So I've been rewriting Father Dowd's diary entries for Cocke & Bull and while I have come up with The Idea that will make them all work properly within the context of the book, there is still more labor ahead of me.
This afternoon I tried to rewrite the first of the entries. I know what the short scene is about and it became clear what the actual meaning of the entry is supposed to be, but the 500 or so words I wrote all seemed to lie flat on the page, pretty enough but dead. The spark of life was missing from them. The anima of John Dowd isn't there. It was, in other words, a bit dull.
Now, I don't want these eight short journal excerpts to be more interesting or exciting than the story of which they are but a small part, but at the same time I don't want the reader's eyes to glaze over whenever these bits come up in the narrative. So the prose has to pop somehow. I have what I think is a pretty good idea about how to give Father Dowd (who--aside from one scene--appears only via these diary entries) the spark of life. My idea [oy, spoiler alert] is to have Dowd confess in these bits to things that will surprise and discomfit and scandalize the reader. I don't have them all worked out; I just have the general idea but they'll reveal the human side of the good Father and hopefully will be funny in a Samuel Beckett manner. We'll see.