Saturday, February 24, 2007

Writing Dissection - Part One

I am continuing a discussion brought on by the book of the week for the CFBA blog tour, Wedgewood Grey, and its prequel, Abiding Darkness. I am not the greatest writer or editor in the world, but I've been reading a lot of fiction lately, as well as trying to study the craft of fiction. I thought it could be informative to dissect a couple of passages from these books by John Aubrey Anderson.

There are three factors about these books that have drawn my focus over the last two weeks. One is the spiritual message that has greatly encouraged me, but that is a different discussion. The other two are 1) the delightful use of language to paint the setting of rural Mississippi and 2) the great characters that are brought to life by said language. I've enjoyed the story presented in his books, but I've also tried to pick out the aspects that fuel the entertainment.

I've chosen two passages, one from each book, to look at and see how it contributes to what I've mentioned above. I'll quote them without context, and leave this post there. Tomorrow I'll come back to them and present what I see out of them. If anyone has any comments regarding the passages, please share in the comments and I'll bring that into the discussion.

From early in Abiding Darkness:
Every day for the rest of his life, he would recall that she had been grinning. She was turning away from him; the movement lifted the short-cut hair in seeming slow-motion, moving it up and away from her like strips of ribbon on a fast carousel. A halo of water droplets escaped the brown tendrils and caught the afternoon sun life dozens of transparent pearls. The pearls arced away from the girl and fell in a perfect circle. Water ran down brown legs from the rolled up overalls, her knobby little knees bent, her body leaned out slightly, tanned arms lifted, and her knees began to straighten. And he'd remember how fast the grin changed to something else.

From 2/3's through in Wedgewood Grey:

Ceedie stepped close and took the jacket from him. "Put your arm in here, then stand still." She got him jacketed by standing on her tiptoes. When he was dressed, she patted his good arm and momentarily set the stability of his knees back twenty-four hours when she locked eyes with him. "You stay calm, now, an' be nice to the other children."

"Yes, ma'am." The special attention caused his cheeks to use blood he couldn't spare.

See you tomorrow for the conclusion...

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