I’ve been writing almost every day since I returned from Spain – either in my new journal, the revisions to my query letter, or the second novel in the Prince of this World series. While it’s been great to be writing again, and it’s important work that I’m doing, it does feel just like that: work. I have a new idea for a novel that I’m itching to start writing, but nothing’s been coming to me. Last night, I agonized for hours over my desk. All I managed to produce were two paragraphs. Two good paragraphs, but two completely unexpected paragraphs.
This isn’t the novel I had in mind. It’s not a continuation of Prince of this World, or the basis for the next novel I’ve been plotting. I don’t even know if this is a novel, nor do I have the slightest idea who this person I’m writing about is. I’ve never written fiction without having a clear idea of the story I’m telling, but I hope I’ll continue writing this. It’s new to me, and scary, but I want to know what comes next hopefully as much as you do.
Without further ado, here’s a fragment of my stream of consciousness:
“I couldn’t save the ones who died, and I couldn’t stop the ones who left. I stood on the dais as the creeping fingers of early dawn singed the edges of the night – burning back the darkness while the chill of morning dew evaporated – and felt the hot hand of the sun gripping my throat. I stood there, sweat and blood that did not belong to me hardening over my skin, as sticky as the Karo syrup they use in the movies. I stood there, surrounded by the bodies of the people I loved, and the bodies of people I didn’t know but loved anyway. The bodies of people who had gone to war for me, either blind or indifferent to the fact that they would not have had to give their lives if I had given mine. Either blind or indifferent to the fact that this war would not have been waged if I had had the strength to say “no”. If I had had the strength to die first.
My name is not Dorian Gray, but I wouldn’t be here without him. My name is not something you need to concern yourself with right now. The truth is, I am you. The truth is, I am inside of you – in this very moment – my essence breathing through these words and seeping through your eyes as they crawl this page. The truth is, as I enter you I become you. I become you because we are the same, you and I – in our marrow. At our core. And if you were given the opportunity Dorian Gray and I were given, you would have said yes too. You would have made the same choices I made, and started the same war I started. You would be where I am now, so in that way I am you. I am what you will become one day…if you don’t keep reading.”