Friday, October 8, 2010

Words and Music

I've reached a crucial point in The Concrete Grove. Not in terms of plot, or word count, or anything like that - no, what's happened is that I've reached the stage where I can finally hear the rhythm of the prose. To me, good writing has its own music, its own beat, and when I'm working on a novel the whole story comes alive once I start to hear that music.

It happened last night, when I wrote this:

Tom waited there until the sun turned the sky in the east a light shade of red, like blood smeared along the blade-edge of the horizon. Then, his face still wet with tears, he started the car and set off towards home, where he now realised his heart had never truly belonged.

It isn't much, just a short paragraph, but behind those lines I can hear music. The heartbeat of the novel. For me, it's a heartbreakng moment, an incredible moment. It's the moment when I realise I might, just might, be creating something good. Or at least something that isn't bad.



Matthew S. Dent said...

I thought that was a particular rhythmic and well-crafted paragraph when you posted it on Facebook yesterday.

I see writing in a similar way to yourself, I think, in that I have the image of resonance. Writing is all about finding the right harmonic frequency of a piece (metaphorically of course, I don't actually sit with a tuning fork on my desk. Well, not for that purpose, at least). Once you find the right rhythm/frequency/whatever-you-want-to-call-it for a particular piece, it seems to click and just "feel" right.

Basically, that was a roundabout way of saying well done.

Gary Mc said...

Thanks, Matthew!

And, yes, I agree completely regarding your comments about the resonance of prose.