Fiction Daily.
A blog on writing, writers and why we read. Posted most mornings by Marion Blackburn.
Sentenced to a novel
Another weekend past and a Monday in progress. On Saturday, feeling a wave of anxiety brought no doubt by the week before, the great return to work after the holidays.

Feeling this inner storm brewing, I took Geppeto out for a walk at River Park North. I immediately felt better. The tension started to bubble up to escape, I'd been holding my breath too long and could finally breathe out. Nature -- woods, clear air, birds, water -- give us so much, help our souls function better.

So today back at my desk to jump back in to the novel. I have at last found a name for a central character after stumbling around for several years.

And that brings me to this week's blog topic: Names and naming.

For me, the names have been critical to writing. It goes back to when the very first sentence came to me. I imagined I was sitting down to start another short story and I wrote a single sentence.

Like Gertrude Stein's boxes of meaning, that sentence presented itself not as the opening of just another short story, but as a world to unfold. I knew it was a novel and I knew the story, instantly.

Here's that first sentence

August came as usual that year, but the tobacco trucks -- with their tall mounds of honey-brown sheaves, the lingering sweet trails and the bumpity wheels of rickety old trucks going to the warehouses -- did not.

Of course there were a few more details to work out. Like characters, plot, chapters, etc. Mere details.

Nothing to be afraid of. At all.

TOMORROW: Names as meaning.

DID YOU SEE: My account of seeing His Holiness the Dalai Lama appeared in Sunday's Daily Reflector.

AUDIO DIARY: An audio diary of the journey airs this month on Public Radio East.
Wednesday 8:49 a.m. is a rebroadcast of Part 1. Next Monday, Jan 14, Part 2 airs at 6:49 a.m.
2008-01-07 14:36:39 GMT
Comments (1 total)
What a gorgeous first sentence. It's musical (love the play of "bumpity" and "rickety"), evocative and introduces a hint of tension ... what's keeping the trucks from coming as usual. You could spend a lot of time mining the riches of that sentence. Do you find it hard to maintain that voice, tone and quality? Great way to start a novel, anyway!
2008-01-08 12:55:33 GMT
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