I, Dalton Lewis, tried to hit one deep. I wrote an ambitious novel in which America High is a high school as a microcosm of America. The various characters reflect the various elements of American society and culture. Then there is a murder — a murder which shows the violence erupting within American culture. The characters have to deal with that.
This novel took two full months to write: a long time for me. It’s 50,000 words or so — 200 pages on amazon kindle. In it I tried to show the various elements that are ripping apart American society and culture. I started with elections: the characters have a student council election between two characters, one a senior liberal and the other a popular conservative who is certain of his superiority. They have an election which goes poorly for all involved.
MeToo is involved, too. A teacher is accused of sexual assault. I tried to include no actual scenes of the sexual assault so as to not glamorize any such violence. I included this storyline because this happens all the goddamned time in the real world and therefore should be reflected in the stories that I write.
Outcasts — there are many unhappy men in America, men who are outcasts and loners and who have fallen through the cracks of the system. I tried to reflect them in some of my characters. I know — I often write teenagers with few or no friends. I understand that. I did that again. This character, Walker Forrest, is different and unique. He fights to fix his situation. He takes agency to become something more than an outsider who moans about his problems.
The characters: Isabela Jacobs has a secret, a horrible one. She is a conservative icon in the community, dating Astor Brown, the student council president. Everything seems perfect for her — but will it all go down in flames? Astor is obsessed with re-election and will do anything to get there — but will he lose his way in the process? Joey Buten promises to help the people — but is he pandering? Walker Forrest doesn’t think that either candidate would actually talk to him. He struggles with depression and loneliness and considers horrible crimes. DJ Benson needs to be a role-model in the community and a star on the football field. He loves Isabela — but she is with Astor. He can’t handle that.
It’s hard to write a novel that tries to be more intelligent. I’m proud of myself for writing something based on ideas instead of a hack-em-up story. I tried to actively include irony, symbolism and metaphor in this novel more aggressively than in previous stories. I would like to think that I succeeded. I’m glad that I tried to write such a story.
Check it out.
Thanks, and take care, friends.