I’m reading Possession by A. S. (Antonia Susan) Byatt. In the first chapter of this Booker Prize winner, a researcher finds a letter written by a Victorian poet to a woman whom he has just met. I quote from his letter:
“I cannot help but feel, though it may be an illusion induced by the delectable drug of understanding,
that you must in some way share my eagerness that further conversation could be mutually profitable that we must meet. I ccnnot do not think I am can be mistaken in my belief that our meeting was also important interesting to you, and that however much you may value your seclusion… “
Obviously, the poet was smitten, but you can see from his revised first draft that he did not want to give too much away. He withholds for fear of appearing too forward. The words that he has struck out tell us as much, even more, than the words that he has decided to retain.
- Have one of your characters write a letter in a similar style. You need not restrict yourself to the Victorian era. Feel free to write a contemporary note- revising as you go. Your character’s strike-outs will reveal more than the words that he/she decides to keep.
Those of you who live in warmer climates are probably wondering when I am going to change the winter snow banner at the top of my blog. Trust me, I would love to change the banner. Winter drags on and on. It is the end of March.
I write from Long Island where I am visiting my daughter and her family. It is cold and miserable. A bad day for Long Island Tea. Actually, any day is a bad day for Long Island Tea. Just reading the recipe that makes me queasy: Mix equal parts vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and triple sec with 1 and 1/2 parts sour mix. Top off your drink with Coca-Cola to taste. My head reels.