Last Friday I published the synopsis for a new story named Justice that I plan to begin posting on June 16th.
When I started writing this story it was primarily as an experiment to see whether I could tell a story in a different way than I’ve done up until now. In previous stories I’ve typically used a single character to narrate a story or a portion thereof. That usually involves a lot of dialogue between the narrator and others, dialogue being something I’ve been more comfortable with as a writer.
By contrast, Justice will try to tell a story from a more God-like perspective. While there will still be a lot of dialogue, one of the advantages of this narrative approach is that I can populate a story with many more characters.
In addition, those characters can play larger, more independent, and more important roles in the story; and while they are not required to interact with the story’s main characters, they may still play a critical role in the story’s development and outcome.
How good a job I’ve done telling a story this way remains to be seen, but for now you can read the synopsis by clicking its name on the drop-down menu above or by following this link.
Although I spent a lot of time writing and rewriting Justice, it may not be a story for everyone. To date all of my stories have been gay-themed primarily. While there will be gay characters in Justice and they’ll play critical roles, this was originally conceived to be a politically-themed story, not a gay-themed one.
Some people don’t like stories with political themes, especially ones not populated with bullets, bombs, spies and/or the prospect of nuclear conflagration. If you fall into that category, you should give this story a pass.
You may also want to pass on the story if you do not have a basic understanding of the U.S. system of government (or at least an interest in learning more about it). In particular, the story may prove more challenging for people living abroad who are more familiar with parliamentary systems of government.
The U.S. system is different. Our national government is built on things like the separation of powers and checks and balances. Unlike parliamentary systems, moreover, political parties in the United States play a much more imperfect role in concentrating power otherwise dispersed by our Constitution between the different branches of government.
Even if one party controls the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Presidency (as is currently the case), for example, it may find itself checked by a more independent and theoretically less partisan Judicial branch headed by the Supreme Court – or by differences between members of the same party in the different branches, all of whom have different constituencies they are responsible to.
While an advanced degree in American politics and government is by no means required to appreciate the story, you may enjoy it more to the extent you better understand how the American political system works.
At its core, Justice is a series of character sketches about people – people living in Washington primarily who are deeply involved in politics. Some among you may feel these sketches are wrong, one-sided, or exaggerated; or to put it another way, that I haven’t rendered justice to the characters. If so, we’ll have to disagree about that. These are people I’ve met in real life.
Justice is also a novel populated with Democrats and Republicans. As you might guess if you read my blog, I’m generally more sympathetic with the Democrats and that may be a good enough reason for any Republicans among you to avoid reading the story.
Although there is much to admire in the history of the Republican Party, I don’t have any use for the contemporary version of the GOP (Grand Old Party); and I have even less use for gay Republicans, an oxymoron if there ever was one.
While there is much to deplore in the history of the Democratic Party and I don’t have much use for the Democrats either, any story needs heroes and villains. In this story the Democrats will generally (but not always) be the heroes, the Republicans the villains.
But I’ve gone out of my way to create at least some Republican characters one might be sympathetic with; certainly more than I can say I know in real life, that’s for sure.
In other words, I’ve tried to avoid writing this story as political propaganda or a political screed. The characters will have opinions about which they may feel strongly, but you will not be subjected to a lot of ideological ranting.
Having said that, this is a story about the political maneuverings that take place following the death of a Supreme Court Justice. Not everyone will be interested in it for that reason alone.
Within this political story I’ve tried to embed a gay story as well, whether successfully or not is hard to say. Writing one story is hard enough. Writing a second and then trying to keep both stories connected and working in tandem turned out to be a more daunting task than I originally thought.
How compelling you’ll find the gay story is hard to say. Like the political story, it’s also an attempt to sketch out certain gay character types and lifestyles and to compare and contrast them. Not all of the gay characters in this story will be admirable; and while hopefully all of them will be true to life, some may not like the implicit criticisms I make.
So there you have it, a new story; one that I wrote primarily because I wanted to try expanding my range as a writer. But it was also written because I am deeply offended by what passes for political leadership in contemporary America.
Politics has been reduced to a game where the only thing that matters is winning, not a serious endeavor designed to promote the public interest. Indeed, hardly anyone in Washington these days believes there is a public interest. There are only individual interests and group interests and politics is simply a competition to see who gets what, when and how – the country be damned.
I don’t believe that; and in the most boring chapter of the story, I’ll try to show how people from opposite ends of the political spectrum could reach agreement by sitting down and talking together.
Like all stories, this one is imperfect so you may want to read a couple of chapters and then decide whether to continue. If you do, feel free to critique it as well. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions about the synopsis or this post, feel free to email me or to leave a reply below.
As always, a first name and email address are required to comment, but your email address will not be published. Nor will it be sold, shared, given away or otherwise used for another purpose.
If it seems like I’m trying to discourage people from reading the story, I’m not. I’m just being a realist. I understand my political postings at the blog have permanently alienated some of what was already a very small audience; and since I didn’t send out an email announcing this story or otherwise do much to publicize it, I’m not expecting many people to read it.
But I hope those of you who do will enjoy it even though it’s different from some of my previous offerings..