I wonder if stories are spirits waiting for the right body to occupy. The writers mere mediums for these wandering spirits. They say that every story has already been told, look at a modern movie, and see Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale. What if stories are the spirits of things that have happened and been left untold, the spirit restless and wandering, until it finds a way for its story to be heard.
All of which is to say… I was driving to the local store the other day, and the first line of a story appeared in my head. Out of nowhere.
Here it is…
It was the kind of bar where everyone had a mustache, a knife, and a problem they were trying to drown.
After I’d been to the store, done my shopping, cooked dinner, drank some wine, smoked a cigarette, I sat down to write a little. You guys know what I should be writing, and I know what I should be writing, but should be and will be, are two very different things. And should be is a long-way-back-runner-up to done. I wrote out that first line and that connected to another line and before I knew it there was a paragraph.
The first paragraph had quite nicely, if I may say so myself, set a vivid scene, like a camera panning across a room in the opening credits of a movie – and once you’ve got a scene like that, you have to put some characters in it. As “Directed By” fades on the opening credits and the camera zooms in, our subject is revealed to us, sitting at the bar….