I’ve been mostly lying around these past few days, with this annoying dry cough–it’s allergy season, the only time of year my lungs remember that they’re technically asthmatic–and I’ve been reading. And listening to The Script a lot. And watching stuff on YouTube. I’ve also been thinking about the new story.
I’ve read a few historical novels this year that had dual timelines–in a couple of cases, the timelines went in between two different historical periods, but others went from modern day and period. I like those kinds of stories. The ones with a modern day/historical storyline also, incidentally, seem more marketable–they could be considered historical fiction or women’s fiction, if the characters are female, or even literary.
I’ve had some ideas going toward that–the historical portion being, obviously, the Victorian idea I’ve had and a modern story connecting to the Victorian one. On the one hand, I think it might be cool. Only half the story needs to be historical!
On the other hand, I wonder if I’m just overcomplicating the story again. I tend to do that. Because if I’m going to have a modern day component to the new idea, then it needs to be as strong and conflicted as the Victorian story.
But in actuality, I’m inspired not only by the clear market for those kinds of books or books like The Secret Daughter of the Tsar and The Pieces We Keep, but in particular by a novel I read a few months ago–the historical portion was in WWI/during a 1920s expedition to Mt. Everest and the modern day protagonist was a possible descendant of the historical characters. It should’ve been right up my alley, but so much about that book annoyed me and frustrated me…
…and yet, the prose was really, really lovely. Even though there weren’t quotation marks telling me what was dialogue. Instead, there were em-dashes. Annoying! To say that I’m reverting to “Oh, yeah? Well, I can write that story better” mode wouldn’t be a stretch. That used to happen to me a lot and it always sparked rich ideas for me.
I was telling my friends about that particular novel last week and Meta the Beta asked, “Why did you give it two stars then?”
(Answer: The prose. And the title.)
Also, in proof that The Script are the soundtrack to my adult life, I want to share their song “Flares” from No Sound Without Silence. To me, it speaks to the stuff writers (and other creative types) go through–the insecurities, the loneliness, the anxiety. But it’s also a reminder that there are people like us out there.
Sending up a flare,