Back 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.