Monday, June 25, 2012

Great Minds...On Different Pages

As part of a challenge, my husband and I both wrote a paragraph to the theme "I love this bar." Cody wrote his in about five minutes in his head while we folded clothes and made the bed. (Wait, who's the wannabe author in this house?) I took forty-five minutes of dithering over tone and word choice, mentally building the follow-up scenes, learning who my character was, etc., before I was happy with my paragraph (and, yes, I edited it again just now).

Cody's masterpiece:

They pour warm beer, cheap whiskey and hold my favorite shotgun under the bar for times like this. A short barrel spray of close-quarter death, Mr. Shotgun protects my ass from hunters like this guy entering this bar at this very moment. My copilot of doom will bring this room to order.

My much reworked piece:

(Photo from here.)
Cat hair coated the bar, and every stool was a grooved scratching post. The music was a lounge rendition of reggae that buffeted the subconscious toward thoughts of homicide, if not genocide. The drinks sucked. It was your standard gargoyle-run bar in all ways but one: A fistful of glass marbles bought ten seconds in front of a Mirror of Foretelling in the back room—the kitty litter room. It’d taken me a week to get the smell of cat piss out of my hair the last time. I had to be insane to be contemplating a second reading.

Whose book would I rather read based off these paragraphs? Mine, of course, because it's pure, raw fantasy, which I veered away from on my last project, and because now that I know a little about my character and her world, I want to know more. That said, I'd love to read Cody's story, too. It's guaranteed to be bloody, fast-paced, and a bit tongue-in-cheek noir, which sounds downright charming.


Cody said...

Good post!

Rebecca Chastain said...


Amanda said...

I'm just flabbergasted you said "piss"! I don't think I ever heard you use even a moderately dirty word. I liked both paragraphs, actually - they both caught my attention and I wanted to learn more. Way to go, guys!

Rebecca Chastain said...


You've only known me AC (after Cody). That, or apparently we haven't been having the right conversations. ;)

I'm glad you liked the paragraphs! Hey, it might be hilarious if Cody and I attempted a combo story... Our styles are so different, it would either turn into a mishmash mess, or something brilliant. Cody builds amazing characters through dialog (not the backstory way I do) and he's stellar at beginnings (he wrote the first five pages or so of about four stories, and they're all great). I've got the sticking power. Hum. Possibilities.