Friday, October 12, 2007

To kill a last picture show

I have an idea.

It is indeed an undertaking, and it may not win me a lot of friends in the end. But after years of searching, I've stumbled across it.

I'm going to write a novel.

Or at least a novella. But I know the story I want to tell.

I had hoped for years to play on two of my favorite novels (and films), "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "The Last Picture Show." I wanted to do for Halls what Nelle Harper Lee did for Monroeville, Ala., and Larry McMurtry did for Archer City, Texas -- bring my hometown to life.

You can't set it in Knoxville. Knoxville is downtown, far away, somebody else's home. Nope, mine is Halls, and that is where this story shall be set.

I've got the story. I don't want to reveal it, but longtime blog readers are familiar with part of the real-life tale. I've got a pretty good grasp of the characters that will populate my story. They, too, are based on people who populate this place.

Now if I can just discipline myself to write the darn thing. Writing is a solitary craft. When the sun sets, last thing I want to do is pick up at home where I left off at work.

Years ago, I wrote to the late, great Wilma Dykeman. Told her I wanted to be a writer.

A few weeks later, a simple little letter -- typed on an old typewriter -- arrived in the mail. Here's what she said:

"If you want to become a writer, I have two pieces of advice: Write, write, write. And read, read, read." Pretty good, huh?

Who knows what will happen. I may not finish it. The story may suck.

But here goes. We'll see if I can figure out how to kill a last picture show, so to speak.

This is going to be fun.


Blogger Brian Hornback said...

Thank God that it is set in Halls with Halls people. Because that means I won't be the dysfuctional character in the tale. LOL

9:45 PM  

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