Join the Madness

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Change is Good -- I think

Recently, I browsed through early versions of my WIP and was greatly amused by the changes I've made. I'm getting closer, but I'm not 100% satisfied with the beginning.  For your amusement, I'm copying the first paragraph of each version below. 

It's kinda like looking into a house through different windows.  It's the same house, but you get a completely new perspective each time.

Take it away, Murphy:


Here we go again. I landed crossways in a large overstuffed chair. The air in the cushions expelled with a soft swoosh. I gnawed at a rough spot on my thumbnail and watched the spectacle. This was all so pointless, I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. I gawked instead.


My job blows. Literally. Take a look at this joker staggering through the door. He thinks he's tough sh*t but he ain't nothing but bluster and swagger. Oh, he puts on a pretty convincing show. He'll laugh when women cross the street rather than pass him on the sidewalk. Sometimes he'll cross the street and follow them just to mess with them. He'd never actually do anything, he just enjoys their quickened pace and nervous glances over their shoulders. He's a real pill all right. But give me two minutes alone with him – possibly less, depending on my mood – and I'll have him crying like a baby and seriously regretting all those facial piercings.


My job totally blows. I work ungodly hours doing the same thing year in and year out, and I have yet to see a paycheck. My sister,Cassiopeia, calls it the family internship. I say it's more like indentured servitude, and that's on a good day.


Three more months, I reminded myself. Just twelve lousy weeks until graduation and I could kiss this crap goodbye. I loathed my job. In fact, it blew chunks. Literally. I worked ungodly hours doing the same thing year in and year out and I had never once received a paycheck, much less a thank you. My brown-nosing sister referred to it as the Family Internship, but if you asked me, it was more like indentured servitude.


My next client staggered in, a perfect representation of everything I detested about my work. He had been calling to me for the last five minutes. Subconsciously, of course. A big toughie like him didn't need anyone's help. Least of all mine. He didn't believe in me, or the Boss either for that matter. Truth be told, it kinda pissed me off. He didn't believe but expected me to intervene. What a crock.


My next client staggers in. He's been calling to me for the last five minutes – subconsciously, of course. More brawn than brain, he'd be the last one to ever admit he needed help, least of all from me. He doesn't believe, but I gotta sit here and listen. With empathy. What a crock.


My last client of the day stumbles through the door. He assumes the position at my feet and continues the chant that brought me here. He criss-crosses his arms over the seat and lets his head hang over the watery basin. “Ohhhh, Gaaaawd.” His moans are muffled by the porcelain bowl. I don't bother answering – he can't hear me anyway.


I'm kicking back, gnawing on my thumbnail – something I only started doing to annoy my sister – when my next client flickers into focus. I recognize the room immediately. This pit could only the The Rat's Nest, a dive bar on the south side of Chicago. My subject stumbles into the dingy restroom. His incessant moans have summoned me and now I'm tethered to his side until he's finished, for better or worse, and trust me it's usually for the worse.


And currently:

God, how many more tortured souls do I have to deal with before I get a freaking break? I spit out the sliver of thumbnail I've gnawed off and lean forward, searching for the owner of the moan that echoes in my head.  I can't see anything, but I know he's out there.  They are always out there.


Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wow...your ms has been through a lot of changes since I first saw it. WTG!

salarsenッ said...

I hear you on changes within a manuscript. But don't you see progress? Love that!! Thanks for sharing.

DL Hammons said...

That's a fun exercise of watching something morph from one thing into another! :)

Susan Fields said...

That was fun - I loved reading the different versions!

Clarissa Draper said...

Been there, done that. Well, not those exact words. My suggestion, move on.

Love the voice.

Anonymous said...

Change is good. Its progress and identifying those things that will not work and eliminating them. Keep on keeping on!

Carolyn V said...

I love that you posted these! Tons of changes. (I do that too.) And they only get better!

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss vicki! wow what a lotta changes you made. i do that lots too but its like i dont ever get happy with it and then i change it again. ack!
...hugs from lenny

Carol Kilgore said...

If we let it, the opening can completely take over our thoughts. Take a bit of time, let your subconscious tell you what the opening needs to be, and then write it.

Did I say I hate messing with openings - LOL. They're hard.

Val Thevictorian said...

Well, the Simpsons looked quite different in their earlier incarnations, too. It will work itself out.

Jules said...

Man, that house must be sunny because it sure has some windows. :) I take it the last one is the large bay one out front?!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow