The Beginning of the End…Mostly.
by Cooper Young
So. I know that I should post something, as I have come to a rather momentous point in Descent, but I can’t think how to word things. I’m sure that a good deal of the problem is that I’m supposed to be doing homework and thus have no ambition to do anything at all just now. I suppose I should start with the facts:
Four days ago, I finished a 30-page sequence that I had been working on since April. This was subsequently inserted into the main body of the work.
Three days ago, I finished what has been the single hardest paragraph of the book to date: the kiss. As you may know (or can infer from my Red Text Posts), Descent, while not intended to be totally a love story, does have a romantic sub-plot. This particular tangled mess of sexual frustration flies apart toward the end of the book, but cannot resolve itself in the manner that all involved (including myself) would prefer. Instead, there is a single, rushed- if heartfelt- instant in which the characters involved are permitted to vent their passions.
Now, I don’t generally like to write what the little boy in The Princess Bride called “the kissing parts”. They’re not my thing. I’m a dialogue (and yes, WordPress spell check, I will spell it the proper way despite your insistence on the variant) sort of person. Dialogue comes naturally to me, I don’t know why. Describing something which is not only unspoken but also highly physical poses a problem for me.
However, as I have said, it is finally finished.
After having blazed across the intervening textual distance in a little less than an evening, I have arrived at a similarly difficult passage: the execution of Captain Dohar Ashay. If that sentence made any sense to you, you’re probably rubbing your hands together and chuckling softly to yourself in a dark room. If it didn’t, try reading the Red Texts (hint: look for the one with the name “Ashay” in the title).
Now, this is one of two minor climaxes before the final one, so it sort of needs to be as good as I can make it. My problems are two: first, it is a near-silent event, and second, I’ve never before read anything like what I’m attempting to do. I’m sure there’s something out there; there’s nothing that can be written at this point that hasn’t been done before somewhere somehow. I just haven’t found it.
If anyone knows where I can find a sexually charged execution scene that doesn’t make you hate the killers, let me know.
In the meantime, I suppose I should finish this ridiculous paper on Louis Armstrong. If it involved research, I would be fine; it is, however, a “listening journal”, and I have never found academic “journaling” to be anything but inane busywork. Besides, it’s Armstrong. He’s great. He’s wonderful. He’s the greatest cornet player of the Jazz Age. That doesn’t mean he’s my favorite, however, and it’s terribly hard to go from listening to Beiderbecke all day to writing about Armstrong.
Ah well. I’m off.