I’m not good enough to experiment with a character’s stream of consciousness or write page-long metaphors or create dialogue with two meanings or, hey, onomatopoeia (especially since it took me three tries to spell it right).
It’s frustrating because I feel like a little kid with a box of crayons, trying to draw the smooth lines of a beautiful (haunted) house. I have the house pictured in my mind, but my newbie-writer, kid-coordination is at that stubborn stubby finger stage, and all that ends up on the paper are uncontrolled streaks of color.
Eh, what the heck, if a typical first novel goes through seven to thirteen drafts, I’ve got a few more drafts to go. I don’t have to have confidence in what I write early on. Whatever colorful scribbles I put on the page now I can easily cut later if I need to. It’s a learning exercise.
A couple of recent scribbles:
Borse Benett is drunk as a skunk and racing home on foot to rescue his mother when three women in a pickup truck give him a ride. The amber-eyed woman behind the wheel has the mannerisms of a serial killer. (Um, the following is probably NSFW.)
Borse tumbled into the truck bed and felt motion sick before the pickup even started rolling. He clutched the side for all he was worth, leaned toward the driver’s window, and hollered, “The Benett ranch about a mile up, gate’s on the left.” As the sun hit the horizon and splattered red all over the fields, the pickup truck pulled off on Fenwick’s goat pasture instead, and Borse was thinking wasn’t he supposed to be somewhere else, and the woman in the middle threw her bra out the window, three women at once wait ’til he told Buddy, and Borse knew he was supposed to be somewhere important, but he was drunk off his ass and didn’t care and Lord it was hot and he shuddered inside the amber-eyed woman and his stomach finally let go of his beer at the same time. She laughed, and her pupils turned to slits.
Here I am playing with dialogue. My aim was to make it so the words the characters say don’t match what the characters think.
By the time the sun set, Borse had the damn steer back where it belonged and the fence repaired. He checked in with Fernando.
Fernando eyed Borse up and down and said, “You all right, Borse?”
Borse paused before answering. “Good ‘nough.”
Fernando looked at him.
Borse looked back, scuffed the dirt with his boot.
After a moment, Fernando nodded toward the cow pen. “Got some pairs ready to separate. We’ll be done by the end of second shift.”
Scribbling is fun. Happy writing!