a sweeping epic
I think everyone that writes short stories at one time or another thinks about writing a novel. You can come up with all the reasons you want, but in the end it comes down to perceived penis length. Women judge you by the length of your stories and I for one am getting a little sick of pretending not to have a novel-sized penis. Truth is, I have a Stephen King’s The Stand-sized penis and it’s time the world understood that. Another truth: I’m trying and failing to disguise the conversational tone of my writing, which I’m led to believe is a sure giveaway of the flash fiction writer, in the same way someone from the trailer park tries to keep their southern drawl to a minimum when in decent society.
That aside, it’s time I attempted a novel.
The first step is to figure out what to write about. Obviously if it’s a short story it doesn’t really matter. For the reader it’s like pulling off a Band-Aid. However bad it seems, after a thousand words it’s over. Writing a short story is easy because you don’t really care if it’s any good or not because it’s short. The difference between the best short story ever written and the worst is like comparing apples and other rounded edible fruits of the genus Malus.
Not so with a novel. If you sit down and start one of those, you’d better be ok with the subject matter because you’re going to be stuck writing about it for weeks if not months. All I know is that when I think about all the best novels they’ve all been described as “sweeping epics.” I like the word sweeping. There is some powerful imagery conjured up there.
So I’m going to write about sweeping.
At first I was going to write a simple tale about a guy who sweeps. Fifty pages introducing him, a hundred pages explaining some problem that surfaced in his sweeping duties, and then another fifty explaining how he resolves the issue.
Then it hit me. Although I’m writing about sweeping I’ve completely forgotten about the epic part. If I want the critics to swoon I’d better up the ante a bit. Instead of just one guy, I’d better make it multi-generational. If I start the book at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution I can also add a lot of descriptions about women wearing enormous dresses that take a full hour to get in and out of and men wearing hats all the time so they can look dapper enough to engage in the aforementioned activity. I think that will also go a long way to getting Hollywood interested in the movie version.
Another thing I can forget about is having it be a simple tale. An epic needs some sizzle and nothing adds sizzle like money. Big money.
The novel is about a guy who invents the first power broom. Sort of like a lawn mower except the small all-wheel drive is hidden in the bristles. Back in the Industrial Revolution companies couldn’t keep industrial-type products on the shelves. A power broom would sweep people off their feet. They will literally clean up.
The drama. The power. The humanity of it all.
Nobody can argue that it wouldn’t be epic. It would be like The Godfather in the sense that the book follows the family as they deal with all the complications of success. The victories and the bitter defeats. Right now I might not be able to verbalize exactly what those might be but I’m sure they’ll come to me. The important thing is that I have a framework for a sweeping epic that will add inches to my literary penis.
Speaking of the penis, I completely forgot about sex. Sex sells and if there is an industry that oozes sexuality more than the household cleaning implements, I’d be hard-pressed to put my finger on it. What’s great is that because the book will be multi-generational I can have some of the family being romantic and the other half being jaded perverts, so I can haul in both audiences.
I think I’d start it off by talking about the present-day character having this cool DISCO LIVES bumper sticker on his car. That way he’s already quirky. In fact, now I give it some thought it would probably make a better story if he were a dancer as opposed to a broomstick mogul. Obviously the idea that the whole premise will now have to be changed definitely throws some cold water on the idea of writing a full-length novel. And we all know what happens to a penis when it comes into contact with cold water.
It gets shorter.