved us students attempting to pitch ideas to whichever professional they happened to bring in that night).

So while I’m enjoying writing the book like this (the occasional fear over the process being strangely refreshing), and creating a page with links to the previous chapters… Well, I still dream of more when everything is done.

So sue me. Yeah, I want to be published and I do NOT want it to be through self-publishing, unless I have absolutely no other choice.

I want all of my books to be published, and when this work is done it will be novel number 7, joining the other three that exist merely in data form or on the internet (see A Jane Austen Daydream).

When other writers think of their books, do they think of them as children or time? I see mine as both.  I love each of them, hold them precious like one would a child; but they’re also time capsules, and on each page I’m transported back to where I was, what I was feeling when that bit was created.

I am a sentimental soul, yes.

Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying the novel. And if you are, please, please, please share it with anyone you know that would also enjoy following the book… or any of my books… and if they’re an agent or publisher all the better…. Heeheehee…

Chapter five is on Friday.

You can find chapters 1-4 on the Permanent Spring Showers page of this site, but how about checking out some of my finished published 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! New chapter next week.

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