so the news today (and part of the reason posting has been so light this month) is that i officially finished writing my novel, spirit fall, last night (at about 11:15 pm, if you really want to try to be exact.) this past month i (finally) got back into the writing swing and was able to sort out the key plot points that had been troubling me. while not done (there's editing and publishing research to do now and rejection letters to look forward to - i'm a realist), it's still an incredible milestone. (my parents were wonderful and reminded me last night that this was such a momentous accomplishment - for that and so many other things, i love them!)
i started work on this project when i was fifteen or sixteen - i can't quite remember which one, so it's been a good eight to nine years or so in the works. by the time or if it ever gets published (realist, remember), we could be looking at ten or more years. that's a lot of time - i sort of feel like i've suddenly been let out on parole. in other words, i'm incredibly overwhelmed, a little bit in shock, but pleased. it might take a while for the relief to set in - a lot of the difficult work is done.
so, because when you write a story there tend to be questions about it, if it's okay with everyone else, i'm going to try to get a few of them out of the way here. if you have any extra questions, feel free to ask.
- what's it called?
spirit fall - same as the title of this post. it's also in the first paragraph.
if this was your first question, you might want to work on your comprehensive reading skills. just a suggestion.
- what genre is it?
i've been calling it an urban fantasy. in other words, basically our world, but i take liberties with reality. if you're looking for other authors to compare to in order to get a better idea, think of charles de lint or neil gaiman (particularly gaiman's two books american gods and neverwhere. not so much stardust.)
- what is it about?
i think this is the question i dread the most, but it's one i really should figure out how to explain succinctly. i'll do my best here, but i can't promise it'll be any good.
spirit fall is the story of evan, a mediocre, antisocial writer and the whirling, often deadly, incidents that draw him out of his self-imposed, solitary life-style back out into the world. a chance encounter with an otherworldly, almost ghost-like, wanderer named pak sets off a multitude of events. entwined in these events is a philosopher hit-man, a lost woman with no memory, a server in an off-road diner that also acts as a gateway to another world, and a ruthless, calculating tribunal whose unpleasant intentions seem to be puppeteering them all.
um, and then stuff happens. it might be exciting. i'm not sure, i'm the author, so i'm a little bit biased. sorry, i'd try to be a little more in depth, but even what i wrote above sounds a little silly. (maybe i just wasted eight or nine years... who knows?) it's difficult to condense a whole book into a paragraph. (but i guess that's why we write books, because short paragraphs just aren't as interesting to read.)
the important thing to know about the story isn't so much plot, it's style and voice. much of the story is an experimentation in character voice and development and how that can be reflected by writing style. thus, sections about forward-thinking characters are written in present tense and tend to be very active. reflective characters, like evan, tend to be more passive. my philosopher hit-man, jamison, i sort of think of as slightly (keyword, there. i used ideas of writing styles; i did not sit down and try to specifically emulate authors) hemmingway-ish. his accounts are very bare-boned and not overly descriptive. even pak, who is a present-thinking character, has his own style - a style that is in some ways very much like this blog, no caps, fragments, etc... as his character develops, so, too, does the style of his narratives. you can literally watch the text of his character evolve on the page. the story itself is about personal evolution and the many ways in which we recover ourselves after tragedy, despair, and apathy. the multitudes of voices (which hopefully flow seamlessly, at least after the first initial introduction to my a-normal narrative style) and the writing styles are a way of exploring these different paths of recovery and development.
- when can i read it?
not now. and probably not anytime soon.
well, let me clear that up a bit. for the most part i only plan to let a few, trusted people to tell me how nonsensical or dumb my book is. i'll try to keep everyone else updated as i progress along the different stages of author hood - editing, submitting, rejections, the small, faint hope of acceptance and publication - but i'm currently not planning on sending it out to my entire facebook friends list or anything. sorry.
if you do want to get a glimpse of what the story looks like, i've posted two excerpts, both scenes in diners, here and here. you're welcome to read them and leave feedback, but please remember both scenes come from the middle of the book and are not consecutive. i can't really say one way or another if i will post more scenes in the future.