One day...

"I can't breathe; I never have been able to. I guess that's what makes me pretty unique in the realm of humans. Not that I'm not human. Far from it. It's just that I'm not a normal human."

Lenteau put his pen down and contemplated. This was the first line he'd been looking for. It had taken him years to get as far as this. He used to be quite a different writer. He used to pick up his pen, make contact with the paper and off he'd go. Now things were quite different. Now he knew how one really should write. Meticulous planning was the key to everything. That's what he learnt on that week long course he went on. Meticulous planning began with detailed plotting of the story. From there you move on to the characters. Each of them needs to be drawn exactly as you want them to be. Everything needs to be clear: their physical appearance, their psychological make-up, their likes and dislikes, their relationships with other people and hundreds of other similar details. And once all this was finished, you were ready to write. At least almost. Because the writing too had to be well thought out. The first and last lines were vital. Ever since he had put the finishing touches to the last of his three characters, he'd been working on this first line. It took him several months to figure out how his novel should actually begin. Then a number of weeks to get the words into shape. After some fine-tuning it was now almost ready. Soon he would move onto the last line, and once he had that in the bag he could actually begin to write again.

Lenteau stared up at the empty writing projects folder sitting above his desk. Soon, very soon he would have something to put into it. Then he would send it out to the several publishers he had met during the writing course. He had so strictly adhered to the advice that was given he felt sure, they would be fighting each other for the right to publish his masterpiece. If only he succeeded in finishing it. Lenteau looked up again. Next to the folder lay a mass of papers, the fruit of his previous writing efforts. Writing had been fun in those days. Now it had become a serious occupation. But at least, now it was good. And people would read and wonder. On that day he'd take and burn all his previous efforts to cinders. One day... if ever that day arrived. So for now, he preferred to keep the fruit of his first efforts just in case. At least it made him feel he had once been productive even if not very good.


I really liked this story. It is a grim reminder that when writing, as in life, it is not what happens at both ends but what happens in the middle. :)


Well done!

28 June 2008 at 05:22  

I really enjoyed your take on this. You did a great job with it.

I forgot about Fiction Friday this week. I had waited all week for it, and when it finally arrived, I forgot. Oh well. I'm still going to write a little piece with the prompt as a practice exercise - hopefully tomorrow.

28 June 2008 at 16:50  

I think everything about this one is perfect!! I read the first lines and thought, 'a little heavy handed, but lets see...' But, in hind sight they were just what were ordered.

Personal note: I too was taken by the reality this story engenders. I often fight with the demons of 'if I only knew how or better. Should I take a class? Etc.' But you are so right the process is about the writer, at least in my case, when I fret over all the how-to-do's, I don't really like the process and that is a shame. Thanks for the advice. My work may be crap, but it makes me smile in the making.

Great piece, great job!

29 June 2008 at 02:25  

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