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Now John at the bar is a friend of mine. He gets me my drinks for free.
And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke, but there's someplace that he'd rather be.
He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me," as a smile ran away from his face.
"Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star if I could get out of this place."

Friday, May 4, 2007

Better Second Drafts

118 words, the repetition is tighter, the sentence structure makes more sense. The frags work better.

"We planted another boy today, old enough to husband, not around enough to father. Small mercies there. We've practice so everybody knew what to do. We knew when to line streets and welcome him home. We knew the correct, repeated, so sorry words to say. Waited in line to say them to his parents and wife. We knew the honor guards' names from before. We knew to line the streets again as he went to rest. We could recite the well-worn words of commendation spoken before the open ground. We knew which casseroles we liked. We knew the precise moment to crack the right joke in the church basement. We were well practiced. Wars make for good practice."

3 comments:

littlebirdblue said...

It's an amazing exercise in self-discipline, isn't it?

Cool going, Steve.

Steve Buchheit said...

It's the same as poetry writing, eliminate needless words, work the conotative aspects, say three things with every line, etc.

Yeah, it does take a whole lot more discipline. Hmm. Maybe I should write poetry for a bit to relearn that. I used short stories to pair down my prose and learned how to tell stories. Maybe I should write some poetry now to get that groove back, the love of wordplay.

littlebirdblue said...

The right poems ARE tiny stories, really.