Thursday, June 11, 2015

It's a Dark & Stormy Night...

Right now as I write this, it's a dark and stormy night.

No, really.  We've got a storm blowing through and my cell phone keeps annoying me with flash flood warnings because of all the rain we've been having.

We writers aren't supposed to use the line, "It's a dark and stormy night."  Maybe it's because the line is a cliche.  We're supposed to use our Big Boy Words.  Dark and stormy doesn't convey much.

It pissed more rain than an incontinent skid row bum after a case of Old Milwaukee.  

How's that?

There are always other ways of saying things.  But I really love "It was a dark and stormy night." There's just something cool about it.  It is plain and direct.  

But we can't say it.  

So tonight isn't a dark and stormy night.  It's a shitty night.  Cold wind howls and lightning flashes as rain stabs down like chilly little knives.  But really, you know all of that just means it's a dark and stormy night, right?  

It doesn't matter what fluff or purple prose I come up with, it's still just a dark and stormy night.  

It's a melancholy night.  It's sitting at a computer or by the phone and waiting for the chance to talk to the woman you care about.  It's wanting to hear her voice but you can't tell her that because if she thought you were bearing down on her like a freight train she would run like a white-tailed dear.  

It's a disjointed night.  It's a night where you want to sit and write but you're hungry and can't eat because your stomach just won't allow it.  So instead you watch a movie you've already seen and try not to think of Her or what you should be writing instead of fucking around online.  

It's an aggravating night because storms are much more interesting than making sure your character development actually happens at the right pace so your reader doesn't figure out too quickly your MC is a piece of shit.  

It's a self-indulgent night.  The current work in progress (WIP) has too much of yourself in it and the line between self-pity and backstory isn't very well defined.  So you go with it and put stuff on paper you hope your mother never sees.  

It's an annoying night.  You want to just put the words down on paper that are in your head.  You know what you want to say but for some reason it doesn't translate in all of that mess of a brain so you muddle through.  At the tip of your tongue is an eloquent paragraph of linguistic beauty and master wordsmithing but all you can get on paper is, "It was a dark and stormy night."  

It's a romantic night.  You just want to hang out with Her.  You want to feel her head on your shoulders as you two tell stories about past failures and glories.  You want to smell her hair and hear her breathe--nothing more.  You want to tell her jokes just so you can hear her laugh and see her smile.  Because tonight, like all good stormy nights, was made for couples to be together and just enjoy each other.  

But I need to get back to my WIP.  It's not easy but it has to be done.  I want to do it, too.  I got a novella submitted last week.  It was the first I've ever finished and submitted off--a big step forward for me.  But I've been resting on that for too many days and I need to get my shoulder back on the rock because it's not going to roll up the mountain by itself.  

So I'll enjoy this dark and stormy night for what it is and lament what it wasn't tomorrow.  

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