Thursday, June 14, 2007

It Captured Me

Created from a prompt for a writing exercise.

It captured me like one of those jungle traps—you know the ones, where the floor looks green and solid, but it’s really just palm fronds over a hole someone dug. Like that the earth is no longer under your feet. Whoosh! You go down, but instead of breaking an ankle, you break into a sweat. What you find is brilliant, important—one of those shimmering missing pieces.

A glimmering truth about the characters and their world that seems so obvious that you wonder how you could not have realized that in trying to emulate one character, the other has become more. They’ve grown into someone wise and kind and responsible. Now if only they’d break the rules of how they interact and assert that no, it really is a stupid plan. No, it isn’t best to deal with a discovered lie by adding greater and more elaborate ruses to cover it up.

Maybe they already realize this, and that’s why they’re unconscious—so their arc doesn’t end while others are too busy floundering and finding out that they have to solve their own problems.

There’s still half a book to go, and it’s all uncharted waters like a cruise where you’ve heard the names of the ports, but you’re not sure the route that lies between. It would be less scary if all the readers hadn’t loved what the old story was, even though it was really just that flawed first bit of brilliance that doesn’t shine as much as you thought, because you’ve realized you can’t fix something broken until you honestly admit it’s broken and let go. Let go of all those beautiful lines and heartfelt, clumsy scenes.

Let go.


That’s how you land on something better.


1 comment:

Rachel said...

Got your parachute! ;-)