I didn’t start this off with the Staind song in my head, but now I’ve written those words, goddamn it! I’ve got it stuck there! Argh!
Oh hi, Mark! I mean whoever reads this blog. I’ve been a busy bee, anyway so how’s your sex life?
Ok ok, enough with The Room quotes.
I haven’t done a post in a while because I’ve been, as they say, “smashing it.”
Ive finished the second chapter and am now into the third and well on my way. Now whilst it may seem that it’s a step back in progress, in that I had 15 chapters previously and now I’m only into my third. The chapters previously were around 2-3000 words each and now they’re closer to 7-8000 each. For example: I’m intercutting in one chapter between what previously would have been four chapters.
In doing this, some plot points have been brought forward, I’ve written completely new scenes and I’m having fun with my three different viewpoints.
The biggest development and one that’s a bit adventurous in regards to writing, is a particular… thing…
I’ve decided to write a perspective in the second person…sort of…
ok, let me explain.
For those who don’t know, the world is ending, and one of my characters, Juliette (An American expat), witnesses a terrorist attack.
As a result of this attack she realises many things and has an epiphany and decides to leave her Russian husband (with whom she has been living with in Russia) to find her sister (who has fled to Alaska).
Now I’ve written this part of the story from the husband’s perspective after she has left him. The writing is as though he is talking to her memory, and imagining what happened to her after she left.
In my mind it makes sense and I see it as cathartic for him. As a way to make sense of the world and not go crazy.
But I am worried that maybe it doesn’t make sense, that it’s weird.
I’ll include the first part of the second chapter which is the first part where this technique is used, and maybe you can tell me what you think.
They walked the road mostly in twos, though some went in threes and some walked sullenly alone. There were several hundred of them: pilgrims, nomads, wanderers across the countryside, it didn’t matter what you called them, they were lost. Caught somewhere within the abyss between living and dead. And you were with them.
For the first days you were alone and kept to yourself, only listening as you went. You would wake each morning from beneath layers of coats and wordlessly accept the dawn stew with a nod of your head and a forced half-smile, and you would sit apart, and each night you would place yourself as far from the fires as possible and make sure your eyes never met another’s.
Initially they thought you to be rude. That you – as a young and beautiful woman, and them – being older, cruder. That the only reason for you to stay silent was because you thought yourself better than them, separate. But as each day became another, and after you would not respond even when spoken to, they changed their judgement and instead suspected you to be in mourning, that you must have lost your husband and taken a vow of silence and that that was why you were there and would not speak. This, they thought, was the only logical conclusion. And in this I guess, you could say they were right. But you weren’t being rude.
I know you.
It was a many things:
It was the first time you had been alone, truly alone, in your life, and – whilst you were a little scared, you would later admit to them – you wanted to do this on your own terms;
It was because the only Russian you knew was ‘good day,’ and, ‘can I have a coffee please?’ and, ‘help!’ and none of those seemed appropriate. It was not a good day, no one was making coffee, and as for help, well, that’s just not you;
It was also that you wanted to absorb absolutely everything, the language, the cold, the isolation, the hard walking. Everything. And you wanted to be ready, and you wanted them to respect you.
Your road was an old highway, a wide scar in the earth snaking between grassy hills, past abandoned suburbs and through wooded forests, across open plains dusty in the morning’s frost, and flat plateaus that seemed to stretch to forever. Originally the road had been the great Trans-Siberian Highway and on it you were travelling East, from the Vnukovo Ruins where I left you, to Vladivostok near the Northern Chinese border, some 9,000 kilometres from Moscow, on the East Coast. You set off in May.
It was supposed to be four months and you said it would make a proper Russian of you. “I’ll be ok,” you said. “I’ll learn how to suffer,” and you stuck your tongue out and cheekily smirked at me, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
In Alaska you were hoping to find your sister, Laura. She should have been in Anchorage, in The Gulf. That’s where she’d said she was going, when you said goodbye and we’d left for here, but that was a long time ago.
God, almost eight years.
I’ll admit, I was hoping the ridiculousness of the journey would make you stay a little longer at least. At least until we could have worked us out, and maybe I could have gone with you. Maybe I could have made sense to you and we could have taken the journey together. But then again, I know you. Once you’re on that train, you don’t get off.
Perhaps I was selfish, maybe even ignorant. But I only wanted to keep you safe. That’s all I ever wanted. If you love someone you have to set them free, right? That’s the way it goes isn’t it? It’s kind of shit, sorry, I know I shouldn’t dwell. I know. God, what am I doing? I wish you were here. Lainka’s head is angled and she’s looking right into my eyes, those dark orbs set within patterned black and white fur, you know the look. I wonder if she heard me, my thoughts of where you are, were. She misses you y’know. I miss you.
As for an update, I’m deep (4,000 words deep) into my third chapter and I’m really excited.
Yeeaaaaahhhhhh!!! (That’s supposed to be a metal falsetto scream by the way!)
Here’s a pic of where I write every Tuesday (unfortunately everyone has left at the mo, so here’s Peter and Tanya):