Friday, February 19, 2010

Chapter One

I'm sitting here once again, trying to rewrite chapter one of my completed horror/suspense novel, reading over the same words that look as though they're chiseled in stone. Or maybe they're glazed over with a clear substance that is somewhat opaque; clear enough to see, but cloudy enough to where I really don't pick out the substance any more. For some jaded reason it all reads fine to me, but not to others.
Chapter One of any book we write is generally a failure, once we look back in retrospect. I'm not talking about writing only, but life. Looking from the outside it's much easier to see the flaws.
I can see this will turn in to a two part writing project; the Nyquil Nightime is beginning to wear me out. This cold has lasted long enough. My mind is starting to get detached from reality, and I'm fighting sleep like a baby. I'm bad about doing that. Goodnight, all.

2/20/10: I'll try this again. No Nyquil tonight, the cold seems to be about gone. Need something for the sore muscle in my back, so a muscle relaxer will be in order. Later.
Did an engagement photo session today; got to walk one of my favorite short trails close to home (part of the session,) and got to drop the top on the car on the way home, after the wind blown hair didn't matter. Nice day. Finally, some pretty weather.
Back to Chapter One. The beginning. Like my session today, the beginning is tough to get through. I spent the first of the session connecting with the couple, learning the language, watching for clues. Conversing, forming a bridge of trust so they could open up and relax. And yes, this was a couple I know well. I never expect the first group of images to be the best. It's like writing in a way. I have to see what works and what doesn't, whether it's a story or a couple I've never photographed.
Ever dream of going back in time with the knowledge you have now? Not necessarily knowing which stocks to buy or even who to date (not suggesting that should change if you could go back,) but the little things you pick up through trial and error, all of which add up to a big deal over time. Facebook has allowed people my age to reconnect with friends and acquaintances, most whom I have not seen in many years. The little things have added up for some. Years of life carve their own peculiar artwork in a person, a little at a time.
The beginning sets the stage for the whole story, so it all begins here. Yeah, we can start over, and most of us do at least once. Or twice. But a carefully crafted beginning can be the beginning of a great story, with loads of good things in the middle, and a nice ending. At least that's how it works in my book.
I remember when I first got really interested in photography, back around 1988. I bought my first SLR from a friend. Not a Canon or Nikon, but an all manual camera made by Sears and Roebuck. I still have it, being the packrat I am. When I first started working with the camera, which did absolutely nothing automatically, my photos were pretty bad. I knew nothing about exposure and I did not own a light meter. I got lucky on a few shots here and there, and just had fun with it. I remember a few years later after Susie and I got married she made a comment that she didn't know why I kept wasting money on film and developing, the pictures were always bad. Well, she was right, I never got Chapter One started on the right leg. I took a mail order photo class, learned how to use the camera, and my work finally started to improve. I rewrote Chapter One, beginning a few years down the road. I'll bet I missed some great shots those first few years.
We can't rewrite the past as we all know, but might as well learn from it and rewrite when necessary. Hopefully we can glean something from those lost years, but if not, rewrite. It's called a fresh page, or in my case, a new Word document.

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