So I wrote my first stabbing scene yesterday. It was both challenging and fun. The fact that it was challenging is reassuring because it suggests that I have never been stabbed nor stabbed anything more alive than a rare steak. The fact that it was fun is disturbing because it suggests I might want to. I’ll be seeking professional help for that last one.
Already, this new book I’m working on is more gritty, more edgy, more raw. I’m finding I need to fight my own love of words with this novel. I keep having to resist the urge to make my sentences pretty.
I confess to having a crush on the English language. While I’m not so far gone as to be a poet, I still flirt with my prose way more than a mature writer should. By the way, I don’t claim to be a mature writer. I merely aspire to maturity. Someday.
I really had to walk the line with the fight scene I wrote. The action needed to be clear. The pain and emotion needed the immediacy of concrete language. This was not a time for simile. After all, if I’d written, “The knife slid into my stomach like a serving spoon into Aunt Mildred’s Waldorf salad,” it would have really killed the energy of the scene.
This experience got me thinking about art and metaphor and abstract representation. And also about the complexities of literal, meaning-rich expression. Which naturally brought to mind the video at the end of this post. I think the visual images in this clip are a good reminder not to let our creativity trample our, well, common sense, grip on reality, and choice of hairstyle. The words in this clip? Well, I’ll let them speak for themselves.
Warning: This clip contains no profanity but has some mildly off-color humor. If you’re easily offended, skip it. If your sense of humor occupies the same spectrum as mine, grab a pair of Depends.
The Writer Who Speaks
3 days ago