Out of the BluePosted: August 20, 2012
I’ve been thinking a lot about my career. Probably because of this whole [sic] thing.
I’ve got The Blue coming next. It’s already written, and in penultimate form. Tonally, it’s cerebral/realistic/gritty. It’s more mature than [sic]; it doesn’t broadcast the philosophical questions it’s asking so loudly. It also has a tidier story that takes place over a shorter time-frame. It’s more literary than [sic] though, and doesn’t have the same hook. I think it’s a better book, but I doubt it will get the crowd response that [sic] sometimes gets. That’s okay though – The Blue is the book I really wanted to write.
I’d been struggling with this manuscript called Ten Minutes to Midnight for a while. It was shitty. I was trying to force certain elements together because I thought it would be popular… the book worked, functionally, like a decent teen fiction book. But it wasn’t great, or noticeable enough to be very interesting. I was fighting on trying to integrate this philosophy from Camus into a teen fiction book, and rewriting over and over, and everything was painful.
Then one day I just said “Fuckitall” and tossed the whole project in the trash. I picked out a notebook and started writing to myself, looking for a new idea. I wanted to write about reality. I wanted to make people question their world, but not in an obvious way like The Matrix or Truman Show. I wanted to do something very possible and human. I was sick of big stories. I wanted a small story, without the world at stake.
That’s what led me to faceblindness, to a car crash and a trial and a vendetta. To questions about society and redemption and basically, the fact that everyone makes up everything as they go and whatever the most people agree on is what we call reality.
Derek’s journey is one of really asking what the world we live in is made of. Thanks to his bad luck – his faceblindness, the trial, the way he is cast as the villain and his own questions as to if he is one – he is left with no stable ground to experience his life. Derek is forced to enlightenment by the conclusion of the book, as all notions of right or wrong are torn from him.
The Blue makes the case that while there is a single solid reality, none of us truly live in it. I’m excited to get back to the final draft, and making sure it’s up to snuff for my readers.