I doubt I’ll ever write a novel, but if I do, a long time ago I thought of an idea. I’ve never told it to anyone.
My idea is a full novel written on an almost momentary incident, written from several people’s perspectives, each in a different chapter. I generally think of writing it on a single pitch in a baseball game. The perspectives would be the pitcher, batter, catcher, umpire, an infielder or two, an outfielder or two, and maybe some people off the field, like a fan or two, a coach, and maybe someone watching on TV.
How would I construct a narrative about a couple seconds? I think people’s thoughts in intense moments like that become heightened so I’d explore the characters’ inner monologues. Likewise with their senses. Each has his history, which I can explore at any length. Several teammates would know each other so their histories would overlap. Memories change so some would conflict.
I think As I Lay Dying did similar things in telling a story from multiple views. I don’t think it focused on a few-second time frame.
Anyway, I’ve never tried writing fiction, so I don’t think I would start with so unfamiliar a structure, so I’d probably lead up to it with other works to develop skills.
EDIT: This article from a month and a half after my post lists Top 10 novels told in a single day, but they still cover twenty-three hours and fifty minutes or so more than I envision for mine.
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