My Online Literary Experiment: Time to Catch Up!

Feeling the ShowerPermanent Spring Showers is a new novel, but it is also an experiment… an experiment around creation, instinct, and a heck of a lot of literary luck.

To begin with, I grew up a fan of Charles Dickens, and one of the things he is well known for is how he wrote many of his novels, sharing them via his papers one chapter at a time; many times while still creating them. So to start, I wondered if I could do the same thing. That was the basis right there for my challenge.

Using an old screenplay I wrote years and years ago as the starting point, I first created 25 chapter titles. Those chapter titles now are the only direction I really have in the writing. See, the book is nothing like the screenplay, only a few scant remnants remain. (I can’t even remember the last time I have even opened up the screenplay file!) If having to guess, I would say only two plotlines remain, and only that many of the original characters are still like their former selves. Everything else is so sparkly new, and many times when I start a chapter, I have no idea where the characters are going to take me next. Thrilling and terrifying.

When I started it felt so wonderfully easy, with the first chapter oddly being the shortest one in the book. It was a lie! When the third chapter reached over 25 pages I realized I might be in a little bit of trouble. I wasn’t drowning, but I was enjoying the deep end of the pool a little too much, let me say that.

To help you, the readers, feel part of the process, I’ve also been creating occasional editorial updates on the experience. I like to think of them as fun little glimpses into the mind of a writer at work. They are full of contradictions, conflicting goals, and seem to carry through them the one underlining thought, “I don’t know what I am doing or where I am going, but this is strangely fun.”

And it has been a fun experience for me.

In 2013 I will be creating the last three chapters (plus one very short epilogue) for the novel. With the end so close I thought this might be a good time for readers to consider catching up or maybe starting for the first time. You can find all of the chapters here. I hope you will consider checking it out. Below, is a brief introduction to the book and the characters in it:

Permanent Spring Showers is a book about relationships and perceptions.

"Morning on the Seine in the Rain" by MonetDr. Rebecca Stanley-Wilson’s marriage is falling apart. Her husband Bob has had an affair and Rebecca, angry and frustrated, had one of her own; but unlike Bob she is going to do everything possible to keep it a secret from her job and her husband. Unfortunately, the person she slept with has different motives…

Vince lives and breathes art, and after a torrid evening with Rebecca in Chicago, has become obsessed with her. Where this obsession with his “inspiration” and “love” will take him no one knows, not even his own closest friends, but truly something new and very groundbreaking is in the works…

Jenn idolizes Vince and has changed her life in many ways to mirror his. She considers herself a new revolutionary writer and has created her own literary genre. Unfortunately, for this genre to work she needs a “victim,” someone to manipulate and change to become a character in what will be the final product. Her unknowing “literary creation” is Steve…

Steve lost the love of his life. Anna ran out on him six months ago and he has not been the same since. What is more frustrating is he has no idea why she left; just one day she was gone, taking all of her things from their apartment when he was away. His friends try to help him but how much help Steve in this emotionally limbo state really wants is debatable…

One of Steve’s somewhat helpful friends is Ralph. Ralph is secretly homosexual and is in an “arranged” marriage to hide this fact from his conservative family, allowing him, more importantly, to keep a relationship with the family’s wealth. His partner in this arrangement is Lilly, and to keep up with his end of the bargain Ralph only has to do one thing: support her dream for going to the Olympics for rowing. Something that should be fairly easy… if it wasn’t for her rowing partner…

And there is more! There is Mary (who is always perfect), her twin brother Marty (who is not perfect), Viv (Marty’s girlfriend who is becoming bored in the relationship), Gordon (Mary’s silent boyfriend), Clark (Steve’s brother who is marrying a stripper), and Karen (Rebecca’s sister who wishes she was marrying a stripper)…

And over the course of this one season all of their lives are going to come together.

You can follow the novel/madnesshere.

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