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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Entry 12: Same Scene Different Style

April 22, 2014

Dear Friends
RE:  Entry 12

Same scene, three different writing styles:
Fifth Grader Essay Style

A man pulled up and stopped a truck and opened the door to get out.  He noticed his boot lace was broken, so he put a new one on.  He got out.  He got behind the seat and got the gun out.  It was a rifle in a case.  There was a bunch of junk on the back floor of the truck.  He took the rifle out and threw the case onto the front seat.  He opened the rifle bolt and looked inside to see if it was loaded.  He then closed it and locked the truck and left.  He made sure he had bullets.
Pulp Fiction Author Style (I like to call this style “overwrought’)

He stared longingly at the chrome-covered inside door handle of the 65 Ford F 100.  Had he unlocked the door?  Ah, thought he, this is a Ford, you can just pull the latch and it opens.  The sun was rising over the majestic fire-colored leaf-arched horizon, another day on Mother Earth as he thought of the double espresso he used to consume as a freshman at Harvard, watching the self same sun rise over the Cambridge plain.  Curses, he exclaimed, as he jerked the remnants of the dry rotted boot lace, his hand banging against the underside of the steering column, the pain reminding him of his time in Vietnam’s Hanoi Hilton, just before being awarded the Medal of Honor.  He slowly wove the new boot lace through the eyelets of the calfskin, mocha-colored RAT boot, the only kind he ever bought, and tugging the laces into submission, tied his boot on.  The other one, no longer now a twin, at least in lace, he ignored.  He was like this often, this indifference to others.  It was a reason his third marriage was on the rocks.  He put on his kid leather gloves, not as supple as the Isotoners, but flashing nonetheless, in a Dash-Riprock sort of way.  Now standing on terra firma, he reached behind the old truck’s seat and pushed it forward.  The creaking of the hinge reminded him of his father, who bought this truck while he only son was in ‘Nam, knowing one day he would return.  He never saw his father again.  But in the truck, which he restored by hand, while on sabbatical from his research mission to Antarctica to find a cure to eczema, he found peace.  The gun was behind, among the debris-strewn floor, covered in the detritus of his chaotic and full life; a torn copy of Esquire, with him on the cover;  a Faberge Egg given to him by the Sultan of Brunei; a first edition of The Great Gatsby.  The gun, in a Galco leather case, was once owned by Charlton Heston, given to him as a gift for years of work behind the scenes to promote the NRA to inner-city children.  He took it out, and felt the smooth cool walnut, even through the leather gloves.  It was a Remington Winchester, a one-of-a-kind, chambered in .293, a caliber he perfected while stalking the wild tigercats of the Serengeti.  He opened the bolt as smooth as silk and silently gazed into the chamber before working the action forward.  He had arrived, as if all creation rose up in a denouement of adoration for this glorious time in this perfect day in this epoch of his life.  Turning, he stepped onto the road and down the path and into the rest of his life, right hand in his pocket, fondling the cartridges.

Understated Realist Style (my favorite)
He opened the truck door and swung one boot, the left one, onto the door sill and relacing it, put back on his gloves and stepped out onto the dirt road.  He reached below the seat on the driver side, to the right at the bottom and worked the latch, rolling up the seat forward and took the gun out of the cloth case from the storage area behind.  It lay among assorted things, a torn shirt used as a rag. A broken coffee mug, one jack stand with the pin missing on the riser, an empty glass Coca Cola bottle and a crushed roll of paper towels, half soaked on one side with oil.  Turning, he pushed the front seat back and put the gun case across it, sliding the gun out, opened the bolt and looked at it, closed the bolt.  He pushed the lock on the truck door down, swung the rifle out over the door and closing it in one motion, walked down the road patting his right side pocket for the shells.

I have read many books from many authors in many genres.   Current literature leans toward the incoherent, with the overwrought being the worst, the kind of books that portray unbelievable characters in unbelievable situations, like everyone in them were birthed by a parentage of Ian Fleming and Tom Clancy.  (for an example of this in real life, try listening to the NBC Nightly News anchor read the news in that same overwrought style, it is really amusing).

Please don’t try to find a meaning in any of this. I just enjoyed writing the same paragraphs three different ways, all describing the same thing, to see what it was like.

I remain

Fessler