Monday, May 2, 2011

The Second Sentence.

How do you know you're off to a beginning?  Is it a choice, provocative opening sentence--the hooker, building to an image of some intrigue forming on the dramatic horizon?  Or is it the unacknowledged workhorse, the second sentence, the one that by its attitude and strategic placement, sets off the conceptual explosion promised in the first?

The politically correct answer, the centrist answer, if you will, is that the force and power of a beginning, the true opening velocity, is a combination of every sentence, every word, the effect much of a piece with the steel-point etching or engraving so favored in the early days of magazines, where a drawing was stunning competition for the new-fangled photograph.

You have reached a point--perhaps it is more accurate to say returned to the point--where political correctness and getting along are not all they are cracked up to be.  Particularly for you when it comes to writing.  A little edge.  Toss in a touch of anarchy.  Screw the need for politeness.  Such stature as there was of your early work was edge.  Edge and a bit of derivative, depending on whom you were at the moment admiring and trying to soak up, hopeful of learning something in the process; you wanted to rip and tear at conventions you did not even know existed.

The mid point was a time when you felt yourself buried under a slag heap of convention, technique, and vision; everyone you admired had a world view.  What you had was edge, energy, and verbs sharp enough to sting when they were able to land a punch.  Not bad for a kid, but not by any means enough to satisfy you.

All this stuff to get out of the way.

At the moment, you are feeling much like someone you should interview here, because he is surely a character who resonates for you. Mr. Gully Jimson, who has his visions, then moves to execute them.  Somehow.  Somewhere.

The first sentence gives you the reach and the grade of the drill.

The second sentence outlines the target and gives you a boost up to get at it.

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