Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WRITING A GENERATIONAL STORY

AIM, a prequel to BLUE and COMFORT, is about family dysfunction spanning several generations. Junior Bledsoe has just lost Pop (his father) to an alcohol-induced death. On top of that, his insufferable grandfather has moved in and now shares his bedroom.

As a writer I had the challenge of figuring out, not only Junior's emotions, but also, what made his Pop tick. Living with his grandfather yields clues about why Pop drank and avoided his own family. But Junior also seeks answers from his aunts and, as stories unfold, he begins to understand Pop better.

I also wondered why Granddaddy, himself was such a miserable person. Until I figured that out, the story felt incomplete. I found the answers in the following paragraphs.
Source: Library of Congress

 First thing out of the box was a studio portrait of a soldier. “That’s your great-granddaddy there.”

“Your daddy?”
 

“Yup. Gideon Bledsoe. Confederate army.” Granddaddy picked up the tin can he kept by the rocker.  He spit a stream of tobacco juice into the can and kept on talking. “He was a pipsqueak when he joined. By the time, he came back, he was hard as nails. I wasn’t born yet but I can attest to the truth of it. A war will grow you right up.”
 

Gideon looked to be about my age. Fourteen. His eyes were might near as shiny as the buttons on his uniform. His dark hair curled out from under his wool cap. Looking at that picture, I couldn’t deny him for a relative of mine.

 As Junior struggles with the dysfunctions of Pop and Granddaddy, he's drawn to the soldier boy who looks so much like him. Clearly Great-granddaddy wasn't always hard as nails. 

In the course of the story, Junior makes some critical mistakes. He learns from those experiences but just as important are the lessons he learns from the generations that preceded him.

I'm pleased to announce that AIM is scheduled for release in Fall of 2016. What generational stories have you written or enjoyed? 

Book giveaways and more on generational stories at Talking Story.

24 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Joyce! So happy for you! Thanks for sharing a snippet from AIM--I'm hooked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Clara! I am happy too. AIM is one of the unexpected, good outcomes of a fairly challenging year.

      Delete
  2. I LOVE this. And fancy that. The picture came out of a box. Great minds think a like. xo xo xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for old boxes. Granddaddy's was pasteboard.

      Delete
  3. This one sounds great, Joyce. I look forward to reading it. My favorite generational story is East of Eden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. East of Eden - there's a story I should return to...

      Delete
  4. Cannot wait!! Love your writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Mel - I am grateful you read and gave me feedback on AIM. It's changed quite a bit since then, as you can see from this post! I can't wait to hand you a copy and to see it in your library!

      Delete
  5. Congrats, Joyce! I'm another one eager to read your latest book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rick/Ruthie - I will certainly let you know when the book is available! I hope you two are well and happy.

      Delete
  6. Congratulations, Joyce. I enjoyed the peek into what's coming! I think it's great that you chose to write a prequel to complete your series. Or could there be another in the works? This one has already sucked me right in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Hey Linda - Not sure about another one, but maybe. I am dreaming...

      Delete
  7. Can't wait to read this! I enjoyed Blue and Comfort, as did/do my students! They will be so excited! Another generational book I enjoyed was The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ellen! It's great to hear you are using Blue and Comfort in the classroom. I so appreciate you sharing it with your students. Let me know if I can answer any questions for them.

      Delete
    2. I also enjoyed the Brooklyn Nine - fascinating concept and intriguing way to share baseball and family history.

      Delete
  8. Can't wait to read this! I enjoyed Blue and Comfort, as did/do my students! They will be so excited! Another generational book I enjoyed was The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I also enjoyed the Brooklyn Nine - a really unique generational story. Thanks for sharing my books with your students and I apologize for taking so long to respond!

      Delete
    2. Ooops! Now I see I did respond. Apparently your comment was posted 2 times. :)

      Delete
  9. Congratulations, Joyce, Aim sounds like such an interesting story and I cannot wait to read it. I love generational historical fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, I didn't actually fall off the face of the earth although sometimes it feels that way. Thanks for visiting my blog and I will have an ARC sent to you if that is okay. AIM is also a WWII story.

      Delete
  10. Congratulations! It's wonderful that you're getting to revisit Ann Fay Honeycutt's family. I look forward to reading it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Anna. I so appreciate all your support! Hope your writing is flourishing.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete