View Full Version : Book idea

06-20-2003, 07:07 AM
After posting in Ron's thread about writing it got me thinking again about trying some serious writing, so I thought I would throw this idea out there, and yes this is loosly based on my life.

What I've been thinking about writing would the one week in the life of your average Joe. The book would start on a monday morning with the alarm clock going off and end one week later on monday morning with the alarm clock going off. The events in the book would be based on real life events.

All I've done on this is to build the characters, but this thought has been floating in my head for a couple of years now. Here is the characters.


Bob Jones: 35 years old. Average height slight build and balding. Member of National Guard and a draftsman working for W&H Construction (10 years). Married for 10 years (Lizzie) and one child (Annie).

Elizabeth Jones (Lizzie): 31 years old. Wife of Bob.

Annie Jones: 8 year old Daughter of Bob and Lizzie

William Burgess (Billy): 51 years old. President and owner of W&H Construction.

Harry Kline: 45 years old. Vice-President and co-owner of W&H Construction.

Sharon Moss: 43 years old. Office manager & accountant W&H Construction (18 years).

Lisa Hendrix: 33 years old. Receptionist W&H Construction (7 years).

Brad Hooper: 42 years old. Designer & Chief draftsman W&H Construction (13 years).

Earl Potts: 46 years old. Chief estimator and project manager W&H Construction (12 years).

Shawn Cray: 31 years old. Estimator and project manager W&H Construction (6 years).

Norm Gibbs: 52 years old. Field coordinator W&H Construction (20 years). Worked 18 years as a job superintendent and than moved to the office for health reasons.

Andy Burgess: 25 years old Draftsman W&H Construction (1 year). Cousin of Billy Burgess and never worked in the construction business and has no background in drafting.

Whatcha think? Do you think a book of this type is worth writing?


Gresham CA
06-20-2003, 07:28 AM
Honest opinion?

06-20-2003, 07:34 AM
It's been done....too many times.

ken mcclure
06-20-2003, 07:40 AM
It depends on WHY you're writing it. If you're writing to sell it, it may or may not get picked up by a publisher depending on what they see when they read it.

If you're writing it because you want to write something, go ahead.

If you are wanting to write and be published, the more writing you do the better. Eventually you'll come onto something that WILL get published.

Writing is difficult. Once you start a story, it'll grab onto you and take off in its own direction. It's an activity that takes lots of practice. So if you have an idea that's trying to get itself out onto paper, have at it! You might not ever sell it, but at least you'll have done it. If nothing else, it'll be something your kids and grandkids will pick up some year and wonder at.

Garrett Lowell
06-20-2003, 07:51 AM
I say write it. Has it been done before? What hasn't? That's not the point.

06-20-2003, 08:00 AM
Yes Charles you can be honest, it wont hurt my feelings.

The reason for writing is two-fold. One it would get my fustrations down on paper (thus it would be an outlet) and second just so I could say I done it.


Chris Coose
06-20-2003, 08:00 AM
What you got in mind is real important. Like any art, it is the effort that gets put into it that makes it a piece.
Go to the book store and get Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and On Writing by Steve King.

Malcom Lowrey put together a bunch of words about one day in the life of a drunk living in Mexico called Under the Volcano. On the surface, that might seem like a pretty mundane topic but the art is in the development and what is imagined by the reader between the words.

It is the notes, the strokes, the words, the images that the audience is asked to create within the brilliant text that makes classics.

Practice, practice, practice.

06-20-2003, 08:45 AM
Story -- story -- story.

It's all about the story.

What you have there is a list of chracters who may or may not end up being interesting enough to make us care about them.

What's your STORY?

06-20-2003, 09:08 AM
What we have here is the start of the character develepoment, which is essential to any story. This is not written in the book, but to help me develop the story line.

What is the story you ask? Well it is about the circle, or the endless cycle in the life of your average Joe (hence the name Bob Jones). Its about the trials and tribulations of working 40+ a week and coming home to a cold supper. About the ins and outs, the ups and downs of everyday life. It is how we view the world and how we handle the bumps. The story is not as important as much as the insight to the life cycle of the average Joe.


Wild Dingo
06-20-2003, 11:24 AM
Interaction!! the ins and outs of the group dynamic how they move through each others and most importantly Bobs daily life... there is a story there Chad... definantly!... its been done before sure but never from your perspective!!! thats different and thats the story :cool:

There is a story in anything you can imagine... you only need see the vision of what your trying to convey about the charectors and their interactions subtle and not so subtle... small parts of their histories unfold in the telling of the story... small parts unfold as to who they are in their other lives outside the work place outside the home... small insights into their personalities and traits their many facetted lives... is there a story there? YES!

The only hiccup that you will probably be faced with as you get to writing it will be... how to stop at a week!!... for the charectors WILL try to take over will gain momentum and you will probably find they each need filling out with their stories and lives... what essentially will begin as you outline has the potential to take of on so many tangents it will boggle the mind.... control will be difficult unless you are FIRM with them!!... dont go of on a tangent with one or two charectors stay focused on the main charector/s... the lives of the others will try to encroach... slap them if they try anything like it!! really slap them down!! your focus should remain on the main charector and youve got a bunch of them there clamoring to have their say and tell their story! dont let them they will try any trick to knock your fella down and walk all over him!!


What started for me as a simple 10 - 15 chapter novel has for a fair percentage of my writing time taken over for the last 6 years and the charectors are as real to me as you are sitting in Chattanooga USA!... their lives took on a life of their own... what was meant to be a simple story of movement of a small group of people from one part of the country to another at the turn of the century and particularily of the life of one strong female charector has ended up a 4 book series...some 600,000 words 43 chapters and a cast of charectors a mile long...


Be firm with your people mate... be firm with where your going to take each of them... they can be tricky believe me! :rolleyes:

But so saying I say again there is a story there! go for it!! :cool:

Gresham CA
06-20-2003, 11:38 AM

It sounds like reading a "Sienfeld" episode to me. A TV show about nothing. But what do I know, look how well the show did. :D Well fellas, gotta go to Georgia. Seeya this w/e Chad and the rest of you on Monday.

km gresham
06-20-2003, 12:21 PM
I have a secret desire to be a writer - guess it's not a secret now tongue.gif I wrote my first story at seven years old and I pick up a pen and paper every now and then. Problem is - I'm TERRIBLE! I can't stand to read anything I've written. My father writes - poetry mostly, but he wrote a book, not published, about the Sewee Indians on the SC coast. They died out I think in the 1700's. It was good.

Well, one day I may be able to do something. I have NO patience though and it shows. Good writing requires a lot of time. smile.gif

Jim H
06-20-2003, 01:06 PM
Chad, Have you read "The Winter of our Discontent" by Steinbeck?

ken mcclure
06-20-2003, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by km gresham:
[I]... Problem is - I'm TERRIBLE! I can't stand to read anything I've written... [I]:D We are often our own harshest critics.

If you want to improve your writing, look at what you have written and try to pinpoint what it is that you don't like about it - then change it.

I still hit my thumb with the hammer, occasionally, but with enough practice I've managed to get better.

06-20-2003, 04:03 PM
I started my great novel many years ago about a seniors home where all the residents had an Alhiemers type illness so they remembered little about their pasts but in fact their lives had all been fatefully intertwined. The book (to be made into a major Hollywood movie, naturally)was laid out as a serious of flashbacks. Think I got about 20 pages into it...

Scott Rosen
06-20-2003, 04:51 PM
Hi Chad,

I think you're asking the wrong questions.

The blues guys say: "It ain't what you play, it's the way that you play it."

There's no shortage of great plots and stories. Unfortunately, there are precious few great storytellers. Your life may be a great story, with drama, joy, pathos; but unless you start writing, you'll never know if you've got the gift.

"Heaven and earth conspire that everything which has been, be rooted out and reduced to dust. Only the dreamers, who dream while awake, call back the shadows of the past and braid from unspun threads, unspun nets." Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Writers always go back to their young days, to their young loves," he says. "If a writer writes about his life, and he is serious, he will go back there, just like a criminal goes back to the place of his crime. An artist goes back to the place where his work began. He goes back to his roots by instinct." Same

Might as well write about your life. It's what you know best.

06-20-2003, 04:54 PM
Then there was the room full of chimpanzees that banged away on the typewriters for what seemed like forever and the closest any of them came to literature was one monkey who typed "To be, or not to be? That is the qwi[andfs9qaerq,.a][/."

Wild Dingo
06-20-2003, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by ken mcclure:
I still hit my thumb with the hammer, occasionally, but with enough practice I've managed to get better.Yep mate Ive found that too... now instead of a general whack around the fingernail I seem to be gettin my hammer direcional radar working... I get the nail just on the top right corner every time... stability {how hard can it be with one leg and no toes?} aim {close the left eye while squinting the right} sighting {at the moment just before bringing the hammer down turn head away} works for me :D

[ 06-20-2003, 08:17 PM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]