Emerging Writers. The River--Backstory.
A Novel in Progress. Backstory.
Many people have asked me for an update to one of my first stories, “The River.”
Well, here it is. I am writing a novel and “The River,” previously published, is the first chapter.
Since publishing “The River” I have changed the name of the protagonist from Nicole to Rachel. Nicole is the name of my wonderful niece and that’s where the similarity ends. I want to be certain that no one makes any incorrect assumptions regarding a connection between the protagonist and the real Nicole. James and Jimmy are the same person, but I use James to refer to the person that Rachel thinks he is and Jimmy as the person who is an Eastern Shore native.
The Backstory for this Chapter
“The Wolf You Feed” is a chapter from the middle of the novel. So, let me give you some context. After the first chapter, you will find out why Rachel is so “snarky” in the first chapter. She is angry, she has been tricked into moving to the Eastern Shore which is a different world from her life in NYC. After living in a culture-rich, nature- impoverished environment like NYC, she is completely unprepared and unable to live in a culture-impoverished, nature-rich world like the Eastern Shore.
Rachel has also discovered that James has been lying to her since the beginning of their marriage. She has no idea who she married, it is not clear if James is a “good guy” or a “bad guy;” but he is definitely not the man she thought that she married. Jimmy’s old friends dislike Rachel as much as she dislikes them. She finds them to be rednecks, rude, ignorant and racist. They find her to be an arrogant snob who knows nothing about the real world. With her marriage falling apart, no friends, no job, Rachel is completely alone.
She decides that she is going to find out who James really is, and to do that she realizes that she needs to find a friend on the Eastern Shore. James is desperately trying to keep Rachel from leaving him, so he has convinced another NRP (Natural Resources Policeman), Pete and his wife, Kathy, to come over for dinner together. Jimmy knows Kathy from his High School days and he knows that Kathy is a very kind soul. Pete doesn’t trust Jimmy but agrees to the dinner at Jimmy and Rachel’s house. Rachel finds a friend in Kathy and the scenes in this story occur after the dinner is over.
Notes on the Novel
The novel explores a number of themes including:
How misleading first impressions are.
How we all judge based on our lenses, yet the reader will find that our judgements are usually wrong.
Rachel trying to cope in an unfamiliar environment, being a stranger in a strange land.
Rachel and James’ marriage falling apart.
The chasm between the liberal and conservative worlds.
The anger and frustration of the local people at the same time they are living in beautiful environment.
The river is a metaphor for James/Jimmy and James and Rachel’s marriage…you will see how they interplay.
All of this conflict is set in a bucolic environment that is changing.
For those that are interested, I will update these notes as I continue my process. It is certain that my outline will cry for revision, as the story unfolds.
Links to Referenced Chapters
"The River" (updated version)
Subsequent chapters will be posted on Hummingbird as they are published.