Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pseudo-historical Fiction

I think that I would like myself if I was a noted fiction author. The fame isn't very important to me. I just think that if I could write good fiction, that would show me that I understand what it is to be human in a deep way. I don't think I have this understanding.

I think a shortcut to raw fame in writing fiction is writing a mediocre contemporary story, and putting it in a time capsule, with instructions that the piece be published in 500 years under a psuedonym as historical fiction. Of course, if I were to use my real name, people would know that the book is average fiction, rather than insightful historical fiction; I couldn't make my name known this way, but a lot of people would know the work, so that should count for something.

If I were famous, I could launch a jewelry line called, "Silverwear" where you could hang forks from your ears.

Sometimes I come up with ideas for things that I think would be interesting stories. A man is backing up in a parking lot and accidentally hits a child and kills him; the man freaks out and goes on the lam, making it harder to make things right. Maybe he kills the witnesses, but there are witnesses to those killings. Maybe he evades arrest, so the charges against him increase. I'd like to read a story like that, but I don't know how I'd go about writing it. I'm afraid it would seem contrived.

I wish I had synesthesia.

Actually, I think all of my story ideas have something to do with death. I'd like to write a political thriller in which an unpopular president pays someone to fake an assassination attempt on him, to garner sympathy. I think that disrespecting the wishes of the dead is an underused plot device.

One time, I was in a Panera, and there were two people there talking in sign language. I thought this was interesting, because I normally talk between bites of food, but if I were to use sign language, I could talk while chewing, I'd just need to put my sandwich down. If I could communicate both by talking and signing, maybe I could eat and talk without pauses. In my pseudo-historical fiction story, there would be deaf people having a conversation, but probably not at Panera; I think they would be at a smokey diner.


  1. What would you be trying to say with your story about the guy who ran over the kid?

    As for "Silverwear", I think that may already exist. My wife has jewelry made from silver forks.

  2. You say you want to be a good fiction author because it would mean you understand what it is to be human in a deep way. I think this is one reason why I write fiction, to understand people and life, to make sense of what happens around me. I think it is or at least should be the goal of all serious fiction writers. As for your story about the man accidently killing a child, the premise is okay but his reactions are contrived and a little too unbelievable. Literary fiction must first be realistic and believable. If you want to read some of my fiction, let me know and I'll send it to you.