At the end of the second dictation session, I realized the fatal flaws in my workaround. First, you can’t disguise a novel as a bunch of short stories, and second, I needed to know way more about my protagonist. I abandoned the detective story and decided to focus on his origin story by writing a real short story.
I focused on two attributes of his character: claustrophobia and a zen-like philosophy.
I worked out a basic plot that had only 3 scenes: the bike trip to the dump to shoot cans with his BB gun, an encounter with some high school kids, and what followed. Then I followed my new process, dictating the first draft over four recording sessions.
In this case, I’m showing you the third draft manuscript, so it’s somewhat polished. I ran this draft through my critique group, who gave me excellent ideas for making it significantly better that I never would have thought of on my own. Sometime this year (I hope) I’ll get around to rewriting it. Also, I submitted it to 4 literary magazines and got 4 rejections.
The Icebox: Session 1, on the deck
Dictation recording (32 min)