Sunday, January 28, 2007

filling in the gaps

Filling in the gaps. It’s actually what writing is all about. Filling in the gaps. We tell ourselves stories to fill in the gaps between the facts. If you can spin enough of them together you get a full story instead of just a scene. The characters help hold interest. That’s what draws the eyes through the sentences, but the facts are all there underneath. The facts with their blanks that need filling in because we can never know the whole of it. We can never know the truth behind all those facts. Not really, we can only tell ourselves stories to fill in the blanks. So what you have to do is find a set of facts that you want to spin. A set of facts that people want you to spin. And you have to be good at creating characters that people don’t want to let go of. In each case that is at the heart of it. But in the end the stories are simple ones. Stories that have been told over and over again, that no one hasn’t already heard, they are just held together differently this time. So which story is that I’m telling with Paul Writes. Paul’s own story is one of redemption on the road to Damascus. I think it is anyway, no one would call me a Bible scholar.
The body of a mummified boy found in a suitcase, that one intrigues me. I suppose getting away with murder intrigues just about everyone. He could have died by accident but then why hide the body? Set up files, set up notes, make it a job to read the news and tuck away those interesting stories. Even as I say here twenty minutes ago saying that I was going to quit, I’m still here plotting and planning. Tenacious thing the spirit. Can’t give it up I guess. Even if I suck.

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