On May 10th, 2011 at 11:00 p.m. I typed “The End” on the manuscript for my first novel, currently entitled, THE SHIFT.  In many ways, this work was over 30 years in the making.  Following are thoughts on my first foray into the (extra) long-form narrative:

heer terror.  That is what prevented me from attempting to write a novel until I made it past the golden age of fifty.  Although I had been a die-hard reader since childhood, a movie fanatic since what has seemed like fetal-hood and a would-be writer since the age of seven, I could never quite bring myself to take on the novel.  Yes, I was well aware of the dramatic form, particularly after a thirty-year career in the theater as an actor and stage manager, and especially after watching what must be well above five thousand movies in theaters and on television during my half century of life.  Surely I had more than a passing understanding of what it took to formulate a long, three-act literary piece complete with, as Aristotle advised:  plot, character, meaning and spectacle.

As much as I’ve been a man of ideas since back in the day, I could never wrap my mind around fulfilling an entire breakdown of chapters and scenes.  It was simply too massive an order, and I was not confident enough in my abilities as a writer to believe that I could come up with that much step-by-step material.

I had a recurring dream in college, circa 1977, that forever haunted me. Continue reading

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