Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
My foray into old journals recently prompted me to look into more recent notes to reassure myself that I’m not really an 18th century fop deep down. Luckily, I ran into the files I kept for Parts Unknown as I was writing it. Relief. I sound like myself in them.
In the process of revising that book, more than one agent asked me to provide a motive for Bill Argus leaving his wife, Annie, when he was a young man. I had wanted it to be ambiguous and even a little mysterious, but they insisted. It was a tough task. But here’s why it’s valuable to revisit old journals every now and then. In my notes I found this useful menu of reasons men leave their families — an age-old pattern. Maybe you can use it in your own stories.
Here, straight from February 7, 2000, are my Twelve Reasons Men Leave Their Families:
Men leave because they:
Don’t have what they thought they’d have
Can’t keep their dicks in their pants
Can’t keep the boat afloat
Married the wrong woman
Keep getting her pregnant
Don’t know how to stay and face their lot
Do something that changes the balance of power
Think there’s something better across the horizon
Get kicked out because they’re failures
Think they’re God’s gift, but God isn’t watching anymore
There you have it. Wisdom from the not-so-recent past. You’ll have to read Parts Unknown to learn the reason I came up with for Bill leaving Annie, but I will tell you this much: it’s not on the list!