Pages

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Now, for my next trick

I can't think off the top of my head exactly why this idea sounds bad, but something doesn't sound right at first. The idea: somebody writes a nonfiction book and decides his or hers next book will be fiction. Maybe it just seems like the writer thinks he or she can write anything and people will read it. Depending on the person, that can seem like a really egotistical, bad idea.

All this said, I'm still planning on going ahead with writing another book, and it's going to fiction. But I have a lot of reasons why I'm doing it this way.

I don't read a lot of fiction. Only six of the books on my "to read from scratch or never finished" shelf are fiction. Two are by Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho and Lunar Park), one is by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity), one is by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), one is by Stephen King (Cell), and one is by Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide). Those, coupled with a handful of graphic novels/trade paperbacks, are greatly outnumbered by the number of nonfiction titles in my ever-growing library. Of course, all of my small library is vastly outnumbered by the number of books (fiction and nonfiction) my housemate has in almost every room of our house.

I just find myself attracted to reading more straightforward, nonfiction material. All the times I found myself frustrated in school reading The Lord of the Flies, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Patriot Games and wondering when the plot was going to really move forward and stop dancing in circles are probably my excuses. I loved the Harry Potter books, but aside from reading Fahrenheit 451, the amount of fiction I've read and really enjoyed in the last five years has been small.

So, I find a fun challenge in writing a fictional book that I would want to read and enjoy. It's definitely not easy, but I want to do it. I know the structure that I want to do it in, and I'm well aware it hasn't been done very much by other writers. There will not be page after page of a character's internal monologue about something that has been brought up already. There is a big story to be told, and it will have a lot of talking, but it will hopefully get to the point.

If Our Band Could Be Your Life, Fargo Rock City, and Wilco: Learning How to Die were the main literary influences on Post, I think it's safe to say that this second book will have completely different influences. Off the top of my head, books like Fool the World: The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies and The Other Hollywood are some of the big ones, along with movies like American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused, are really steering me in the direction of what I want to do.

I've been jotting down notes and writing a little here and there on this book for well over a year. My plan is to start up full steam the first day it gets cold here in Dallas. In other words, that could be by the end of this month. You've been forewarned.

No comments: