I am currently sitting on 66,000 words of a novel (first draft) about 1968 and the Kennedy campaign of that year. My story (which frequent readers should have an idea of by now) is about a young journalist following the Kennedy bandwagon and having adventures along the way. The book has mutated in my hands a few times but has settled into a final form that I am now writing to.
Last night I was writing a scene where my characters are arguing about a lighter and someone knocks on the office door and that’s where I stopped. I stopped because I had done my share for the day and because I needed to help with dinner but mainly because the man on the other side of the door is about to tell the main character that Martin Luther King has just been shot.
I’m a big fan of historical fiction because it makes me feel smart. I like to read about periods of history I know about so when I see that the character has woken up in a good mood on a certain date I think, sorry son that good mood ain’t gonna last because today’s Pearl Harbor or something.
Actually one that occurred last night while me and my fiancée were watching Mad Men. At one point someone looks at a wedding invite and the camera lingered on the card for ages before cutting and Fiona said, ‘What was that about?’ so we rewound it and read the date on the card: November 23rd 1963.
‘So?’ Said Fiona.
‘That’s the day after Kennedy gets shot,’ I said with the smug smile of someone who knows the inside track on something.
And Fiona said, ‘Ohhhhhhh, that’s gonna be amazing.’
And it increased our excitement for the show because now we know that any mention of the wedding is a countdown to Dealey Plaza and everything that comes after (Like the death of the American dream? Discuss).
I want my readers to read my book and when someone says that it’s April 4th I want them to be thinking, ‘Uh oh, some bad news is on the way.’ Because sometimes knowing what will happen heightens the excitement of the event.
Anyway as usual I lost my thread and digressed away from my point.
My point is that when I was peeling the spuds last night I was talking to Fiona and saying that once King is dead then I can start time jumping more with a lot of more of ‘the next week passed in a blur’ until the next big event/double twist and then it’s basically a sprint to the finish line and THE END.
It’s exciting stuff and once again I want to thank everyone whose following the blog and liking the word counts.
It’s good to have a cheer team.