I've completely forgotten about Arthur! What's he up to I wonder.
Well not much. You can’t beat old Arthur when it comes to procrastination. I may not be Stephen King myself but I get a few things done. It’s not that Arthur doesn’t have a lot to say. He just doesn’t know where to start.
You may recall we left him in the Last Gasp Bookshop trying to decide whether to write a novel or not bother. The idea has been percolating at the back of his mind for some time. About thirty years give or take. He’s even written a few things that might qualify as literature whatever that means these days. There’s still time before Simon’s arrival to knock something together out of all the bits and pieces. Perhaps even come up with some kind of synopsis. Then what? Should he show it to Simon or not? He’ll probably just say it’s crap. He’ll probably be right.
Maybe he should write a book. But about what? Or why, or when, or how?
Arthur has lots of ideas for unpublishable books. It could be one of those books where nothing much happens for instance. Something along the lines of ‘Dubliners’, or ‘Notes from Underground’, or ‘Catcher in the Rye’. Some bloke just droning on about his life and sharing his deepest thoughts with anyone who’s interested. That might work. There’s enough bored people around these days, surfing the internet, they’ll read anything.
It certainly won’t be one of those post-modern books where all the characters are versions of themselves. Arthur has read enough of those. It might jump around in time and space a bit but the story will be fairly straightforward. He’s got nothing against non-linear fiction but there’s a limit. It’s easy to get too clever and leave any potential readers wondering what’s going on. Where are we? Who’s speaking? What day is it? Sort of an inconclusive whodunwat.
Keep it simple that’s the trick. There can’t be much to this writing lark. Colourful characters that’s what you need. Get them doing interesting things. Lively dialogue. Throw in a bit of sex. Just a question of getting started.
Arthur imagines himself with a laptop somewhere…typing words in, moving blocks of text around. It would be a lot of work. And pretty futile when you think about it. Why would anyone commit himself to something like that? More to the point why would anyone want to read it? They’ll probably just skim through it looking for the naughty bits. Should he try to appeal to younger readers? Those who missed out on the Sixties and Seventies for instance, but aren’t too bitter about it? Maybe throw in a few vampires and zombies for teenage readers.
What Arthur doesn’t mention for some reason is that he’s already posted a few of his literary efforts on a website for aspiring writers. The reaction has been quite encouraging. He uses the short story form but the hardest part is always coming up with a clever twist.
The strange thing about writing is that sometimes he just can’t be bothered. He has to force himself to do it. And there are other times when he can’t get the words down fast enough. At least until the doubts appear. Words, words, words….hasn’t the world got enough of them? As for the bloody internet, it’s a Tower of Babel.
More procrastination. Perhaps he needs a holiday. Sitting in that bookshop all day surrounded by other people’s writing can’t be the best way to get anything written. Let’s send him off to Pattaya for a little rest. He can take Dao with him. She’ll love it.