SO - the direction of this blog is changing. Maybe. As well/instead of reviews there will be posts that chronicle the finishing of the book.
What's it about? It's an ode to Victorian-era adventure stories, of course. It's about Selwyn Murphy, an Irish-American in the mid-19th century who flees the US Civil War by joining a mad Confederate general's expedition to a mythical lost land in South America.
|Here's a Confederate soldier|
In terms of plotting the book takes its cues from Conan Doyle's The Lost World. In terms of narration, it's very influenced by MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books. The narrator is a selfish guy who bumbles through various faux-historical scenarios, largely only interested in his own safety and comfort. I think that somewhere in the middle of writing this I realized that it was turning into what's sometimes called a 'picaresque' story. This is a story in which the narrator is exposed to various characters, opinions and happenings and generally remains pretty cynical about all of them. Think of Little Big Man.
An elevator pitch is a way to describe your story as simply and as memorably as possible. The name comes from the idea that you happen to get into an elevator with a director or publisher. You sieze the opportunity and talk to them about your idea you've been working on maybe your whole life. But you've only got 30 seconds! 30 seconds to prove to them that they NEED your story. There's no time to explain the nuances, the thousands small details that make your story great. You've got to sum it up in as few words as possible.
So here we go, my elevator pitch: CONFEDERATES VS DINOSAURS.
|I feel like this gets it across.|
That's it. It's simple. It's dumb. And hopefully it's memorable. That's what people are going to remember about this book. That's how it would be advertised if it was a movie. In fact, that would probably be the title too! So it's definitely genre fiction. It's (hopefully) a little smarter than it sounds when reduced to its core premise. But it definitely has Confederates, and they definitely come up against dinosaurs. So there you have it.
The first draft is done. Now the real work begins ...