Saturday, October 6, 2012


A few minutes ago, I wrote the final paragraph of one the character's stories in my novel.  I've been with her voice since Day One, and although it sounds hokey to say it, she is the one that I've written the novel for--if it wasn't for her stubborn, insistent voice, I wouldn't be where I am now.  I'm a bit superstitious about spilling too many of the beans about the book or its characters, but I can share that I've long planned to have two interwoven sections: one with her, and one following another, related character.  It's all planned out in my head (except, of course, for all the lovely digressions that end up being the best writing), and I double-spaced and typed in the subject header of "Part Two," I found myself at a loss.  I'm entering a new phase in the drafting process, and while I am excited because it means that the book is moving forward, towards where I want it to go, I feel what I think is probably a normal fear that I won't be able to sustain this switch in point of view and tone.  I worry that I'll miss the heady composition process from the point of view of my first character, whose very tics of speech and taste are so clear to me, it's almost as if I've ridden in a car with her for days, listening to her unbroken monologue.  Suddenly: silence, with all its pregnant expectation and blankness.  I realized, while facing down that daunting "Part Two," that I needed to come here and write about being afraid to press that I can actually press on.  These are uncharted writing waters for me.  What if I write past the point of comfort, past the point of a neat ending?  What if I just keep going?  Well, I suppose it's time to find out.  Gulp.
Another note: I haven't unpacked most of my books, but was restlessly rooting through my boxes of unread tomes, trying to unearth something compelling for my next read.  I found this little James volume (pictured above), which I believe I purchased as one of a dozen during a Seattle Public Library sale.  I felt it came back to my notice for a reason, so voila, I am now reading it.  And, hello, double negatives and strings of dependent clauses.  An imitation late Jamesian sentence: "It was not that she had not noted the effect she had produced on him, even while being unsure of the effect being altogether something that she could have produced, had she been aware of being able to produce effects, but then she was of a type wholly used to the assumption that when an effect had been made, surely at its heart, an intention had lain behind it."  Of course, psychologically, not so inane at all, but the style is incredibly dense.  I feel I must stick with it, however, due to the charming Hug Coupon bookmark that I found inside.  The paperback edition itself is from the 50's, and a prior owner had gone through and hand-taped the spindly pages back to the spine.  At a guess, I'd say the "coupon" dates from the same era.  On the back is written: Clayton, 11:15 Wed. at Carol James - audition for "Noah"on-camera industrial.  This one's for you, Clayton.  I hope you got that part.

1 comment:

  1. Miss Kirsten - I'm so proud that Part I has brought you so far and that you can report such intimacy with your character. The grace of your prose is the momentum that's going to carry you through. That, and your boundless courage. You are inspiring and very gifted. I'm glad I can follow that story here.