Novel Thoughts: On Writing and Sample First Chapter
Figuring out where I was and wanted to go in life resulted in voracious writing. Filled journals and empty pens soon accumulated as new interests, ambitions and ideas flew around my mind faster than I could pen.
A revelatory experience. The manner in which the mind is able to access and present thoughts through writing felt good, it felt right. As words formed, new meanings came to page and to life.
An aptitude for writing surfaced with a passion to do something with it. One of my many writing goals during this initial period of intensive journaling was to write a novel.
After playing around with one idea, I ditched it, along with the ambition. Finding myself with time recently, I skimmed through a book that reignited the novel initiative, introducing me to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is every November–I couldn’t wait and started in October.
One vigorous, flowing yet rigorous 25 days later, I had formed a digitally dense 58,000- word manuscript at over 65k with notes and optional add ins.
The process was invigorating. The story consumed me. I thought about it when the keys weren’t being tapped, writing early in the morning, late at night, midday, and all day (with breaks) when time permitted. It was like reading a book, but deeply intertwined through a master role able to manipulate where the story led. Every day I was part of a fictional story unraveling.
Being so close to the story, typing the end manifested a case of writer’s depression. It truly felt as though I had lost a loved one.
It’s been a couple weeks, and it’s time to return to the text. Reviewing, revising, editing and refining are surely due. Unfortunately, I haven’t struck my stride for this process. Writing is fun, editing seems more like work, although it is rewarding to polish out a product.
The story revolves around an adolescent boy nearing university graduation. Regret from a troubled youth begins to bite him, releasing its venom into his thoughts. As life begins transforming he is hardly conscious of it, but doesn’t let go once he grabs onto the idea of setting out to experience the world, to break from his current university culture and find new perspective.
His drive leads him through an adventurous endeavor exploring life’s intricacies from America to Africa, revealing humbling human happiness and a world seen through a fresh lens.
Please enjoy a brief sample of the tentative opening lines below, although, it seems the story may have began in advance of where it ought to. False starts, however, are common place and only lead to a stronger story. You have to get your fingers typing somewhere.
I’d love to hear comments and suggestions, as well as interest in posting more chapters.
People call him Z. His name is Alexander. This puzzled him, but made quasi-sense. Clearly Z was not in Alexander, but a “zan” sound mid pronunciation, where Z derived. Wouldn’t Zan, or even Za, be more logical? Z had little patience for things illogical. He made an exception, however, to his name. And nevertheless preferred Z to Alexander, Alex, Zander, Zan. Za had a nice ring to it, but rarely made an appearance. Having a unique name brings individuality and confidence. Z met both qualities.
Names are important, he thought, sitting at the kitchen table he and his roommate Mateo had lugged in from a donating neighbor. Most of his possessions had a past in other homes, which made him feel quite resourceful, wise to consumer society–no sucker. The table was well crafted, during a time when quality was standard, and far superior to modern, incompetent tables coming in boxes and lasting one year. Reassuring in its reliable structure, he could trust the table.
Itself elegant, it made everything else more so, including his mug of morning coffee, which sat indulgently with a generous dollop of luscious froth atop, steam rising and vanishing into crisp morning air. One arm extended on the table, his other hand inquisitively roamed pondering stubble on his chin, enjoying a recently discovered love for free mornings, where he could move at his own pace. Parched times had demanded more thinking than ever before seen fit. Flummoxed by his past, he thirsted for exploration and change.
Outside the window, crisp blue skies lit a frosty March morning in the foothills of Colorado, illuminating the natural world. Sunshine carried through chilled windowpanes, lying diagonally across the table. Comforting warmth passed onto his left arm. He noted the relative temperature of his feet as they rest in the shadows below, cozied in a pair of grey corduroy slippers, contrasting his malaise, mind in the midst of a matched tug of war.