Read what I have! (So far.)

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For Those Who Don’t Learn From History was actually conceived when I was not even close to being done with my first novel, Dreaming Wide Awake, so around late 2009. It was weird to become so heavily invested in a story when I was already writing one, and considering the fact my Junior year of high school was ending, I sort of knew that I would not have time to finish one novel, start another one, and finish that one before I graduated. However, it didn’t stop me from taking notes for -literally- about three years. (Maybe less.) Within those three years, character names changed, story settings changed, location changed, amount of characters changed, and well, you get the point. What I had even one year ago is not what I have now.

And I have mentioned it before, but I am in love with what I have now. It’s unreal. Falling in love with something that I, myself, have written hadn’t happened once before starting this wonderfully depressing tale. In some ways, I like to believe that I am fully using everything I’m capable of (in terms of writing) for this, and the result is heavily satisfying.

So much so, that I want others to read it, too.

For the past year, I’ve given the (now-ditched) first chapter (or first two) to my friends, but like I mentioned before, everything is different. Their feedback is incredible, and I’ve changed some of the concerns they noted, as well as inconsistencies, etc. But yet, I carry loads of self-doubt, to the point where I can sit and listen to someone telling me what they loved about what I had given them, but deep down, think they’re just being nice. (It’s a crummy thing, I know. But I can’t help it.)

Here’s what I am offering: seventy-pages, four chapters. These four chapters are what I like to consider the sort-of epilogue, as my protagonist, Isaiah, is completely alone for the entirety of the beginning of the novel. Seeing as this is a post-apocalyptic novel, I felt tasked to bring a new challenge to myself, and I managed to create something I feel is appealing and substantial, all with one character and scarce dialogue.

If you are interested in reading this, I would highly appreciate it. This isn’t so much about letting people read about what I have (because trust me, I’m weary), but about making sure I managed to get the point across that I had intended, from an outside opinion. After all, this is the most important part of the story itself, and making sure it works is a fantastic feeling.

Send me a message on Facebook, send me a tweet, text me, whatever. I refuse to post my work publicly where anything is up for someone to steal. Because of this, I’d feel much less paranoid when sending these four chapters as an attachment via email, Facebook, etc.

Again, I would really, sincerely appreciate all the help I can get.

Joel

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For Those Who Don’t Learn From History: A Tale

I feel like I’ll be repeating myself here in a few paragraphs, but I don’t think I’ve formally talked about my second novel, For Those Who Don’t Learn From History. It’s been in production, if you will, since 2010, but I’ve really spent more time writing it out, than I have anything else. So, consider this a rather formal introduction to the book. (You can read the history of the book here.)

I am head over heels for this piece of fiction, and I am only in the very beginning stages. I could blame my love for post-apocalyptic fiction (and my desire to have my piece of work categorized under that genre) for my attachment to it. but honestly, I don’t know if that can even begin to cover the reasoning.

But, instead of boring you with my love for the genre, I’ll do you one better: I’ll actually tell you what my plans are and what you can expect.

For Those Who Don’t Learn From History is not simply another novel for me to write. No, my desire for this is to not only get published and signed, but to get recognized. While Dreaming Wide Awake was a decent shot at a first novel, all my creative juices are swarming to this post-apocalyptic book.

A work in progress.

Gritty, menacing and eerie is what I aim for. For some reason, too many pieces of fiction in this genre attempt at this, but fail. Not miserably, however. In fact, some authors would much rather go the survivalist route and focus solely on someone or a group of people as they fight for their lives from an ominous threat. Yet, that is the beauty of writing and fiction — especially with this genre. Anything you can come up with, you can put on paper. (Or, you know, your computer. Or phone.)

In a sense, this book is about surviving. When society has nothing left to show for, what does society do? When humanity crumbles down to its last resort, how will the world change in its final days? Opposite of what  28 Days Later accomplished, I want the look and feel of my own world to wear a facade of utter destruction and wear. I want my world to be both a safe haven, and also a living hell. I want my characters to live through the worst possible situations, only to arise with incredible results. (If such a phrase would exist in that type of world.)

Atmospheric connection is another thing most authors miss, which is a shame. To really ‘get’ a book, per say, the reader needs to not only connect with the characters, but understand the atmosphere and gratitude of the situation at hand. Especially with this genre, one of the greatest things I will be able to accomplish will be just that: creating such an atmosphere that is relatable, dark, unpleasant and gritty. An atmosphere where, just when all hope is lost with a character, your heart breaks and your world falls apart with him.

Overall — and it’s 6 AM now — my primary goal for this novel is to catch your attention in the greatest way possible. I cannot make myself sit back and write a so-so novel, while I could end up writing what gets me signed with a publishing agency. But most of all, I cannot sit back and let the project slip away. For two years now, I have been wanting to start this, an the opportunity is finally arising.

I’ll keep you updated much more often than I have in the past, and: thank you.

Joel