Sunday, July 4, 2010

Traveling Strange Paths

“Ahh..., Charles,” I said.

Mr. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) shot me an inscrutable stare, as though I didn’t understand him. “Yes?”

“What do you mean, begin at the beginning?”

He shook his head and let out a large sigh. It must have been audible for a hundred yards down the tunnel in either direction, as it reverberated off the dank walls. “Pick a spot, any spot in time, or an event if you’d rather. It doesn’t matter. That’s where you begin.”

He grabbed my attention, just as his white rabbit had when I read about him during my childhood, and with Alice followed him into an adventure. “So I just start?”

A smile spread across his face. “That’s the idea.”

“And I go till I reach the end?”

“That’s what I said, wasn’t it?”

I nodded, afraid to open my mouth and stick my foot in it again.

“Think about it,” he said. “It was a particularly long journey to reach the end of the tale for Herman Melville.”

Moby Dick came to mind. That took awhile to read. “Yes, it was.”

“I hear today, up in the publishing world that shorter is better, so I’d try to take your protagonist down a relatively short journey.”

“How do I know if I’ve chosen the right road for my story?”

That wry smile of his spread up from his mouth and into his eyes again. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

Until next time, that’s it from The Storyman

No comments:

Post a Comment