Bedtime Stories

I really need to stop writing immediately before I go to bed.

My mind kept racing well into the night and I could only sleep for one or two hours straight. I also had to turn my air conditioner off in the middle of the night because of a rattling noise I didnt want to bother fixing at 3am. And then there is the construction site right outside my window that gets grooving at 6am…

I spent a few hours last night at Starbucks (no free wireless thank you)working on my new PI story. I only added a couple new manuscript pages but overall I added about 1000 new words through polishing the first half and developing my PI a bit more. I’m digging the mood of this story, its very different from the lighter tone of my PI novel, but there is still the same pop culture awareness that permeates my work, though in different, more subdued ways in this story. For instance, we have this passage toward the beginning which I haven’t quite figured out if it’s a creative way to develop character while giving a lot of background info in a small narrative block or if it’s just an info dump. Maybe you can help me decide:

When I brought my hand to my face, it drew Lange’s eyes from my Dukes of Hazzard belt buckle to the four-inch long scar connecting the bottom of my left eye to the right side of my chin..

I caught him staring and he immediately blushed.

“Don’t bother,” I said. “I don’t even like looking at it.”

“You’re not ugly or anything, but man.”

People Magazine had agreed I wasn’t ugly, naming me to it’s 50 Most Beautiful People Issue ten years ago. That was five years before a stalker slashed my face during a meet and greet, six years before I was banished from acting, putting my drama skills to use as cop, and eight years before I came full circle, acting again, as a narcotics decoy. I figured I was still five years away from an Entertainment Tonight retrospective.

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s good or not though, because tonight I will be in the presence of a writer who makes just about everyone else look like a second rate hack. Barry Eisler will be in town for a reading and signing at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor. I first met Barry at Sleuthfest in Florida a couple of years ago and he and SJ Rozan and I hit it off very well and we ended up skipping the conference one day to go hang out at the beach together. A picture of that is available here. I caught up with Barry again at BCon last year in Toronto and it will be fun to see him again. He’s a nice guy and funny and just waaaaaaaay too good looking to be a normal guy.

So now the story stands at 2,885 freshly polished words and we’re definately on the downward slope toward the end. I’m hoping to finish it today as long as the ending doesn’t fall apart like mine tend to do for some reason…

5 thoughts on “Bedtime Stories

  1. Just don’t try to karate chop Eisler. I hear that’s bad news.Hmmm.On second thought, it’d probably be really entertaining for the rest of us if you try it.

  2. I don’t think it’s info dump city, Bryon. It all works pretty well. Though I think the guy’s eyes probably would be more on the scar than the DOH belt buckle.Unless he made a habit of staring at men’s pants.

  3. Well, you askesd for it and I’m pretty used to commenting on people’s writing. I agree with Stuart on the belt buckle. Otherwise, no, it’s not an info dump, but I wouldn’t make the backstory any longer than it is at the moment. At the start, I would have the other guy stare, then the protagonist raise his hand, then the apology, and then something like, “Don’t bother. I’m not crazy about it either.”And I liked Barry Eisler’s first book a lot.

  4. funny. SJ is the one who looks most comfortable in the sand.Or maybe Barry is just a little worried that you would start singing show tunes…..Barry does rock. Great writer, nice guy.And the chicks dig him…

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