New novel related short story: Pulling A Shift

New short story:  Pulling a Shift

Hi. What’s crackin? So I was attempting to write a new chapter from the shall we say trans-mundane world that balances the real world chapters in the book I’m working on. Some of the sections from the alt world are written like parables or allegories. We learn later what’s really going on with these. Additionally some of the early chapters from the alt-reality side are stories from a book found by the main character, a book written by a channeler . The novel character is very unsettled by the stories in the book, but he finds himself reading them, he can’t stay away.

Anyway, the germ of this piece was going to be a story from the found book, told in a overly simplistic, allegorical style. I knew the plot points and setting as well as the thrust of the piece, but as soon as I visualized the character in the setting – a dive bar – the character, who originally was going to be very two dimensional and not even have a name, came alive. As soon as the character appeared so did a distinct voice and narrative style, well outside of the simple, universal, stripped-down style I was aiming for.

Originally it was just going to be a few pages, a skeletal story told like a summary, similar to the style of the story that opens the novel and others within I’ve already written. That didn’t happen. I wrote a free standing short story that at this point does not fit within the novel but has the same engine – the same story scaffolding – as the parable I will write to plug into the trans-mundane side of the book.

I was surprised by this piece, at once kind of in awe of how it sprung to life and annoyed that I was going to have to see it through and work on it even though it doesn’t, on its face, move the novel forward. I am already prone to side roads and alleys in my writing, but this was a full detour. A happy accident. An amusing, weird cul-de-sac. But I digress.

Fortunately I think it came out kick ass. As Joe Strummer said: “Everything cool is accidental.” The story is tangentially linked to the novel, but stands alone, or should I say slumps over the bar dejected alone. Please to enjoy Pulling a Shift (opens a PDF)

Thanks to Laura for spending time with this.


~ by 15wattLasVegas on October 1, 2011.

2 Responses to “New novel related short story: Pulling A Shift”

  1. I love this. It is very authentic. The details are spot on. The themes and setting are meticulously detailed. The character is fleshed out with exacting development. This is a great beginning to a longer novel. This is one of the best pieces of writing I have ever seen of yours. Perhaps really the very best. I love the Point of View you use. The tone and vocabulary is so appropos.

  2. This is so good-eye opening sad,funny,fucked up,well written..dang I felt like I was in the fellas head looking out through his damn brain.
    thanks J! I want to read more.

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