11th June

More Epecuén

It appears I’m going to do daily updates (until I don’t) about this story. Yesterday I got a first 300 words down, and emailed them to my two collaborators (that may be the term, it may not, we’ll see how the process develops). After that I added another 100 words, and was quite pleased with the day. The story doesn’t yet have a clear direction, but it was nice to put something down to start thinking about.

Then I got Foy’s email:

Love Mark’s ideas about time and the effects of being frozen it in. Also, sublime landscape he’s thought up.

You mentioned you were considering themes like “Faded family glory, Failing love” and I think these would work well with your start. Reading the 300 words you gave us, it feels like a romance destined for failure (“It’s just the rain, Remigio. Go home,” “watched him turn the corner, moving out of sight” – so bittersweet!).
The general flavor that dissolves on the tongue after reading, is of The Impossible (2004 movie with Ewan McGregor *swoon*). There’s peace now but the reader knows something dark and overwhelming lies just beyond the light rain.

If you intend to include the natural disaster, it might be interesting to include the idea of “willful blindness.” (Fabulous TED talk about that here.) Though it seems like most of the villagers were aware and willing to leave, you can always introduce that one stubborn codger who isn’t. I would steer clear of a love triangle (getting to be a worn subject) but I can see unrequited love playing out well, here.

You might be able to get two novellas out of it: before the storm, after the storm.

Just some preliminary thoughts. Hope this was helpful!

Yes, that was helpful. The love triangle is being dropped. However, I was freaked by the idea of a two novella story. It is sitting vibrating in my ribcage like an overactive pacemaker. The longest thing I’ve ever written is 12k. Do I have the chops to do a couple of linked pieces that roll in for a combined 40k or so. All of a sudden part of me thinks Epecuén is a 2k monster from the deep horror story. But it’s the part I generally ignore.

I like the idea of the longer format, and it would allow me to play with some of the ideas Mark floated.

So, today, while resting because of the glandular fever, I had a little think further.

Yes, I want to do the novella’s.

Watch this space & someone start taking a book on when I fold and run.

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One thought on “11th June

  1. The themes of time I touched on I figured would probably factor in on a more minute scale, actually, as a means of illustrating the psychic background of the drama. Possibly even just small bits of description or expository sentences. Inner dialogue, comparison, simile, to support the drama. And the possibility of character motivations being embedded in murkier psychological waters, as it were.

    A COMPLETELY off-the-cuff burst of raw ideas: Say the story is about a homecoming, or about an attempt to return to something that was lost. Having a character searching through the ruins for evidence of proof of family ancestry to resolve a dispute, or to give to someone in hopes of fixing their relationship. Being forced to move farther and farther from the comfort of shore to seek it, from out of their comfort zone (relative, human time) to the frozen boneyard (objects preserved in the past) where the memento may be buried among reminders that trying to hold on to the past only locks you in place. When they find it, will it be in the state they need it to be? Is it salvageable? Or is it staring up at them from under the salt water, where they can’t quite reach?

    That’s all time stuff.

    I actually like the love triangle idea because it’s classic and it always has momentum. Opportunity for three wildly different perspectives. It allows you to play with a “gradient” of humanity (traditionalism, pragmatism, wild optimism for example) to match the gradient scenery.

    And as for spec-fic elements, I think those might come naturally as a result of your characters and imagination interfacing. Judging by the short story I’m working on now, having your characters sorted (as well as you can) ahead of time can be a major relief for finding ways to explore setting and driving the story forwards.

    The place also screams magical realism but again: these things can’t be forced. And if you think a 2k monster from the deep story is clawing at you… hell, it’s only 2k words. You can lay down 2k words over a weekend, if not a day! And then you’ve got that stuff out of the way to explore more character-driven themes.

    Liked by 1 person

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