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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Earl's Novel - Epilogue

(Editor's note: With this post Earl Fando has finished his novel as part of the insane National Novel Writing Month Contest (Thank God for it!) Soon, Earl will be able to resume posting on the usual junk, lobbying even more steadily for a 2006 Weblog Award, and enjoying a two day coma of sleep. Thanks to all who've tuned in to read it.)

Epilogue

I did actually finish the novel, with only a day to spare. I went back to the story of the intrepid detective and his busty client and wrote a sizzling sex scene involving a pool table, a pitcher of beer, a bowl of pretzels, and a manual typewriter. Afterwards though, I felt both guilty and cynical about it and scrapped the whole thing.

The thing I learnt about writing a really long story is that most authors really don’t know where the hell they’re going when they start, and most of the time I think they are led there by forces beyond their control. I’ve always contended that I write humour because, like many a filmmaker or songwriter, I can’t help myself. It’s as natural as waking up in the morning, eating a plate of bangers and mash, or swearing and throwing about receipts at tax time.

Still, there’s something to be said for taking what’s around you and making it into something that other people might half care to read. It would be quite easy now to grandly proclaim that my newfound experiences have taught me that stories are unpredictable, just like life, and that we live in the same way that we write, by our wits and experience. However, Stew will read this when I post it on the blog eventually, and I don’t want him snorting up his frappucinos after coming across this “profundity.”

Well, writing is like life in one simple sense. You take one blinking step at a time. That’s how I eventually finished the book. I set out a fairly ambitious schedule with the remaining two and a half weeks. I slept very little, which I must say does little for the quality of writing, grammar, and my driving the next day. Still, little by little, it came out. It was all quite natural in the end, which I must admit surprised me.

I thought at some point I’d need to sit down and write out plot points, take extensive notes, or review my prose that it may be further polished and refined to suit the fine art of novel –gazing… I mean writing. Instead, it all came out of me the way beer does after about an hour or two, only in a much more pleasant room of the house.

I suppose I shall go back and edit, touch up, polish, change a few names and details, and add a hell of a lot more gags (because, let’s face it – I get bored otherwise). Now though, it seems a rather beautiful thing to sit and look at. The effort, the odyssey, was remarkable, and here is this strange and large collection of words to account for it, and they are all mine.

So, I suppose I’m in the club, the one with Dickens and Cervantes and Woolf and Hemingway, though I hope that the depression and madness are not automatic membership “benefits.” I suspect that much of it has to do with lack of sleep, which I shall spend the next week or two catching up on. In the meantime, I hope that everyone who reads the work will get some pleasure out of it.

You’re probably wondering what I eventually decided to write about, but it’s no great mystery. You’ve just read it.

Don’t tell George and Yo!

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