Deja Vu All Over Again

One of my life’s great face-to-desk moments was in the fall of 2004.

Back in 2003, I’d participated in “National Novel Writing Month”, usually known as NaNoWriMo. “Nano” takes place every November; the goal is to write a novel – 50,000 words worth – in those thirty days. It doesn’t have to be much of anything – it’s just gotta be done.

Now, I went into NaNoWriMo 2003 with an outline for a book that I’d been tweaking in my mind, and then on paper, for 5-6 years. I’d fleshed out characters, come up with a pretty cool plot, and had things pretty well laid out. And I hit Nano running; I think I got through 100,000 words – and 40% of my outline.

I put it away for a bit – but figured I’d finish it between then and the next Nano, in the fall of 2004.

That fall, the opening of the TV season included a series that smacked into me like a Proust compilation hitting a cement floor; my novel about a bunch of people stranded by a crash under bizarre, perhaps supernatural circumstances suddenly went from “original” to “just like Lost“.

And so it was back to dreaming about writing a novel.

That opportunity came to me finally six years ago, as I started writing a series of satirical observations about local Libertarians, which morphed – at the suggestion of commenters, truth be told – into a “Dickensian serial” about a highly tongue-in-cheek collapse of civilization and “reboot” of the political order. Trulbert was a hoot to write, and even more fun to see people reading. I sold probably 500 online copies – profiting enough to take a halfways decent vacation.

And it whetted my appetite for more.

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of the US finally taking some critics’ suggestions (including, occasionally, mine) and breaking up into some smaller, more politically contiguous countries, and what that’d mean. There was on the one hand an urge not to go full-blown satirical, a la Trulbert; I still go back and forth on that, as “desire to try something different” runs up against “go with what you know, and also unknown people can’t get typecast”.

So the urge to do another Dickensian serial about a divorce – maybe amicable, maybe not, a la my 2005 serial, Secession Diaries – between the several states has been bubbling around since, well, Trulbert came out.

That urge has been mightily tempered by the fact that Kurt Schlicter seems to have taken over that market.

8 thoughts on “Deja Vu All Over Again

  1. Don’t let that novel gather dust. Finish it. Who’s to say you can’t outdo Schlicter? I’ve participated in Nano a couple of times as a way to kick start a novel attempt. November really is a terrible month to do anything else anyway. Got two books completed and self-pubbed. I’ve got a third one past the first draft stage with lots more revising to go. No one ever reads books that aren’t finished.

  2. there were secession diaries in 2005? Got a link? That was like 2-3 years before I became a regular reader/commentor on this site.

  3. I’m in Richmond VA this week. I live Virginia, but this is the first time I’ve been to Richmond…it’s a crime infested, leftist hellhole. The big news story is about how all the population growth for the next decade will be in “Democratic strongholds” (yeaaa!)…I weep for the Old Dominion.

    With that in mind, I’d like to see splitting the sheets become a genre in its own right. Hopefully one will have the good people of Virginia excizing the hemorrhoid of Richmond County off it’s ass.

  4. There have been many valid criticisms of Schlicter; for one he’s a shameless self promoter.

    But I do appreciate and ENDORSE! his no quarter approach to dealing with leftist reprobates. Never give them an inch; take them down (rhetorically, calm down Agent Friendly) at every opportunity.

  5. Swiftee, my Mom recently moved to Williamsburg and I go there twice a year to visit her. Granted she lives in a gated community but it seems nice in that area, lots of old money, she rents and doesnt own anything,

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