So I’m working on a rewrite of the backwards story you might have heard me talking about. It’s a decent story right now, it uses the tricks that good writers use that piss me off. In reviewing my pirate novel I realized that this new story can’t stand up to that novel. It’s sharp, chopy, and somewhat lacking in air. But in trying to rewrite it I feel like I’m losing it. Clarice suddenly lost all the gumption she had to do the things she has to do to move the plot along. I miss the vacuum effect I had going; it’s not great writing, but I like that feeling.
Today I read the first page of Swan’s Way by Marcel Proust. That might have been a mistake. There was no story, no scene, no setting, no dialogue, no characters, no plot, and it was one of the most amazing pieces I have ever read. For one page there was someone in the world saying that they had been where I have been, and where I have been could mean that I could be great. There’s something enlivening and overwhelming in being challenged to be better than I can see my way to be.