Sunday, November 25, 2012

'Ensemble': A Brief Explanation

For most of my life as a Writer, I've been most comfortable writing short fiction. Think of the narrator's voice, think of the other characters, think of a plot arc, a series of scenes, some dialogue, an ending, and you've got yourself a nice self-contained narrative that you can lose yourself in for a little while. The idea of writing a novel is much more...intimidating. I'm not just creating characters and stories for a few dozen pages, there needs to be enough meat and potatoes to warrant hundreds of pages. Now, over the years, I've had a lot of inspiration for all kinds of stories, but only one that I've felt was a 'golden ticket' novel idea. That idea is a novel-in-progress titled Ensemble.

Of course, I won't give away too much about the specific plot. Number one, to protect my novel idea, and number two, so that my would-be audience doesn't already know exactly how the story plays out before it's even written. I will, however, give you a mock back-of-the-book version, the quick write-up, a teaser summary:

Oliver Saint is a by-the-numbers control freak. Sullivan Hyde has lost his family and spends his days acting like a child. Walter Blank is a middle-aged married man who has let one tragedy from his past dictate his entire life. When these three men have a chance meeting, it becomes clear that they all have one thing in common: an obsession with a female who they believe is the key to their happiness. When a psychic, a porn-star, and a children's TV sensation become the targets of a ridiculous kidnapping scheme, 6 lives will never, ever, ever, be the same.

With 7 narrators (the 6 main characters and an omniscient overall narrator), this is easily my most ambitious idea, which is probably why I've taken so long to actually commit to writing the damn thing. However, I feel like the novel's themes, about pop culture obsession and how cruel we can be to each other in order to get what we want, are becoming more and more relevant as time goes by. And yeah, my writing idol Chuck Palahniuk (especially his novel Haunted) was a huge inspiration for this story, but I do my best to find my own narrative voice rather than just rip off the writers I love.

Over the next while, I'll be posting excerpts from Ensemble, with the hopes of motivating myself to keep working on it, and obviously, to spread my words across this internet landscape. I know, I know, every aspiring writer has his or her one big amazing novel idea, but I feel like if I can write this thing the way it sounds in my head, it'll be a success, and likely the best thing I've written. No pressure, though.

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