Thursday, May 6, 2010

Falling in love with your own prose

Having just tweeted about my automotive troubles, and having just almost shorted out the Good Samaritan's electrical system after he agreed to give me a jump (crossed the wires . . . hundreds of jumps in my life . . . first time ever), I'm not yet in the mood to write. Hope posting something here gets the juices flowing . . . no pun intended.

Things are going remarkably well on the current WIP. So well, in fact, that yesterday, I concluded one climactic chapter and then boldly typed BOOK III on a blank page, beginning yet another climb up a mountain. Still looks good for a late May finish, which is heartening.

Before writing Book II, though I hadn't worked it all out yet, I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen. But I purposefully began the book with what I thought was a bold call to arms, to both myself and to the characters:

When Chris thought back on all the strange goings on of the past few weeks, when he reflected upon all the things he had both done and failed to do, it became clear to him that both his actions and his inactions had only made inevitable what was about to happen. He had only himself to blame for the chain of circumstances that brought him to this place, for he had paved this particular trail brick by brick, stone by stone, and decision by decision.

In fact, now that he thought of it, he realized had he done any single thing differently, had he made one alternate decision at any point in the chain, he would not be where he was now: cold, wet, and trying to keep his supper down from the amusement park ride that was going on beneath his feet.

And though nobody within two feet of him could possibly have seen it, through the tomblike darkness and torrential downpour and the pounding of ten-foot waves, he smiled. He smiled because he understood that a single different decision would have altered what was about to happen, and because he had just finished asking himself if he regretted any one of those decisions, asked himself if he could, would he go back in time and take any one of them back? And the answer he arrived at in that moment of quiet introspection was unambiguous.

Hell, no.

It ain't Shakespeare, and still needs a lot of work. And after typing it, I had no idea what the hell I was going to do to live up to those words. I had only a vague idea of where he was and what he was doing when he thought those things, but I found it a remarkable "line in the sand" to see if I could live up to what I wrote.

So no, I'm not "in love" with it at all. It may not even make the final cut. But I like the idea of drawing a bold line early, just to see if you can live up to it. And though I've never done such a thing before, I'm happy to say I think I did . . . but only time will tell.

And as always, thanks for reading!


Aaron Polson said...

Being in love with words is easy; falling in love with your own is a special thing.

Brendan P. Myers said...

Long as they know I don't put out on the first date.