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Robyn – Following guidelines

Robyn is about the impact of child molestation on the victims and their families. It is not about the act of child molestation; however, in order to understand the effects, one must have some feel for their basis. I attempted to do this in chapter one. In this chapter a grown woman tells a bishop of her church about being molested as a child. In order to buffer what happened to her, I had her tell the story in second person, present tense. In addition there were some very short references to things other victims experienced.

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Robyn – Steam of Consciousness

Within a few days of completing the draft of Robyn, I realized one of the scenes near the end did not pack the emotional power it needed. The character is so upset, so confused, and so emotionally turbulent that standard writing can’t convey it. I concluded I have to rewrite it as a stream of consciousness (SOC). In SOC the narrative flows as if it is the internal thoughts, impressions, and feelings of the character. This is difficult for the writer to do and even more difficult for the reader to understand. In this format normal writing structure, transitions, and punctuation are thrown out. In fact, James Joyce at the end of his novel, Ulysses, uses almost no punctuation, capitalization, or paragraphing. You can sometimes pick out sentences by the flow of the words, but very often it deals in clauses, phrases, or exclamations with no punctuation to help. It takes forever to read one page. In order to prepare myself to tackle this, I began reading articles about SOC on the internet and I ordered a home study course on James Joyce’s Ulysses. I am up to lecture 14 of the 24 lecture course. It’s not a course on SOC, but in explaining what Joyce was doing I get a feel for how his style works (which includes a lot of SOC).

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Robin – Surprises

I like books that have good surprises at the end. However, I know the surprise is there, already written and ready for me when I read it. As I’m writing my own books, however, when a surprise comes, it’s a surprise! As I began to wind down the draft of my next book, Robyn, I got a shocking surprise. Robyn has eleven chapters, but I did not write it from beginning to end. In fact, as I was completing chapter 10 most of chapter 11 was done.

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Robin – Judy: a life destroyed

When Judy Jones started seventh grade she registered to take a German class with her friend, Heidi. Heidi was president of the German club, and Judy was in charge of activities. She was popular and knew many of the kids in her class. Her favorite courses were science, math, and biology. She planned a career in medical research to help discover cures for illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer. She was a B+ student, but in the spring she began to lose interest in school and her friends. She started hanging out with a bad element. Her new friends liked to skip school, and they introduced her to pot and eventually other drugs.

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Robin – Modern

The battle with “Robin” continues. I put the book on hold while I take home study courses to beef up my skills. All of my previous books are considered formula books with a beginning (life is good, destabilizing event), middle (problem is worked on, more problems happen, more work), end (problem is resolved (well or badly)), that sort of thing. I can’t shoehorn the subject of “Robin” (child molestation) into that kind of genre. So I am looking at modernistic fiction. It’s a challenge to write and a challenge to read because the story line jumps all over the place.

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Robin – A plate of spaghetti

Robin is about psychotic child abuse. When I say that, I am using a narrow definition referring to actions adults take with children that fulfill a need the adult has at the expense of the child. The vilest child abuse happens when an adult uses a child for his sexual needs. The perpetrator is usually a trusted family member or friend. It could be an uncle, father, priest, coach, etc. These abusers have many victims who might have relationships with each other and which could extend for more than one generation. The perpetrator is often a person whose public persona is widely respected. When one tries to depict this in a novel, it defies a straight line story. It is as convoluted and tangled as a plate of spaghetti. You can never adequately describe a plate of spaghetti with words because much of the tangled mess is unseen. If you pull each strand out and lay it beside the plate, you could tell its diameter, length, color, etc., but in the end, you would have gotten far afield from the goal describing the plate of spaghetti.

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Robin

The book I am working on right now is titled Robin. It takes me a year or more to complete a book, but I will describe the process on this blog as I work. The bulk of the research is complete, but it is never totally done until the book is finalized.

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