As National Novel Writing Month enters its final days, the next in our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.
There's a novel I didn't write, and another novel that I did. I'll tell you about the second one first. It's finished—or notionally finished and objectively un-sold, although my agent tells me it received several posi-polite notes of no-thanks—and still here with me. It's in my head, and at least virtually is right there on this laptop's desktop, where it is both ostensibly complete and current through my last idle tinkerings with it, which I made on a slow and stop-full [...]
As National Novel Writing Month slogs on, the next in our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.
I have never really aspired to write anything that you might consider literary fiction, finding its style—what the late Dennis Potter so memorably defined as "he said, she said, descriptions of the sky"—to be terminally tiresome, but about fifteen years or so back, when I was still young enough to think I could pull it off but (as it turns out) too old to really have the energy to get it together, I came up with the idea for a novel that I [...]
As National Novel Writing Month gets underway, here's the first in a month-long series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.
In the fall of 1998, I was at UC Berkeley, mired in the early stages of a history Ph.D. program that, even in a best-case scenario, would last until 2003 and then spit me out into an increasingly tenuous academic job market—and my performance in grad school so far didn't necessarily promise a best-case scenario. I had few friends and had just had my heart broken rather badly; the latter, thankfully, served as a catalyst for some life reforms. 18 months later, [...]