Wednesday, September 14, 2016
I've had an itch just like all of you. It's more than my constant summer's bout of poison ivy.
I've a series of stories I couldn't quite piece together into a cognitive whole. They've formed parts of a couple of abortive novels but whose plot and revelation lags and fails to knit as a whole.
I've solved that problem this week.
Now, this problem -- challenge? -- has been languishing inside me for almost thirty-six months.
It's been a most troubling aspect of these stories in that I have great joy in them but their integration into something more has failed so desperately. They were more than short-stories to stand alone but less than a novel whose strings could be pulled by a reader into any sort of whole cloth.
I've solved the puzzle of the broken pieces. What's more, I have tens of thousands of words invested in different drafts of the pieces and so making productive use of this effort is extremely gratifying.
I have these little stories with characters like a sheriff wearing snakeskin boots made of rattlesnakes sans rattles left in his mailbox, alive. I have a boy who learns early to play the game beyond the game and kill with words. I have a priest whose conviction is compelled by the association with a demon who drove his father to suicide.
I have unfaithful partners, untrustworthy guardians, duplicitous motives for both, and a confidence in my characters that tomorrow may not be better than today.
I carry a little soul in each abortive story so far and the prospect of resolving them into a work that might be read by somebody - anybody. Well.
You know that joy in a project when you pass from "this is all rubbish no one will ever want to read" to "unworthy as it is, it remains my best work right now." It's an odd sort of transition.
There's always doubt. That in itself is worth the ink.
Spill some on the page soon. You never know when giants will again walk the Earth and scare away all your literary devices.
Posted by jack welling