Day 3 – short story – slow progress

‘Charming,’ she muttered and pushed her sunglasses higher on her nose.

When thinking of writing, I’m reminded of a visit I and my future wife made to the Accademia Gallery, which houses the statue of David. Ugly museum, glorious sculpture, but of equal interest is a pair of stone pillars, each very rough hewn into the outline of a person, standing at the far end of the gallery which leads down to where David stands. From memory, these were the last sculptures Michelangelo was working on when he died.

Writing is a bit like chiselling out a story from a morass of ideas (otherwise known as the synopsis). Writing the story is a sort of synthesis of the synopsis, where you turn elements of the idea into the actual story. Sometimes the writing flows easy, sometimes it is almost like squeezing blood from a stone.

Last night was a mixture of both. I find that if I’m having difficulty getting a sentence or paragraph out, I’ll just carve out the words which I think give the sense of what I’m trying to write. Sometimes the metaphors/similes are all over the shop, sometimes the descriptions are forced, but as long as I have something to work with later, all to the good.

So, you get a paragragh like this:

Then the road widened, the buildings faltering to a finish then a fringe of trees on either side and beyond them open grassland. Peter revved the engine and the car picked up speed, shooting forward like a hound loosed onto a fox. It took the bend with a screech and then they were rising, the sun slanting into their faces with a red glow, the blood red orb throbbing low in the sky, readying itself for its plunge into the sea. Then a fence, a field of stones and the beyond a curtain of sickly looking trees, the church.

‘Blood red orb’ is perhaps going to far, but something is better than nothing.

Another slow effort last night, distracted as I was by the television and later the internet. However, I did some research and now know more than I need about church organs. Another synthesis of that info will make its way into the story, likely out of the mouth of the priest, and also Peter, who by happenstance, has himself done some research about them.

There’s also a bit of scene setting.

The ivy she had seen from the road shivered dryly in the breeze. The heart shaped leaves had curled around themselves, and skeletal runners ran every which way over the crumbling brickwork. Chunks of render had fallen to the ground over the years, exposing the brickwork like a network of leprosy. The windows were wider than she had initially thought, though the stained glass was gone, possibly stolen, likely shattered and gone forever. Worn steps led up to broken wooden doors canted dangerously, offering a glimpse through a crooked gap into a darkened interior.

Perhaps a little purple, especially the reference to leprosy, but I want to make the church as it is at first sight, as unwelcoming to Hannah as possible. All Peter sees is a building in need of a slap of paint and a fix up – Hannah on the other hand sees a menacing building that could be the grave of their marriage.

Tonight I aim to introduce the priest, and have Hannah go for a walk along the beach. I’ll introduce her seeing a figure on the pebbles, gone when she comes down the walkway.

See you all tomorrow.

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