Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Underground Guy

I've been back to work on that story. My plan is to finish a first draft then rework Owen Taylor to simplify the opening couple chapters, then do another draft of UG, then polish OT and publish it. Then, if I feel UG is ready, polish it and publish it. Then get back to work on Place of Safety.

It helps that I've gotten some more positive response to OT in its current form, so don't really need to do much on it. I also got turned down by the NEA for a grant to work on P/S, and re-read what I'd sent them...which included the chapter of Brendan traveling to Claudy early on January 5th, 1969 to be with the students marching to Derry. And it scratched at my soul. He needs his story to be told.

I want a decent first draft of the first section of the story before my next birthday. That gives me seven months to complete three books. Right, that's gonna happen. But it's a goal, and I'm not working up the entire book of P/S; just the first one. Books 2 & 3 will follow.

I'm finally accepting that I don't like to write hyped up drama in stories like P/S. I want a more natural flow to it, especially since the events it's located in are dramatic unto themselves. When I wrote Desert Land, I used the style to rack up the intensity of the drama, but that wouldn't be something you could extend over a massive book.

I'm reading My Antonia by Willa Cather as I sit in the tub, each night, and it has a clean spare style that works for the area -- Nebraska of the late 19th Century. Nothing much happens except life and the messes it brings. The completed piece I have that's closest to it is Wide New World, which is pretty low-key but as naturalistic as I can make it. A guy takes a photography class and tears his family apart.

So I know I'm capable of doing that in OT and UG...and maybe finding the simplicity in those will help me build it in P/S...maybe.

It's certainly something to strive for.

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