Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Novel Idea

Well, while I am supposed to be busy editing and marketing The Bluebird of Happiness, it seems I might just launch into writing another feature-length fictional tale, erstwhile known as a novel. This "new" novel idea actually originated from a seed of an idea I first had back in 2006 and which has been gradually developing since then. Since completing Bluebird, I had already decided that this particular concept--I'll call it V for now--was the next major work of fiction that I wished to tackle, perhaps as early as this fall.

Just today, my ideas about it began to reach what you might call a critical mass, the point at which the story starts to seem real and vital enough that the writing of it begins to feel like a compulsion. I doubt that the writing of it will happen in anything like the burst of energy and inspiration that produced Bluebird in about six weeks--in fact, I doubt whether that is a repeatable phenomenon at all--but V has, as of today, arrived at the point where it suddenly feels imbued with inspiration and passion in a way that it never quite had before.

The key factor that has pushed V to this critical mass is a fresh conception of what the story is essentially about, which has given a more definite shape to its inner structure. This is similar to the process that gave shape to Bluebird a few months ago, and it is perhaps no coincidence that the motivating and shaping force is pretty much the same thing that gave impetus to the previous novel. In essence, V became all the more interesting and important and real to me as a story today because I suddenly saw a way to relate it more directly and vitally to my current feelings and concerns.

I don't mind revealing a little about the story at this time. It is set in the future and involves parallel narratives, one the history of a space exploration program, the other the autobiography of a male cosmonaut (that is the term used in the story) and his complex relationships with other people, including family and friends, but focusing particularly on his relationships with three different women over the course of his life. The story will not be told in strict chronological order but in a more subjective and psychological way, combined with some technical, scholarly, and journalistic styles of writing. I think of the basic theme of the story as eros and cosmos; that is, the relationship of human love and longing to the universe itself. It is, like Bluebird, a story of epic and tragic proportions, but then, it wouldn't be a Steven Holland story otherwise, would it?

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