New novel…issues

OK so as I am nearing the end (finally) of this novel I have begun thinking forward to the next one. I have been throwing around two story lines for the last few months, one is something that I came up with a few months back and keep rolling over. The other is a story I actually began writing a few years back in a notebook with nothing but a pen. It got packed away and forgotten about but earlier this week while i was cleaning i found it and began reading it. I still like it despite its darker tone and feeling and i am not sure why I stopped writing it back in 2008 when i started it…probably got busy I dont know. Then though it was more of a hobby than serious as far as my writing goes now.

One thing is that both stories would take place in Michigan, one more so than the other and I’m not sure i want to do that. The one I have more recently been mulling over takes place only partially in Michigan and ends on the Oregon coast, its a journey story of looking back on a life and experiences. The other, the one i began years ago takes place in the only part of Michigan that I like at all and that is the Upper peninsula. That story as it stands now has no elements that I wanted to have in my novels or short stories as far as markers that are my calling card for my writing are concerned.

I swore once I began trying to write “for real” or professionally that I would never write a story that takes place entirely in Michigan and preferable not at all unless it helped the story, but i wonder if that’s possible. I cant give the UP better justice than Hemingway did in his short story “Up in Michigan” ….I am no Hemingway and other writers did better justice to the UP. However even “Stepson” that i am getting ready to finish has a main character that sort of lives in michigan and the other one left michigan years before to go to the Oregon coast never to return.

Most things that I have written have a reference to someone that currently are leaving michigan have or will in some fashion. But one of the options would take place entirely in the UP. If i were to continue with it i would be breaking a rule…or would it since in my heart i dont believe the UP should be associated with the crappy lower peninsula. Michigan is better north of the bridge after all.

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