Idle Thoughts for Working Boys

I was doing a ton of database work at the part-time gig today which, while it is very challenging for one half of my brain, allows the other half of my brain time to wander onto other topics. What I got to thinking about today was my novel (big surprise) and what I was thinking about it was this: It’s missing both a better sense of place and a better sense of family history. Both of those things are hinted at in the current manuscript, but I was trying to think of a way to make them stick out a bit more.

My mind wandered to the book I loathe the most, The Grapes of Wrath. I recalled how, at least in the early going, every other chapter dealt with a more scenic, further-away view of the world around them. On my lunch, I went down to the Barnes & Noble next door and I checked it out. The passages were shorter than I recalled, but they were there. I wondered if I could do the same thing.

I’ve got this grandfather character, see? The prologue is from his point of view and offers a glimpse of what I might do with my own alternating chapters, should I choose to go that route. Since his own backstory is what connects the main characters to their more distant past and since he has done a bit of traveling to all of the locations that the main characters lives are taking them, he seems to be the perfect vehicle for getting this information out there.

I ran the idea by Stephanie tonight, probably in a more coherent fashion than I’m doing now, and she thought it was alright. I’ll have to see what my advisors and my peers think about it when I present the idea more formally to them in January.