Monday, December 18, 2006

"The Side Ways." Yep. I'm writing a novel.

And you're invited!

Back in around, oh... 2002... Maybe 2003, I forget... I had a couple of ideas for a storyline that I thought would make a cool basis for a series of graphic novels. I worked out some plot points and a couple of the main characters with an artist here in Columbus, and we did some storyboarding that took us about 1/3 of the way through what would have been the first book.

Then he left for a really sweet gig in NYC. Which was cool. And I put the idea on the back-brain-burner and let it simmer for awhile. But the main character -- Kendra White -- and the basic background of the story spoke to me in ways that some of my other, more fully-formed writing ideas haven't. So I kept jotting down notes or additional character studies or bits of scenes... blah blah blah. The usual writer crud.

Then I wrote most of a couple chapters. And it didn't work. So I scrapped it and decided it was bad. Bad, bad, bad. Andy can't write a novel. Bad, Andy. Go write blog posts and poetry and marketing essays and some short stories and stuff. My usual response to not liking a first draft.

Well, I'm tired of that response. And I really like some parts of what I think this story may be trying to tell me. Maybe it's just some fun fantasy stuff. Not "swords and sorcery" fantasy. Modern-day, weird-o fantasy. Maybe it's some deeply metaphoric stuff that I need to work out in my head; "writing as self-psychoanalysis." Either way, I want to finish it.

So I'd like your help. It's called, "The Side Ways." I'm going to post the chapter bits here as they come off the keyboard. I've finished the first chapter and am doing OK on the second. The whole first chapter is posted on the blog right now. You can read "Chapter 1.1: Stray Girl," without any let or hindrance. After that, though... you'll need a password. Why? Because I don't want the whole thing spidered and spammed, and I really only want folks who'd like to be involved in the draft reading, editing and commenting process involved. If you want to read it, I'd be absolutely thrilled. Tickled pink. But I would respectfully ask that you give me at least one comment (even something as lame as, "That was nice") for each section. Free fiction in exchange for mild critique.  Or not so mild. Your call.

So... if you read the first section, and would like to plow on after that, shoot me an email [awhavens aat sanestorm dott com] and I'll send you the horribly complex password for the rest of the thang. It'll be the same password for the whole novel, and I promise it's easy to remember.

Thanks in advance. My sincere hope is that by putting my junk (and my process) out in the wind for all to see, I'll have to hold myself to finishing the dang thing.

It starts like this:

When the greenman and the gargoyle brought the girl to me, I thought she was dead at first.

Now... don't that make you a little bit curious...

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