Recently, I rode on Amtrak recreating Edgar Allan Poe’s last trip northward. (As covered in Saving Eddie.) Amtrak has a Writer’s Residency. However, I like writing when the mood strikes without conditions.
As discussed earlier, I enjoy using a steno pad when writing in the air or traveling by rail, This time was no exception. What came forth was an over a four thousand word work called tentatively Waverly. The title is a nod to Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly novels which includes Ivanhoe.
Two Types of Disruptive Fiction
This new story became a case of disruptive fiction of which there are two kinds.
The first type is a work that is so unique that it immediately catches your attention. Q by the Wu Ming Writers’ Collective is one possible example.
But the more interesting area is fiction that disrupts your writing schedule.
Questions Concerning Disruptive Fiction
The following are some of the questions that Waverly brought to the surface and their resolution to date:
- What do I do with it? It is too short to be part of a book. I don’t have a new short story collection planned to place it. It could easily grow into a series of related stories. (Which would be a first for me.) So right now it is my experiments folder. There is a strong possibility that it is never released.
- Do I want to publish this now? There is too much that I am already working on such as finishing up Missed Landing and second edition updates to Simply Business/IT and Transitions 1. (Each with one new story.) So the earliest that this would be published is 2016.
- How do I classify it? Is it a simple story, a political fable, a fictionalized guidebook for the ruling elite, science fiction, or something else? Again, I am not sure yet. With rewrites, it could be expanded and go into many different directions.
In conclusion, even if you think things are settled with your writing schedule, ideas may unexpectedly spring forth that may need exploring. Sometimes I put things on the side and other times I switch and make this a primary focus. The latter path includes Saving Eddie, Killing Thoreau, Ghosts vs. Robots, and now Missed Landing.
But that is my story and I am sticking to it. Which will YOU choose when a creative idea wants to disrupt your writing life?
I recently completed Saving Eddie, a fictionalized paranormal retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s life. This is different from any of my other books for the following reasons:
- It crosses genres. The book is a biographical mystery with romantic and paranormal elements. It attempts to seamlessly merge these elements together.
- It uses unique plot devices. It is based on Arthur Rimbaud’s idea of a “season” covering the key periods in Poe’s life. The book is mostly told through two imaginary journals including one of Edgar’s mostly unknown real-life brother Henry. Henry also is deciding throughout the book when would be best to save his brother’s life.
- It provides a different perspective on Poe’s life. There are many different books on this great author. But few are written from the perspective on why he could so clearly describe the ideals of beauty and the depths of human madness. It provides a theory on the disastrous consequences of his being constantly in debt. Some of his lesser known works are also highlighted.
- It is well-researched. Diving into primary resources as well as visiting many of the places where he resided made this the most researched book that I have done to date.
- It uses lengthy chapters. Typically I write short chapters. However, in this case, a chapter was written for each “season” of Edgar’s life. Using the “one long take” approach allows the reader to better understand the ups and downs of that period.
- Use of unreliable narrators. The two journal writers in the story are caught up with their own emotional biases and may make misleading judgments. Along the way, you watch them both grow.
- A preview copy and cover was released early. It had the most downloads in the shortest period of time of all my book samples.
- It is not a retread. Another author could have made this a rehash of Killing Thoreau with time travel. But I decided to go into unfamiliar and more challenging territory instead.
This was a highly satisfactory experience that I hope you have as much fun reading as I did creating,