Thursday, May 04, 2006

back on the track of the elusive plot animal

One of the nice things about writing is how it lets you revisit things you've liked or loved--as with the aforementioned Rose Lake, a teacup of a lake (compared to Lake Erie, as all lakes must be to a Clevelander), with a hidden, secret feeling, ringed by trees, beautiful but with a hint of danger (because it's so deep).
The revisiting applies to other things--Wolfe Cemetery, which came in earlier, and the Moonville Tunnel--the same kind of pleasure you might get from a photograph, or a souvenir of a trip perhaps.
Of course, this revisiting may also be less pleasant, for unless we're writing a relentlessly cheerful and upbeat book with no conflict or unhappiness (and how good a book can this be?) we have to go back to the things and places and events that have brought us sorrow, shame, regret, despair, to give those things to the characters walking through the landscapes we've created, or recreated.
But now I'm in the thick of the Rose Lake scene. Carl and Jason are about to embark on a canoe trip with a dog passenger--could anything be better?


Blogger erieblue said...

Are you sure that dog isn't going to leap out of the canoe and need to be chased like Mattie?

5/04/2006 7:43 PM  
Blogger lucette said...

You mean Max! Stepdog!

5/05/2006 9:42 AM  
Blogger Responsible Artist said...

A writer I know wrote a relentlessly cheerful memoir in which it appears horrible things are about to happen, but they never do, and everyone's psyche remains intact. I kept wanting him to admit to family conflicts and it took me a while to figure out he was telling the truth, not hiding secrets. Surprisingly, Cabin Fever works. It's a nice change of pace to read about nice people behaving nicely and working out issues. I wouldn't want to do it often because I fear it might warp me.

5/11/2006 4:08 PM  

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