Friday, June 5, 2009

Long Is the way and hard that out of hell leads up to light...

One of the tricks illustrators sometimes use is to draw upside-down because it forces them to view objects differently, a pattern of object and void. I'm posting snippets of the novel I'm editing here for much the same reason. By selecting out tidbits, it forces me to look at them devoid of their surrounding context, focusing my attention on the writing... it's an interesting exercise if you've never tried it. This is what it looks like in the rough draft... ----- The footsteps entered the hall outside as he kicked the closet door shut. They were no longer interested in stealth. They were coming for him. Voices called out commands and responses as he lay wracked by pain just beyond the louvered closet door from them. Booted feet squeaked on the hardwood as they searched for him, room by room drawing ever closer to his hiding place. He used the ties hanging on the wall rack to pull himself upright. His fingernails looked black in the slanted light coming through the door as he scrabbled for the coat-hook hidden behind the hanging suits. The hook spun and clicked and he fell through the secret door into the space beyond. Down the spiral stairs he tumbled, aware that he had made a racket, aware that the men would hear it and come after him. The envelope led the way, held out before him like a talisman as he lurched across the stone floor and up a set of steep concrete steps. The heavy cellar door resisted but he would not be balked, drawn upwards and out by the cold night air. The frigid whip of the rain against his face revived him somewhat and he was able to stumble down the driveway to the street. He leaned against the light pole, trying to catch his breath. His chest felt as though something wild had been caged within and was clawing its way out. Behind him, the shout went up. No more time. He staggered out into the street. His eyes fixed on his destination -- on the innocuous blue box sitting atop the opposite curb. The stylized eagle of the US Postal Service winked at him. His failing sight narrowed to a darkening tunnel at the end of which the mail slot beckoned. He had to reach the handle. Get the envelope in that box before they… “MacLeod!” He spun around, searching with failing eyes for the source of the voice. He stumbled and fell. He could barely feel the bite of the pavement on his palms and knees. Blinding light seared his eyes. His heart shuddered… paused… beat again… Tires screeched. The pain was excruciating, but only for a moment.

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).