July 11, 2011

Second Guess

I wrote and fiddled with 1065 words the other day. The first 160 or so, below, are the only ones that don’t make me cringe as I read over my work. (And who knows? They might make me cringe tomorrow. I’m trying not to mope about this fact.)

I posted these paragraphs when I finished them and then took them down. The post made my stomach mushy dreadful and not just because I was nervous to share my work. (I was nervous, but that’s beside the point.) Posting them made me feel raw, and I think I worried I’d come off as a pretender, which is insane, because I’ve chosen to blog here, right? This is my blog, and I write stuff.

I’m not sure why I’m posting them again now, only that I’m sick of second-guessing myself every other second. And honestly, second-guessing is a pretty accurate description of my behavior in real life.

So below is a possible beginning to the second half of my (sometimes-titled and sometimes untitled) novel:

I pity the historian who’ll map my route across the globe. I am no Magellan; I’ve traveled far but never left. If you’d been tracing my treks these years between the house and the hut out back, you’d see. Add it up and stretch the lines out end to end, and I’m sure I’ve crossed an ocean, maybe two.

You might think I have no tales to tell, what with my lines criss-crossing, scribbling like a child’s, between a five-room house and a rickety hut with roots roughing up the floorboards. Well, you’re wrong. I have tales a’plenty; they just aren’t my own. I’m so full of other people, I sometimes wonder where I go. Wait, you know the answer, right? Go ahead and say it. “You go to the hut, dufus. Check the map.”

I think that hut is where I live–the ghosty part of me, and I walk there every morning to be haunted by myself.

So, it needs work, as always, but I think I’m getting his voice. His name is Blake, and he can share other people’s perceptions. Due to events that happen in the first half of the novel (his parents’ story), he lives atop a hill that no one ever climbs with his mom and his great-great-uncle, who is ancient. I don’t know how yet, but Blake’s going to be a shrewd and ardent savior.

Question–Do you think Blake should introduce himself early on? Is it annoying to read that whole thing without knowing his name? It might be annoying to read that whole thing for other reasons, which is fine too, but I’m especially curious about the knowing-his-name question.

Guess what. I was using the thesaurus just now and came across a fun synonym for the word powerful. It is the word thewy, as in Those wimps Hewey, Dewey, and Louie were way jealous of their powerful second-cousin, Thewy. Yeah. I’m tired. I should probably go to sleep now.