There’s a book coming, although there’s always a book coming. But this one is churned out by me. It’s a novel, and it’s a biography. In an unprecedented act of egotism (aw, who am I kidding – there’s precedent abound), I shall be the main character. Even though the book is not about me.
Let’s start with the facts: there is a band founded and comprised of (to the degree of 0.5) my friend and fellow ontolinguist Phil Jourdan. The band is called Paris and the Hiltons, and you can listen to them here. The other member is the remarkably talented and gloriously chiselled Sam Folkes.
I’m not in the band.
The Jack that’s writing this forthcoming book, arrogant and deluded fellow that he is, wants to tell the “real” story, which, unsurprisingly, involves him a lot more than anyone else. It’s as if the book’s editor asked for a brief paragraph about the band, knowing I’m friends with them, and I’d spewed out a lengthy tome unsolicited.
I’ve gone through various drafts trying to work out what the book is, until the transmission finally got through. Previous Jacks, previous Me, were a lot more deluded and rude. They existed mainly in the tradition of glorious literary pompous fools like Charles Kinbote and Ignatius J. Reilly. Sections comprised of me belittling a cafe barrista, or shouting at women that reject me.
It was kind of funny, but not hugely. It got wearing. I started to despise this Jack.
To the depths of Hades with Jack.
A new storyline came dribbling into my astonished head. And it’s now being written. This Jack, this Me, is still an absolutely pathetic joke. But if I’ve done my job right, you’ll at least sympathise with him. There’s a lot more pathos and a great many of my real flaws, albeit exaggerated.
There are now lengthy sections set around the world: the first substantial part of the book I got done was set in Prague.
There are actually memorable characters. You will meet a nuisance housefly. You will meet the girl of my dreams. You will meet pure evil. You will meet Alan Quilt, a barman who hates me to an inexplicably extreme degree, and see him spit on my face for no reason.
There is now a lot at stake. The band is in the centre, true. But by the end, the blood of billions will run.
Oh, and you’ll get to spend time with Jack. The character. Not me. I’m going to have to stress that a lot. Because this Jack picks fights (which he loses and/or runs away from), this Jack lies, this Jack has no ability to talk to women, and this Jack might just have destroyed the world in a ruinous act of masturbation.
This is what the book will be. I’m maybe just over half-way through, and the pace is picking up. I’m learning and developing my own ideas and philosophy on how to write a sustained narrative. Christ, that sounds tedious. It’s not tedious. It’s awesome.
I’m going to use this blog as a receptacle for the travails and actual processes of writing this book. I won’t be talking about things like the Muse or inspiration, because it makes my stomach turn. I won’t be hardline minimalist or workmanlike either. I don’t know what I’ll be because I haven’t done it yet. Instead of using a notebook to work out ideas and feelings about passages or tropes or ideas, I’ll be doing it here. I want to slice the belly of writing a novel, splay it open, and read the entrails. Will you join me? Will you read the entrails?
Maybe a more succinct one-liner to describe the impending wordgush:
No longer is it the story of a borderline stalker wishing to claim glory. It’s about a man who feels let down by the world and, in attempting to seize a better life, utterly destroying himself.