During ’05-’06 I faced many personal challenges. One was my retirement from teaching after nearly thirty years. Another was divorce. Another was starting a novel. But nonetheless in 2005, in earnest ignorance I plunged into writing the first draft of Trout Kill (Over the next six years, I rewrote it numerous times … I lost track of how darn many). The main plot line of those early drafts, in hindsight, was “misguided” for a couple of reasons: First, the story was too big and not focused on Eddy Trout, the protagonist of TK, and his small-town world; and second, the plot too closely resembled what had happened to me–and was happening–in my personal life; in other words, I identified too closely with Eddy and hadn’t sufficiently distanced myself from him psychologically and emotionally. But on the positive side, those early drafts honed Eddy’s tragic back story involving his father, mother and sister. In the Trout Trilogy I’m writing, that history is slowly revealed to him, his sister, his wife, his friends and you, the reader.
(Part VII later)