The Writer

The WriterBack in October last year I began working on a novel. It took me roughly three months to write. But there was one big problem with it. I had no plot. Or at least, something that would resemble a plot. And that kind of set me back for a while.

I would be lying if I’d say that I didn’t panic, because I did. Three months of hard work seems like an awful lot to waste, especially when you’re my age and as impatient as I am. But there was nothing I could do about it. I just had to wait.Which I did. I wrote a few short stories, began a couple of other novels, and I also wrote Jazz. Then I spent some time working on this blog – developing an author platform, as some might say. Then I began self-publishing my short stories and, of course, “Jazz.”

About a month ago, just after I launched “Jazz,” I got it. Just like that. And I was quite amazed to realize how easy it was to tie everything together.

So it’s my pleasure (it really is) to announce that I have set up a launch date for this novel: September the 23rd. Or 23rd of September, depending on which side of the planet you call home.

It’s always a fascinating thing to track back your process, to see where the road has taken you, so please bear with me as I try to explain why and how I wrote the novel. And some other stuff, like that flash of inspiration that’s always followed by those few minutes of trance-like state, the few minutes when our mind starts weaving chaotic memories together in an attempt to form a story.

The Writer began with a misunderstanding. I was ten, maybe eleven years old, and I went to the cinema with a few of my friends and their parents. And you know those movie trailers they play before the actual movie starts? Well, one of them was for Secret Window, a movie based on a short story by Stephen King. And I didn’t really get the idea behind the movie. I thought it was something else, which for the sake of spoilers I won’t mention. For whatever reason, this idea stuck with me, and a few years later, when I saw the movie, I realized that it wasn’t about what I thought it would be. Not at all.

So I said to myself, “Now I have an idea for a story.” Of course, I did nothing about it. Teenagers who pretend to be writers like to wait for a right time to write a story. They want to live a bit, to know more about the world, to be better writers, before they embark on such a treacherous journey. Like that character in The Snows on Kilimanjaro. Anyway, I wrote other stuff, gave up writing for a couple of years, then I began writing again.

And I wrote this story. A second person, Present tense narrative about a writer. It was about 7 to 8 thousand words long. Those who read it, loved it. Then I forgot about it. Time passed, and last year I became sort of a fan of unreliable narrators. And I set up to translate my short story into English and make it a bit more… intriguing.

What I ended up writing was… it’s kind of tricky to define.

The Writer is a novel about a guy, Jonathan Fisher. It’s a first person account of how he became a writer.

The Writer is also what some people might call Literary Fiction. With a touch of Magical Realism.

The Writer is Metafiction, meaning that it’s a novel about a writer writing a story.

The Writer is a frame-story. Jonathan Fisher somehow decides, on a mostly random basis, that he wants to read a story to the audience. Well, it’s not precisely the audience, because Jonathan Fisher is actually addressing a certain someone. Anyway, he still insists on reading from his short story collection.

And then there’s this guy, Jonathan Fisher. There’s something broken about him. I have always felt it, but up until now I never realized what. He’s just an observer. That’s what makes him so frightening to me. He’s the kind of guy who’ll walk right past a woman getting mugged. He never intervenes. He’s happy to be a shadow. I know there are far worse people (and fictional characters) out there, but… it’s just how I feel about him.

Here’s a blurb I wrote for the novel:

Jonathan Fisher is such a ghostly character that CCTV cameras won’t record him. He is used to being no one in particular, but when his father dies, he realizes one thing. Being invisible isn’t such a great option. But then something happens; a bizarre incident in a restaurant alters his life into a quest for answers. He decides to become a writer.

Like I said, 23rd of September 2012. I’ll post sample chapters, and I’ll probably write a few blog posts about some of the elements in the story. Or about the process of writing it. But there’s nothing great about that: you know, you sit at a desk and bleed, like Hemingway once said.

Oh, by the way, I’ll be putting a few of the phrases that I think are cool on my Facebook page, so you might want to check that out.

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49 comments on “The Writer

  1. Excited to read more, continued success to you, and congrats on seeing this through. I'm trying to get myself there.

  2. Malcolm Miller says:

    'Mr Cellophane', eh? Sounds interesting. I found that after starting a novel without a proper plot, one evolved from the characters themselves.

  3. Congratulations! All the best!

  4. icingandcake says:

    I think it's amazing that you managed to write it, you've kind of inspired me to go back to a book I started but left behind. Congratulations, I look forward to the 23rd of September :)

  5. Congratulations Cristian, finishing a book is a very special thing to do.

  6. Martin says:

    Best wishes with the launch of The Writer Cristian.

  7. koihernandez says:

    I'm trying to write a novel myself which is called Happy Kids. :)

  8. Andrea Kelly says:

    Sounds intriguing! Congratulations!

  9. Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment. Look forward to hearing more.

  10. {V} says:

    Congrats on finishing and good luck with the launch.

  11. Congratulations; now if only I had an e-reader and the time for an e-reader.

  12. Exciting stuff. Look forward to reading your creation :)

  13. Emmica says:

    Fantastic achievement, congratulations! : )

  14. Valentina says:

    You know what they say: "In life one must make a baby, plant a tree and write a book". Congratulations for your new book, your launch will be successful.

  15. nishi01 says:

    Waiting for more..esp the cool phrases!

  16. neelkanth says:

    I do love 'The Writer'.

  17. elskenewman says:

    Well done for picking it back up and finishing it. I look forward to reading it.

  18. dicameron says:

    Nice post! Am amazed at the speed you're writing novels at! What length are they, generally? It's taken me over a year to write not even half of mine. Mind you, kid and job have a habit of getting in the way!

    • Well, this one took me three months to write. But like I said, I've been brainstorming ideas, writing a short story based on those ideas, etc. for a long, long time.

      But generally speaking, I can write anywhere between 20K to 50K a month, depending on what project I'm working on. No kid and no job means that I can work for as long as I want to.

  19. Sciencelens says:

    Cool – I look forward to it!

  20. jackowengyll says:

    Great Cristian! Your blog serves as inspiration to me. I'm really looking forward to reading this, and reading your upcoming posts about it. Thank you!

  21. The picture at the top looks like someone opened R2 D2!

  22. I love those flashes of inspiration when suddenly you see how to resolve the plot and the things you were writing actually related to each other, even when you didn't know it. A good feeling. :)

  23. [...] depth to living and writing. Inspired by the musings, creativity and work ethic of others – Cristian Mihal, Maggie at Life in a Skillet, Shrimani Senay, Karen Weintraub and Nick Hornby, among them – [...]

  24. [...] The Writer. Share this:FacebookStumbleUponTwitterRedditDiggPinterestPrintEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  25. amoonfull says:

    I'm excited for you!! :-)

  26. Great post! It totally reminds me of a book I'm reading called, "Bird by Bird" and the author literally says not worry about plot, or even come up with one. Focus on the characters, and let THEM drive the plot. You clearly were successful with that, so congrats!

  27. Sounds super interesting! Looking forward to seeing your samples…

  28. This is the line that got me to pause and read on, "I would be lying if I’d say that I didn’t panic, because I did."– that panic happens to me frequently, "what have I been spending my life on!?"

    Congratulations on the new book!

  29. Congratulations on your new novel. I look forward to reading more about it.

  30. Sounds like a great idea! It's funny you mentioned the trailer for The Secret Window. I remember being confused when I saw that too. Still, I guess it got me to see the movie. I look forward to reading your newest work.

  31. Lucy says:

    Congratulations on completing this project! Looking forward to reading it.

  32. Gabriel | 加百利 says:

    Congrats !

  33. Congratulations. Writing is a journey for any Author. I glad you journey with the Writer has come to the finish line. I will be look forward to reading it.

  34. Sounds interesting. I'm a fan of magical realism and metafiction. Thank you for writing and thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  35. Eagerly anticipate your release!

  36. melieli88 says:

    I would like to read this book. Cant wait!

  37. I hear you, I'm married, work full time, and it took me three years to write my first novel (74K words). The sequel's coming along only a little faster. I try to balance work, life, and writing; often feeling I've cheated one or the other. Surviving a brain tumor helped me re-evaluate what the world considers urgent and my own path. I love my family and I love writing, and merely work to pay the bills; so I decline overtime as often as I can.

  38. Dante says:

    Your blog posts are a pleasure to read.

  39. teresa says:

    Looking forward to The Writer on the 23rd of September, growing near… The first time I saw Secret Window I was mesmerized by the story, the acting of Johnny Depp and more, even though I did not quite get, then. What I did get then, was the open window into my imagination which opened up to great possibilities and fascinating, uncertain endings. The inside and outside of our brains translated through such great visual techniques, in the movie, do not need words.

    I just discovered your writing, I think it is great, thanks for sharing so much with us readers.

  40. Aman says:

    Outstanding blog writer you are!

  41. Jane says:

    Sounds intriguing I wish you success

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