concept of multiple perspective has always interested me — even before I could
put my finger on it. I didn’t realize this until recently, when I was going
through some old files and came across some of my “future story ideas” from
Stormtrooper” was something I’d written a couple pages of notes about while
still a middle-school student. I planned to write a story — perhaps even a
novel — by that name. It was to be a telling of the original Star Wars trilogy from the perspective
of an Imperial stormtrooper. Just a regular foot soldier, upset at the
terrorists going around and shooting innocent recruits. (Those terrorists, of course, were Luke, Han,
Leia, Chewbacca, and the rebels.)
often caught myself pondering the perspective of innocent bystanders in movies.
They guy who gets pushed out of the way and into the water when a high-speed
chase zips by. The person who flees for cover when a shootout occurs. We follow
the action, but I’ve always speculated: what was it like for that guy? Did he go home and tell his
wife and kids, “you won’t believe what happened to me today!”
something I find interesting in fiction. How does something like that leave a
mark on an everyday person?
was something I played with in my writing often, but it wasn’t until I
discovered the “novel in stories” format that I found a way to really put it
read connected stories before, but Joan Silber’s Ideas from Heaven really put it into perspective for me, so to
speak. Each story connected to another in the book. Sometimes only as a
paragraph or a line or two. The main nemesis of the first story is the main
character of the last story—and in his own story he’s not nearly as bad a guy. That
idea excited me. Again, it’s all about perspective.
of my longer fiction up to that point was strict novel. My short fiction was
not connected. I had recently written three stories that, coincidentally, all
had scenes on a train. That’s when I realized I had the perfect vehicle for my own novel in stories.
Thus Tracks: A Novel in Stories was
born — each story in the novel from the perspective of another passenger on the
train, but all interconnecting — the side character of one story becoming the
main character in another, one person’s story continuing as an aside in that of
moment, I’m at work on another novel, this one more A to B with one main
character. But I know that I won’t be able to help myself. There will be
another novel in stories in my future.
“I, Stormtrooper …” it looks like J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kadsan beat me to it
with Finn in the upcoming Star Wars: The
Force Awakens. If only I’d gotten my manuscript to Lucasfilm first. That
sort of puts things in perspective.
Labels: eric d. goodman, fiction, finn, force awakens, j.j. abrams, Lawrence kadsen, lucasfilm, novel in stories, perspective, star wars, stories, stormtrooper, tracks