Thursday, April 14, 2005

Outlaw fiction ideas

A few years back, I had the vague glimmerings of an idea for an Outlaw-style novel, wrote a few pages of text and notes, and let it go at that.

In recent months, though, I've come back to the story line and begun to develop it into something of much greater scope than I ever expected. It stars a young woman, forced by threat of scandal into a marriage she doesn't want, who later (following the death of her slaveholding husband) conceives a plan to run her own above-ground Underground Railroad during the 1850s. The best part is that she is developing in fascinating directions - becoming much more passionate, daring, and even lusty than I had planned to start. (The other characters are coming along slowly as yet.)

I am taking the month of July off to work on the novel full-time. For the moment, I'm working on background reading and research in my spare time, and plot notes, so I'll be ready to get right to work this summer.

It might not ever be the Great American Outlaw Novel, but it's looking like it'll really be a novel one of these days. An awesome experience, this process of creating fiction. Watch this space for updates! ;-)

Cross-post of mine on this subject from TimOsman/Putrimalu's cool new site, LibertyFilter.com:
From the intriguing Ayn Rand influence thread at TCF...What would you want to see in a new freedom/Outlaw novel?

What kinds of elements would get you reading AND appeal to your not-so-freedom-focused friends too? Maybe even enough to get them on your side?

I thought historical fiction might be best, because it appeals to many, and it can say things that will seem "quaint" or "irrelevant to today" in the eyes of the PTB, but to those who think it through, it will be damning to the controllers.

Now I'm well aware there's no chance I'll write a novel (certainly not a first novel!) as powerful as Atlas Shrugged, which, along with Gone With the Wind, is my ideal in terms of amazing, coherent, can't-stop-reading plot. But I don't know that it's necessary to match Ayn's achievement. If you create the right kind of buzz around something, the quality doesn't have to matter so much.

I'll be eagerly awaiting any thought you'd like to offer! :-)