some thoughts on writing a novel

some thoughts on writing a novel

Feb 3, 2018, 8:44:46 PM Creative

As you may or may not know, I am currently in the process of writing a book. And by "currently in the process of writing a book," I mean I'm averaging about 100 words and 10 hours of crying a week. When I tell people this, I get A LOT of questions, many of which I cannot easily answer. There's no easy way to say, "I started with the idea of an anxious football player who was REALLY GOOD at football but hated football," or "It's a mix of all the bad parts of football shown in Varsity Blues and all the good parts of football shown in Friday Night Lights--not the movie, but the TV show, because the movie sucks." 

So here I am, deciding to answer the questions I've gotten about the book in true Kylee Jackson style: super long winded, more funny in theory than in reality, and almost painful to follow along with. You're welcome, world. Formatted as an interview because why not?

Q: What's the title of your book?
A: *nervous laughter*

Q: What made you decide to write a book?
A: I've been trying since I was 14, and it's just now working out in my favor. Also, I originally wanted this to be a webcomic, but then I realize I couldn't draw, so I had to settle for a book. I still think this would make a bitchin' webcomic, though.

Q: Okay, so what is it about?
A: The short version? High school football.
Q: And the long version?
A: So it follows the everyday lives of five football players and one cheerleader. It's told through six (okay, technically seven but the first and last chapters don't count) points-of-view because I'm insane. Basically we go through a football season that holds a lot of significance for all the characters for six different small reasons, on top of one very big shared reason. Also, tragedy strikes because of course it does.

Q: That sounds... incredibly convoluted?
A: Oh, it is. But it's the fun kind of convoluted. It's hard to explain, but so far it reads pretty clearly. 

Q: Moving on, what was your inspiration for this?
A: One day on pinterest, I saw this picture of these football captains carrying out a teammate's jersey, and after crying for six hours because of the implications of that, the story started to take place. Oh, and one night while I was washing my hair, I got to thinking about people who are really good at things that they hate, and thus Charlie was born. He was my first character, and everyone else came after. Throw in some dumb things my friends and I did in college, the three things about my hometown I don't actively hate, and the fact that my job has me literally surrounded by high school football players at all times, and you have the book. 

Q: Who are the main characters?
A: Okay, so the main six are Aaron, Malik, Charlie, Artie, Jackson, and Jasmine. But Jackson's name will have to change in order to make it a bit harder for the casual reader to realize that Jackson is very, very heavily based off of my younger brother. Plus, it's really hard to tell if the comments on my draft are complimenting/disparaging myself or the character. 

Q: How much football is in this book?
A: That remains to be seen. There's a lot of... glossing over during football scenes because it's very hard to narrate a football game without sounding like a teleprompter. But I'm not going to do that annoying thing where a book is advertised as being about a sport and having like... three pages dedicated to the sport. 

Q: Describe each character in one word.
A: Why do you hate me?
Q: Stop crying and do it.
A: Okay fine. Malik: nerd baby. Charlie: local anxious mess. Jackson: tragedy twin. Jasmine: dance-y and angry. Aaron: doing his best. Artie: actual puppy dog.
Q: Literally none of those were one word descriptions, but whatever. 

Q: Favorite scene to write?
A: Favorite or best? They're very different.
Q:  Favorite. 
A: Jackson's first point of view chapter. Any time you start with, "This is, by far, the worst idea the two of you have ever had," you know good things are coming. There are so many stupid kids doing stupid things, and those scenes have been my favorite to write because they're so much fun.
Q: Okay, so what's your best scene?
A: [REDACTED]. I mean, the entire story hinges on that one scene and all the emotional labor it puts the readers and characters through, and I think I nailed it. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but ending with Jackson and his father crying alone in the hospital? Genius.

Q: Sort your characters into Hogwarts houses.
A: *five minutes of unhinged laugher* I have spent an obscene amount of time thinking about this.  Jasmine is the epitome of a Slytherin. Artie and Malik are Hufflepuffs for the same reasons. Charlie is a Ravenclaw. Aaron and Jackson are Gryffindors for completely different reasons.
Q: What does that even mean?
A: Read it and you'll figure it out.

Q: Speaking of, when can I expect to read it?
A: *vague hand waving* Eventually.

Q: Why did I expect any part of this book to not sound like a fever dream come to life?
A: *shrugs* I mean, it's still me writing it. You really should've lowered your expectations. 

Published by Kylee Jackson

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