“I have written a novel about the commercial abuse of chickens.”
Every time this statement comes out of my mouth, I think, that is the strangest thing.
Yet, it’s true.
Train Trip pivots on a drug scandal made possible by our “modern” methods of chicken raising and processing. The theme has grown in importance as the novel has been revised. It’s been so long since I began this novel, I don’t even remember how chickens came into it in the first place. But they’ve been integral to the plot (and humor) since the beginning.
Only as I worked on the novel—and worked on it and worked on it—did the really disgusting facts of commercial chicken production come into play. Karma twists and turns the plot, a little odd in itself since the characters are Bible-Belt Southerners. But rest assured: all works out well in the end. At least it does for the chickens.
Frequently, you read articles by authors who marvel at how “the characters just took over.” Never before have I read writerly advice to let the chickens take over.
So here it is: if you are writing a novel involving chickens, don’t be afraid to let the chickens take over. You might just wind up with a novel with a conscience.
here’s to creative synthesis . . .