Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fake It...In a Believable Way, Of Course

Isn't that the essence of writing fiction? To craft a world so believeable your reader, well, believe it.

To build characters so lifelike your readers will cheer them on, mourn their losses, and rejoice in their triumphs.

To arranges syllables in such a way your reader can "hear" the various voices as they speak.

To flavor your descriptions with the right word condiments that your reader can hear the roar of the tides, see the love in a parent's eyes, feel the softness of plush toy, smell the alcohol before the IV pinch, and taste Grandma's flaky apple strudel.

And when you're missing a "factual" detail, to know your world so well, you can invent the deficiency, and your reader won't question it.

I did that on Saturday when working on Before the Blood and posted it yesterday. And no one questioned it.

            "Henry Matthews," Professor Clarke repeated, savoring the syllables as if he was tasting them. "It speaks of literary greatness, don't you agree?"

            Brumfeldt set his briefcase on the desk. "So I brought the con..."
            "Henry, do you write?"


            "Do you write, poetry, sonnets, and the like?"

            "Henry writes short stories." Brumfeldt brought forth a stack of paperwork. "Now if you'll just sign..."

            "Ah short stories! The marvel of the literary world!  Tell me, Henry: Do you plan to publish one day?"

            "I'm not certain if..."

            "Then come see. It will help you decide."

            Professor Clarke led Henry to a table near the window. He selected a volume, blew off the dust, and offered it to Henry. The worn olive cover had these embossed letters: Word Gems, by Astor G. Clarke.

            "My very first poetry collection,  published when I was only sixteen. Go on. Open it."

            Brumfeldt sighed in loud exasperation. "Astor. The contr..."


            Professor Clarke snatched back the book,  wet his thumb and leafed through the entries. "Where is...where is...ah, right here. Henry, read this one. Aloud."

            In defeat, a scowling Brumfeldt dropped into a chair and rubbed his forehead.

            "Go on, Henry," Professor Clarke urged.

           And Henry did.

When Day's Last Light Has Darkened

When last beheld the sunny skies
With fading mind and hazy eyes
A trembling spirit inside cried
"Let me see another day!"

As a boy I lov'd the morn
Newly born, alive and warm
Yet I cultivated years of thorns
And piss'd away the length of days

But dimming light forewarns of dusk
And approaching night, harsh and brusque
Whilst my soul, this leather husk
Shouts, "Please, another day!"

Oh Maria, my heart's delight
Good angel! Return and stay the night!"
Comfort me in this ghastly plight
And give new hope of brighter days.

Now in the dark, a shadow nears
Hovering 'round my outer spheres
And chills me with its final sneers,
"You've seen the last of all your days!"

            "Good diction, Henry. Do  you recite?"

Yes. I made it up. In ten minutes exactly while the cats paced for dinner. It's my first poem ever, and I'm a little annoyed it came together so well. I have one that speaks from my heart that I've messed with forever. But this one? Ten minutes.

I'm sure there's a lesson here somewhere.

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