Everything that’s transpired in the 28 years since I first drafted my novel Hometown News has made me feel prophetic.

Now, of course, you have an opportunity to judge for yourself. I just wish it hadn’t taken this many years to become public.

One thing I’d like to point out involves the initial experiment I used in constructing the novel. Quite simply, I wondered if I could build a computer-generated story – no matter how distasteful the premise itself strikes me in my self-identity as a neo-Luddite and fussy literary type. Maybe it was just some of the vestige of the scientist wannabe in me?

So I created a master day-in-the-life chapter, made multiple copies to repeat throughout the story, and included up to 120 variables for search-and-replace functions. And away I went, allowing the S&R efforts to produce their own pace and variations. Not that it quite worked as I’d hoped. I found myself going back over those pages and adding new layers, softening some of the edges, adding shadows and highlights. As they say in the visuals arts, it’s quite “painterly.”

Be that as it may, one thing I’ve observed over the years is how little we typically know of many of our coworkers. There might be a favorite phrase they repeat or a piece of clothing or a distinctive quirk. And that’s it, sometimes year after year. So that part was agreeable to the S&R structuring.

As a technique, though, I’m afraid to report – or maybe more relieved – that the S&R by itself was insufficient. It did provide the core “bones” for the novel, but I did have to paint over much of it to make it more pliant and, well, human.

All the same, I’m feeling vindicated. Maybe it’s a high tech revenge for what high tech is wreaking on the workplace and surrounding community.

To check out my Smashwords ebook story, go to Hometown News.

Hometown News

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