Imagine you’re an exchange student spending one semester in Spain. Even though you’re not really into clubbing, you can’t really avoid a few nights out dancing. And it’s likely that you have a flatmate who, on the other hand, loves hanging out and in particular loves clubbing.
And so, one night in December, she invites you to her twentieth birthday: party at home and then discotheque. She’s so enthusiast that you can’t really say no, not even to the clubbing part. Everyone is going, and you don’t want to ruin her spirit by opposing her decision.
A part of you, though, regrets it almost immediately: that place is crammed with people. Back in 2012 humanity’s major concern was whether or not the world was going to end on December 21st, and social distancing wasn’t really a thing, especially in clubs. People wanted to get in, club owners wanted to get the money. It was a win-win situation, right?
You hold on and try hard to have fun, even though you’re unable to dance and people keep bumping into you like stormy waves on the rocks. But since you’re the rock, you’re supposed to hold on in silence, and so you do. And after all, nobody said you can’t get a little help from some alcohol: you drink a few of them, one after the other. Nothing too strong because you don’t want to pass out: you just need a little anesthetic.
Somehow, you get to the end of the night, but once you get home there’s no way you can get some sleep. Something has happened inside you as you were standing there in the crowd. The muse whispered in your ear, and you heard her despite all the noise around you. At least, you think you understood the main concepts.
And so you grab your computer and, even if your eyes are strained, you begin to type one word after the other. They flow out of your fingers and you can’t do anything to hold them back. Before you realize it, you have a few pages full of ramblings, but you’re too tired to make any sense out of it. After a few hours of sleep, you pick it up again, and you’re surprised to find out it’s good. You like it so much that you add some more ramblings to it and then give it all another read.
Yes, it’s nice, and it would be such a shame to waste it. You want to see if it leads you somewhere. You won’t know for sure until eight years later, but a part of you deep down inside already knows you’d make it.
In case you’re wondering why I told this story*, well, this is how “We gotta get out” was born. I know the first and foremost advice when it comes to writing is to have at least a vague idea of where the story will lead you, but I trusted mine immediately even though it wasn’t clear where it could go. I have to admit it wasn’t easy to find an inciting incident and plot points that could fit into a night out clubbing, but they came to me one after the other.
Even if it took adding a bit of supernatural, an old grudge, and of course a bit of romance. And a metal concert, because after a while mainstream commercial music is boring. And even if it took almost eight years and two months of jobless lockdown to finally type the words “The end” on the first draft.
I don’t know if this tale about the genesis of my first book hooked you, but I hope it did. If it did and you want to know more, just head to the Newsletter and subscribe: I’m in the tedious process of editing/revising it in order to have it self-published by the end of the year (hopefully) and I can’t wait to share teases and anticipations.
* Do you remember? In my latest post I told you that you can find a story everywhere. There’s even a story in how I came up with a story. I don’t know about you, but I find it so fascinating.