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Author Archive: "Dallas Hudgens"

Going Backward

I've always had trouble understanding the structures of things. Cars, houses, cakes, novels. Detailed instructions have provided little assistance. When my first son turned two, I tried to assemble a Donald Duck scooter. The job consisted of snapping axle locks and wheels to Donald's feet and wings — locks on the inside, wheels on the outside. I got three of them right and then snapped a rear lock outside its corresponding wheel. I only realized the mistake after my son was rolling across the floor. Seeing that it wasn't a sophisticated vehicle, the misplaced part caused no loss of function. But it looked odd, like Donald had suffered a compound fracture to his leg.

I've written two novels in the years since, and I confess they both have that Donald Duck, splayed-leg construction to them. The first novel started as a collection of stories that I had hoped would work together as a whole. I didn't quite get it there, and the advice I received was to rewrite the stories as a novel.

I had no idea how to do this. I did read and enjoy novels, but I'd ...

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