Shifting Gears

That funny grinding noise you hear is my brain trying to shift from school speed to writing, full steam ahead.  Last night I felt rather lost, thinking: I’ve got homework, I am sure… wait, no.  So I stepped away from the computer, and picked up a stack of books to study beginnings, before starting Dragon Noir this morning.

I was amused to realize that none of the books I’d grabbed begin ‘in media res’ as I plan to start Dragon. For one thing, Dragon is the wrapping-up of a trilogy, where only one of these was a direct sequel story. Four of them involved the same central character, but not as a sequential plot arc. First lines are important, but none of these will work as models for Dragon.

  1.  “You know what?” said Major Dexter Smythe to the octopus.
  2. I looked past Wally Gibbons at the woman who had just come into the Cavalier Restaurant and felt the same as every other man in the place.
  3. There are moments of great luxury in the life of a secret agent.
  4. It was Saturday and I was going to be married.
  5. I was running away.
  6. It began as one of those casual dates, with only a dim “maybe” in my mind and nothing else to do at three o’clock on a hot July afternoon.
  7. During the night Spring tiptoed north.
  8. The late late television show was British and a stinker.
  9. Another season was ending.

Funny how they look, all lined up with one another like that. None of these books are literary classics, they aren’t even all Noir, they just came to hand when I was looking at the sort of mood Dragon needs in my head.  I’m hoping to put about 3K words down today on this book, as a start to getting it all done by Jan 24th. Fortunately, I have a lot of the plot already raveling in my brain, as the gears shift into creative mode.

Lom blew open the doors to the Great Hall with only a muttered spell, his hands too full to gesture a more subtle entrance, and his mind too full of anger to think about the education his entry was giving the entire High Court. 

Hmmm…. that just might work. Nope, wait, first person! Darnit, why did I write this book in first person?

I blew open the doors of the Great Hall with a satisfying crash. It matched my mood, to hear the splintering wood. My hands were too full to have gestured a more subtle spell of opening, and I guess my brain was too full of anger to think through the education I was giving to the gathered High Court. 

Lom being Lom, shorter sentences. He’s not a normal human, as you well know, and he’s capable of lyrical. But he’s deeply suspicious of it, having grown up surrounded by the increasingly decadent High Court, where a lyrical sentence is crafted lovingly by the bored intellectuals. Lom considers himself a thing apart, the last man of action.

Well, now I’m off to write!

  1.  Octopussy, Ian Fleming
  2. Day of the Guns, Mickey Spillane
  3. Live and let Die, Ian Fleming
  4. Bloody Sunrise, Mickey Spillane
  5. The Spy who Loved Me, Ian Fleming
  6. Murder in Monaco, John Flagg
  7. Strange Witness, Day Keene
  8. Murder on the Side, Day Keene
  9. Bright Orange for the Shroud, John D McDonald