Two things happened in my writing life recently that were kind of interesting and kind of related. First—I finished a novella. I think I’m going to title it Just Perfect despite the fact that it’s one of my darker stories but we’ll see. It’s in a revision stage, after which I’ll submit it to a publisher, so keep your fingers crossed. The second is that I’m currently working on another story and I finished writing a sex scene that I started in…2009, I think. Yeah, I got stalled pretty badly there. It might have been a good stall though because when I look at the plotline it doesn’t seem believable to me anymore, and I think I’ve got a better direction now for the book. Silver lining and all that.
The thing that kind of relates these two stories is language. When I was writing Just Perfect, I was afraid I’d lost the sense of lyricism I was so proud of in books like Lone and Paul’s Dream. Some might say I’m a little too in love with that sort of writing, but I’m really attached to pretty words, sentences that flow. The language in Just Perfect is hard, straightforward, and to the point. It wasn’t until I’d finished the story and read it all the way through for the first time that I realized this was Draven’s (the main character’s) voice, and that it fit. He’s an assassin, after all. And one who likes his job.
The story I’m working on now has more of the pretty words I thought I’d lost, which makes sense. Both characters in this one are nicer, gentler, a lot more innocent. They think differently so they express themselves differently.
I forget, sometimes, that it’s the characters who set the tone for a story, and that as long as you stay true to them, the words may not always be “pretty,” but they’ll always flow. And just because I’m stretching my writing muscles from time to time, doesn’t mean I’ve lost my touch.
It might even mean I’ve gotten better. (This is me, trying to be more optimistic as per my New Year’s resolution.)