Saturday, June 5, 2010

Unsaid Things

Recently, my dad was over at my house, and he started reading a document that was open on my computer desktop: an early draft of Episode 12 of Thieves' Honor (which, by the way, is undergoing yet another draft after pre-readers weighed in with their critiques).

As long-time readers of this blog may know, my family, while supportive of my writing since I was a kid, hasn't always been enthusiastic about the stories I tell. Until now. I don't know what it is about this particular endeavor, but my parents are actually reading and enjoying it.

So, Dad paused on his way out the door and read this simple, rough scene:

A shoulder gouging him in the belly was about as pleasant as a fist to the gut; his head flopping around as if his neck was a noodle—sickening. Kristoff was dizzy inside of four steps, and he almost vomited, but clamped his mouth shut and cursed his body for disobedience. Wounded and exhausted, it still had no right to mutiny.

"Where—do—we—go?" panted Sahir.

"West, I think," replied Corrigan.

"No. Where?"

"Do I look like a soothsayer?"

"You look like captain hit you when you set him down."

"Nah. He's wounded."

"You have broken hand."

"Well, I'm taller."

Sahir wheezed a laugh. "He is—crazier."

Yeah, yeah. Kristoff's chin bumped Corrigan's back. Keep talkin'.

Dad chuckled and said, "I really like your sense of humor."

Seven words, yet they carry almost four decades of unsaid things.

For writers, they're also a reminder of how a simple sentence can carry the weight and reveal the depth of an entire story.


Phy said...

Johne likes this.

I've discovered a similar dynamic with my dad, and it's awesome.

Before I joined the AuthorCulture blog as a contributor, Katie Weiland interviewed me in my capacity as an editor and author. In the comments, an anonymous poster wrote, simply, 'Phy is my boy, and I'm proud of him.' I later confirmed at a holiday family gathering that it was my dad leaving feedback (which, as you know, can sometimes be tricky).

I've never forgotten it.

Keanan Brand said...

That's so cool! My dad is NOT a computer guy -- if I ever received an online comment from him here or elsewhere, I'd be floored.