227

It’s been quiet around Lucky Rabbit’s Foot in recent days. I’m sure you’re finding ample ways to fill the cultural void I’m leaving, right?

I, on the other hand, have been wrasslin with 227 words. I’ve embarked on a new story in my Fathers and Sons cycle, and it’s one in which I want to capture an exact tone. That’s hard work. Hard because I think I know the tone I want to represent, but I don’t know just how to do it. I’m casting back across the decades, trying to recall what it was like to be 17 (which is a bit younger than I am today). I can feel it, but I’m having a tough time putting it into words. Any suggestions you have will be appreciated and appropriated.

So I struggle. With 227 words because that’s all that I’ve written of the story. The barest introduction, and yet I am anguishing over it, rewriting sentences, substituting words, changing the order, re-imagining the scene. I worked long and hard on “The Death of Superman” (no news on its many submissions as of this writing), and I think I did a great job with it, but I don’t think I gave it nearly as much attention as this story I’m working on now.

Sure, I have plenty of notes for this story. Images I want to include, the development of the plot (what there is of a plot — it all mostly comes down in the last few words). Dialogue. The tone! With every little change, I feel that the work is better. But I hope I can get over some hurdle and begin setting more story down. At my current pace — one sentence a day — I’m going to be at this a long, long time.

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4 Comments on “227”

  1. jd Says:

    Yeah, sometimes all those bits & pieces don’t come together until you get the tone, the particular angle of vision / voice the piece needs.

  2. Averil Dean Says:

    I’ve never been able to work on a character’s voice until the whole first draft was finished, but I can see why it would be helpful to figure it out at the beginning. You’ll probably save yourself a major revision by spending the time on it now.

  3. jd Says:

    I was thinking more about this this morning while walking the dogs. Sometimes the process works in reverse and it’s only by writing toward a tone I can’t figure out that I eventually get there & the piece “finds its voice.”

  4. Lyra Says:

    Paul,
    I know that if I hear music that I listened to during a certain time, it puts me right back there especially if its music you don’t listen to regularly. Scents do the same for me. Sometimes I’ll smell a cologne of someone I once dated and the girl I was comes flooding back.


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