You may have seen my occasional tweets, or my weekend updates at my trusty old Live Journal, in which I’ve been voicing my surprise at how quickly Walk in Silence, the book, has been coming along. As of today, I’m a few pages in to Chapter 5, in which I talk about key events of 1986 that bring me closer to my long-standing obsession with alternative rock–in this case, MTV’s addition of The Monkees, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and 120 Minutes, as well as my discovering college radio during spring break.
I chose to plot this book similar to how I’ve seen a number of creative non-fiction books written: the opening prologue introducing the ultimate key moment of the entire book (my discovering college radio), and in the ensuing first few chapters explaining how I got to that point. In this case, this includes my other musical obsessions, namely the Beatles, listening to radio in general, and being a part of the first generation of MTV viewers. Other things pop up, including Miami Vice, classic rock, American Top 40, and other decidedly non-alternative points. Now that I’m back to that same prologue point, I can move forward focusing mostly on the alternative sounds from here on in.
The bit that surprises me the most is how far I’ve gotten in such a small time. This is definitely a rough and relatively short first draft, as the word count is only at around 12k, but given the chronology I’ve given myself, I still have a ways to go. I music collection did not expand nearly as much until around 1986 or so anyway. Once I hit that Defining Moment, I was not only buying new alt-rock music, but catching up with the older stuff as well. A good portion of this book will actually focus around 1986-1989–both around the time the genre started gaining more ground, as well it being a time of personal growth for me.
I haven’t given myself a hard deadline to get this first draft finished, but I have made a tentative guess that I should be done with it by the end of summer, perhaps sometime into early autumn. By far the fastest I’ve ever written any book, first draft or no. I think I’ve chalked this one up to the fact that I’ve been thinking about this stuff since the time the music came twenty some-odd years ago, and that I’ve been doing light research on it for at least five or six. At this point I’m putting it all in focus and getting it all down on the screen. Do I know how long the future drafts and revisions will take? I’m not thinking about that right now, to be honest. I just want to get it all out at this time; I’ll start fixing it on the next go-rounds.