I think we create monsters because they make it easier to contemplate the terrible things people do. But who is really more dangerous, a vampire or a man?
Tonight I find myself thinking of this First Sentence and its opposite. If you believe you can’t do something, you can’t.
Here’s an idea that was so far from making it into my novel that it didn’t even become a scene:
And what of the ones who saw the future? What of the fourth dimension?
Of alternate realities and scenes that will never make it into my novel:
<An experiment,I repeat, taken aback, <Based on what happened to you when you were a child. He wants you to try and make yourself disappear?
<Is it safe?
<He’s invented probes that should make the transition with me, allowing him to monitor me at all times.
<He thinks I phased myself into another dimension, one that overlapped ours just enough for me to see and hear everything.
<So it’s not safe,I go back to the question he glossed over.
<Well… There are definite risks.
<Such as your getting stuck in whatever place you will yourself to,I state bluntly. <Why do you want to do this?
<He thinks it may be related to what happened to the Lyril.
I sit down, almost lurch down, into the chair.
You think you’re different than me but you’re not. If the circumstances were right, you’d do the same thing. Or maybe not the same, but just as “bad.”
My alarm rouses me at 0530 for food duty. Rolling out of bed, I mentally probe the household and am relieved to discover Carson, his essence a rippling pool that is at once refreshing and tinged with grief.
<Eyan?> he questions, fatigue etched into the two syllables of my name.
<Sorry,> I apologize, <I should have noced. I wanted to make sure you were back. Didn’t mean to bug you.>
<No, it’s okay. I didn’t mean to worry you.>
<We have food duty today,> I inform him hesitantly. <We’re supposed to be in the kitchens at 0630.>
Maybe I shouldn’t have told him. He’s new and I could go without him, say he’s mourning the loss of his amarid. No one would question it.
<Okay,> he agrees simply.
Zantia, the elderly woman in charge of food services, welcomes me back to Headquarters with a warm smile, shaking Carson’s hand when I introduce them. The first thing she asks of her fifty or so Tuesday helpers is that we divide ourselves into groups: chefs, assistants, and deliverers.
I find myself explaining this to Carson proactively. <Chefs need no guidance, assistants are those who feel comfortable cooking under supervision, and deliverers, well…that’s pretty self-explanatory.>
<I’d like to sign up for chef duty!> Carson exclaims with such exuberance that my chuckle is shared by several neighbors.
Assistant is the role I typically
I’ve spent a chunk of this evening trying to find a scene I remembered writing in relation to my novel. It was never meant to be in the novel itself – it was an exercise in solidifying the pre-novel lives of some of my secondary characters.
All I can find it an outline of the scene and this piece of dialogue:
“Davonte was a rascal. She got me to make my own first present from her.”
“Just part of it!”
What does it say about how long you’ve been working on a novel that you may have confused planning to write a scene with actually writing it?
I’ve probably mentioned four million and two times that my novel has changed a lot (I may be exaggerating, but only a little). Here’s another example, back from when Davonte was Dante and a man:
Dante’s anger used to be explosive, a force as large as his build. Now he carries it, a subdued companion that is always present but rarely speaks by itself.
In my endeavor to show and not tell, the part of my novel that covers this is a lot longer now, even though Danielle’s been cut out entirely.
At 0930 the jury unanimously decides to convict. At 1002, an APB is put out for Denielle’s arrest. At 1031 I learn about the WhoDidYouVoteFor project. By 1035 I have a headache.
I’m conflicted by the idea that it’s better to “show” when, as a writer, every piece of fiction I write is a story I’m telling. I think one real mark of a talented writer is knowing what to show and what to tell.
This is a continuation of this First Sentence:
“I think you underestimate the extent to which some sentients don’t care about other sentients — or don’t see them as sentients at all.”
“But I wouldn’t do that to an animal…to any creature that can feel pain and fear.”
In case it’s not obvious from so little context, sentients = sentient creatures/beings.