“Nothing Novel”

26 05 2010

So I am trying to write my first novel, called Nothing Novel. I like the title. So far all I have is the title. Should probably expand on it, a bit. I tried doing the first-person narrator, stream-of-consciousness -type thing, but I think my mind or psyche is just not that interesting (it’s usually just kind of like an inane voice in my head going “I AM NOT YET FULFILLED/GIRLS/I AM NOT YET FULFILLED/GIRLS/GIRLS/GIRLS/I AM NOT YET FULFILLED.” Not very interesting.

Don’t know if I want to make up characters and situations. Doesn’t feel like there’s anything “on the line” when you’re just making shit up as you go. It’s not as personal then. Or at least not to me. I’m starting to get to the point where if I’m reading a novel, even a very well-written novel like Lolita, if I don’t feel like—even if through the prism of fictionalization—the author is engaging with their real emotions concerning real events or people from his or her life, it just doesn’t grab me anymore. I’ve got that “reality hunger” (c) David Shields, or whatever.

I still sometimes see the value in good characters and plot, as long as plot doesn’t determine the structure of the book. Or maybe what I like is character development. Like in Freaks and Geeks, there’s a lot of character development from the beginning of the season to the end, which is satisfying. But I wouldn’t want to “force” character development in something I’m writing. I don’t know.

Should I read Ander Monson? Should I read that “About a Mountain” guy or whatever?

I definitely want the book to be funny. The novel that first made me love reading and get excited about “literary fiction” was The Catcher in the Rye, and it still cracks me up. And Tao’s books are often very funny, sometimes from the very first line, which seems sweet.

Seems my title is very Beckettian. And I love Beckett. But I don’t think the world “needs” more Beckett novels. Maybe I could be the “happier Beckett.” There are quite a few authors that I like who I wish would write more about relationships. I think relationships are the only things I’m interested in. Men and women. Maybe I can just appropriate other authors’ styles and then write about relationships. Glad we had this talk.




3 responses

27 05 2010
steve roggenbuck

i started skimming this post, and i read your thought process as a poem, with the virgules translated into line breaks:


i read a book by ander monson once, but i forget what it was like.. he has a good literary magazine, the DIAGRAM

thanks for putting me in your blog roll

27 05 2010

cool man. no problem. i found your poems “instantly appealing.” i will have to check out DIAGRAM. my thoughts translated make a pretty lame poem, haha…

29 05 2010
steve roggenbuck

thank you for the comment about my poems. i thought your translated thoughts made a semi-interesting poem

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