So, they say write what you know, so I’m doing that. But there’s a general high concept involved in this new novel I’m attempting to develop. As I see it, the story is, at its heart, my attempt to tell what happened between me and Annie Shapiro in Seoul about ten years ago. The rest is simply structural things done for expediency’s sake.
I really like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, so I’m basing my “girl with” on what I remember of the late Annie Shapiro. She was a piece of work, let me tell you. She’s ripe to be the basis of a really interesting character that people will want to read about. I just have to figure out how, exactly, the character will be fleshed out in the context of the story. One big issue is…uh…making the characters likeable? I run a real risk if I make the characters too…real…that people will hate them. So, there’s going to be a lot of dramatic licence in this one, let me tell you.
Meanwhile, I really like the idea that a group of people from unexpected places would find themselves in a rural community running a small town newspaper and something REALLY BIG falls into their lap. So, in a sense, I’m — in a very fuzzy way — recreating the conditions of Seoul, 2006-8 and the ROKon Magazine staff I remember. Instead of expats, it’s fish-out-of-water people dealing with the strange customs of a very small community.
As it stands, I see the high concept as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo meets The Bonfire Of The Vanities meets…To Kill A Mocking Bird? Maybe? In a sense? I can’t think off the top of my head of a story based in a small Southern town. Maybe one of the Grisham novels, maybe?
Anyway, regardless, this is a character driven story. The interesting characters are what are going to drive the story forward. I’m just in the developmental stages at this point. I want to get the concept and characters down pat before I start to do a scene summary. Developing and writing a novel is really hard and there’s absolutely zero assurance that it will be a success of any sort.
But I have to keep going. I can’t just stare out into space for the rest of my life.