"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, October 02, 2009

Writing Style

Several weeks ago at the NH Antiquarian Bookfair I purchased the tiny tome pictured above, which fits in the palm of my hand. It's a book of verses by an early 19th century British poet. Not a household name.

Here's Emo Poet's description of a thunderstorm:

O'er the sick and sultry plains,
Through the dim, delirious air,
Agonizing silence reigns,
And the wanness of despair;
Nature faints with fervent heat,
Ah! her pulse has ceased to beat!

Now in deep and dreadful gloom,
Clouds on clouds portentious spread,
Black as if the day of doom
Hung o'er Nature's shrinking head;
Lo! the lightning breaks from high,
--God is coming! --God is nigh!

I'll stop there. I've always been a poetry reader, starting as a wee thing with the Psalms and the Child's Garden of Verses. I'm perfectly familiar with Emo Poet's style and idiom: as an undergraduate I spent the better part of a year studying the Romantics and their ilk, and dearly loved some of them. Others, not so much, although I admit to being amused by this guy's style.

I'm a bit emotional myself, as I forge through the last section of my novel. Today I'm writing several scenes of action and conflict. I've been planning for them ever since I first started this project, years ago. Last night I made a rough outline. Even so, I'm suffering performance anxiety. Or maybe it's not that, maybe I'm just reluctant to put my characters through the wringer this way. Even though their sufferings are based on fact.

Busy weekend ahead. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain constantly. Since it will be a day of "deep and dreadful gloom" I won't mind spending a big chunk of it attending a diocesan-wide forum. The information and experience shared will be useful and fascinating. And then the Chap's taking me to our fave Mexican joint in Manchester.

As of yesterday, we entered October, the Celebration Month. Our reasons for celebrating will become apparent next week. And the festivities will really ramp up later in the month...and continue into the next month.

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