The following is a guest blog by Louie Flann, whose book NEXT TIME WE STEAL THE CARILLON is available now on Kindle. Louie's slightly skewed view is at the center of his humor, and he shares his outlook for writing fiction here.
See, writing is like talking, with one notable exception. When people ask questions, there is usually only one answer--one truthful answer. In fiction, a question has an unlimited number of answers. For example: where did you grow up? Spain, The south of France, Berwyn, back of a Ford pickup, Tuesday. Good answers. In writing, one of them stands out as the best (Tuesday).
I either have a turn of plot or want to show a character's traits that interest me. After figuring out the things that make the character who he is—-could be his job, his interests, his hates—-the character writes his own story, almost. We know what he will do next because that is the only thing that he would do in that circumstance. Predictable, evolving into boring.
Slip him a curve—-he breaks his thumb, or his laptop. Ruffle his feathers. You can't imagine how this guy is going to get through this dilemma.
His name is Eric; he's twenty, a student, spends his time on videogames and gets a letter for jury duty. He never has enough time for his schoolwork, and now this. Of course, blow it off. No wait; get someone, pay someone to do the jury thing for him. Great, but who? And where will the money come from? Poor Eric.
How did it end for Eric? He tried to explain to the jury master on the phone that he was too sick to go. The guy didn't buy it, so Eric went for two days and met a girl on the first day, took her out for coffee that night, and got dumped on the third. Oh well.
Now for the good stuff. My book, Next Time We Steal The Carillon, is about college students in the Midwest in the nineties. I would have set it ten years later, but there is not a name for those years. The oughts, the pre-teens, the tweens? Come on! We'll have to wait another ninety years and hope that our great-great grandkids will be more serious about addressing this terrible problem. But, I digress.
Our student detectives have been tasked with the job of finding the stolen school antique. Signs point to witches or some magic people. Then, some other signs point to collectors, and yet other signs point to thieves. Too many signs!
You'll be pleased to know that in the end, they sort all the signs out. Yes, there is a little innocent flirtation going on, and yes, there are some college hijinx going on, and yes, there is some serious detecting going on. These are kids you'd be proud to have as your sons or daughters or mothers or fathers or pastors.
Please note: No animals were injured in the writing of this book.
Check out Louie's website at www.voltessa.com.