Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Circus in the Dust," first paragraph, maybe

The station master, a man past fifty with thick side whiskers and vague blue eyes, checked his pocket watch again and looked to the west, following the dark parallel lines of the track as they snaked away from town. Despite his age, the station master had good vision and normally he'd trace the path of the rails all the way to the horizon, spotting any movement at all, but the late afternoon air was hazy, filled with a fine brown tint and tasting, in the station master's opinion, like a freshly-dug grave. The atmosphere was darkened, the distances murky. The sky had been full of dirt all spring and summer and the whole town had forgotten what clean air was like.

I'm sure it will change markedly over time under my revising hands, but it's a good provisional start for now. I think it's more Chekhov than Faulkner, but I'm fine with that. This is not all I've written, but it's all I'm typing up here today. The station master's name is Louis, in case you're curious.

6 comments:

  1. I love it when you post excerpts. I've been waiting so very, very long for a manuscript of yours to read, I'm eating this right up ... "like a freshly-dug grave." Mmmm. So much right there.

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  2. Richard, thanks!

    Michelle, I'm not sold on the "fresh grave" sentence, but my problem might be with the word "tint." Does a tint have a taste? One doubts. But it's way early days, right? I can do whatever I want. I've got a good start into Chapter One, and I can feel the momentum start to build. We'll see how long that lasts!

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  3. Is this the sequel? It's lovely!

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  4. It is the sequel! There's much more of it already. A certain detective has been named, and it's been noted that she's a good tipper.

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  5. I'm fond of train stations in books. Also steamboat stops.

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