Salut mes amis!
It’s Sunday and it’s raining, so that means it’s time to share some deets on the Big Project. At the end of this post, I’m going to provide exactly six sentences from the rough draft of this monstrosity, emphasis on rough and draft. The Big Project exists both in my head and in a steadily growing Word file on my aging Macintosh, but once the first draft has been “finished,” it shall be called The Novel. No working title as of yet.
So what’s it all about?
It’s not exactly a genre piece. There’s some mystery, some romance, some thiller-y and police procedural-y elements. It’s literary fiction. Character driven. Both internal and external hurdles to overcome. A Great Statement may be made.
‘WTF is literary fiction?’ You say.
The folks at Write Anything answer:
In broad terms, literary fiction focuses more on style, psychological depth, and character and tends to be multilayered stories which wrestle with universal dilemmas rather than with plot. They usually provoke the readers beliefs and thoughts, often with an outcome of changing or altering their audiences outlook on life. More often than not, literary fiction addresses what might be considered more serious issues to uncover a truth bringing its audience; by the way of the main character; to a deeper understanding about life.
Sounds pretty pretentious, I must admit. But I will also admit that lit fic is my favorite “genre,” if you prefer to call it that. Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate lit fic from certain genre novels. “Genre” is this context meaning “romance,” “mystery,” “science fiction,” and the like. Some people (mostly genre writers) do not even believe that literary fiction should be a category unto itself. I am not among that camp!
Also, sometimes lit fic is accused of lacking plot. In other words, nothing happens. Or at least nothing seems to happen. L’horreur! Write Anything also has something to say in reply to that:
In literary fiction, the plot bubbles underneath the surface. The important factors in literary fiction is what is happening in the thoughts, minds, desires and motivations of the characters as they move about and within the setting. Adding a further layer upon that, are the underlying cultural expectations and social issues which influence the motivations and actions of the characters.
So there you have it. A fitting genre for an anthropologist of the cultural kind. The Big Project is meant to be lit fic, but who knows if it may morph into something else entirely — still being in an infantile state and all. It may also fit in the categories of transgressive and neo-noir.
Themes of the Big Project include: redemption, guilt, unlikely love, and some other things. Oh and PRIDE.
In the realm of television and film, they tell screenwriters to create a pitch. Basically, summarize what it’s all about in a few sentences. This is a novel, but I thought it would be an interesting challenge to come up with a blurb (i.e. pitch). I ended up writing this:
Undercover Special Agent Keegan Rodriguez tells himself it’s okay to snort drugs and sell his body for leads — until he finds himself under the covers with the alleged linchpin of a network of sex and crime. He’s a little bit unhinged, and he definitely doesn’t like cops. But when he begrudgingly agrees to help a burned-out detective with a case gone cold, Keegan finds that he might have buried himself a little too deep. Together, they fight addiction and corruption in a quest for trust, redemption, and the missing pieces of themselves. Set primarily in contemporary Orlando.
It actually helped my creative brain a great deal…. to summarize what essentially is a novel into a mere paragraph.
Anyway, at the beginning of this rambling and poorly outlined post, I promised six sentences.
‘What’s the deal with that?’ You say.
It’s six sentence Sunday, and it’s for real. Since this is my first time participating and I have zero forethought, I’m not listed on the 24 June section. Whatever.
His hair is jet black, receding and greasy. Purple veined hands reach up to pat down his suit jacket. He is shamelessly overdressed for this dive. He blinks once, and then twice, black eyes conveying quasi-interest. Finally, his fingers have found what they sought. He pulls out a long, hand-rolled cigarette.
There you have it! Six sentences from the Big Project. Now back to the actual writing part…