OF COURSE YOU DID
Following three false starts, an initial draft and four rewrites I’ve completed the manuscript of my fourth novel. I am not a prolific writer. I was pretty sure the finish line was another year away. I guess I’m living through a strangely productive time. I’m even sensing number five is out there although at this stage it’s more like one of those ‘floaters’ patients tell their optometrists about.
French auteur Jean Cocteau once quipped that every dictionary contains a literary masterpiece: the problem being the words are out of order. I plot my stories out. I know I have to get from A to Z. My trouble is the other 24 letters in the alphabet. And frankly, neither Oxford nor Merriam-Webster is much use as it helps to know the first three letters of the word I’m seeking.
The working title of ‘Of Course You Did’ was ‘Atomic Space Rangers!’ Once I realized I had to change its title, the tenor of the novel changed. I’d envisioned straight comedy about awkward subjects. Tom the narrator is a failed science fiction writer but otherwise a relatively successful man. The story unfolds as he reflects on his life and his relationship with his older brother Pete, and his brother’s influence on the course of his life.
Each chapter is divided into three sections. The structure I arrived at was challenging because I had to integrate them and each had to inform the others. The first section is a good old fashioned adventure story, the brothers the main characters, essentially a 60s World War II weekly television drama set on a mysterious world somewhere in the Orion constellation. They keep breaking the fourth wall to argue about the plot and discuss their lives together. Other parts of the novel are set in Edmonton, AB, south side. The middle portion is Tom’s memoir of growing up in a broken home with his big brother Pete playing the father figure. The third section relates the fates of the brothers in present-day, again from Tom’s point of view.
I made up most of ‘Of Course You Did’, but I swear it’s all true.
meGeoff has been your most unreliable, unbalanced and inaccurate alternative source of contemporary fiction since 2013. Of Course You Did is coming in 2021. Sign up for e-mail alerts from the Crooked 9, use that thingy on the right.