Monday, July 03, 2006

Listening to Sicilians

Yesterday Sicilian 2 (Vito) pointed out to me that I had forgotten something vital . (Vital for Vito – oh dear!) He told me, in a very resigned sort of way that he had given me this vital information on the previous Sunday – in fact, he had made quite sure that I wrote it down. It was in one of my ‘idiot talks’ with the BM

Now, I’d better explain that. If I’m stuck on a book I take the BM out for coffee. Somehow this always works best in neutral surroundings – though the conversations can get us some strange looks if overheard. We sit down and I start by saying something like ‘You’re a man’ which is fairly obvious . ‘So what would you do if . . .’ In this particular case ‘What would you do if you’d met this gorgeous girl, on a beach, that night you’d made mad passionate love and then - then you discovered her deep dark secret ?(hereafter known as the DDS)’

And then the BM starts to tell me how he would feel and what he would do – this is the ‘idiot’s answer’ bit. Not I hasten to say because the BM is any kind of an idiot, but he calls his answers that because as soon as he suggests something, I say ‘No – he’d not do that – but what he would do is . . .’ Something in hearing exactly what my hero would NOT do (because the BM and Vital Vito are not one and the same person, though one may well have elements of the other) sparks of the realisation of just what he would do. It’s as if Vito is listening, and whispering in my ear ‘Well, I wouldn’t do that!’

Vito says that of course he’s listening. Of course he says that. What am I trying to do – convince these people that he’s not real for heaven’s sake? Madre de Dio!

Sorry – excuse me while I gag a Sicilian! He's been visiting Anne McAllister's blog a little to often and he and her hero Spence are getting a little bolshie since they banded together.

So, last week, I had an idiot’s talk with the BM about the story and the DDS and Vito listened and said , ‘Well I wouldn’t do that – and what I would do is . . . And what I would say is . . .’ And I wrote down what he would say and do and came back home with the rest of the story so clear in my head that I sat down and carried on writing and - bad mistake – I didn’t check my notes. Until yesterday, when, about to begin what I thought was the ‘home run’ on this book, I found I’d stalled. To continue the racing metaphor, I was stuck in the starting gate – or perhaps my horse had refused the final hurdle. He (Vital Vito) just wasn’t going anywhere but round in circles. Something was wrong. And when something is wrong like that I did what you have to do at moments like that, I looked back at the scenes before this to see where the blockage was. And I found it wasn’t a blockage, but a jump – an omission - an empty space where a line should be. Something didn’t quite jell – and I wasn’t sure why.But when I got out my notes and read through them, there it was –the particular sentence that Vito had whispered in my ear during that ‘idiot talk’. And I went back and put that line in - and today I have to follow it through but I know already that it’s going to have changed everything and, hopefully, make it work. I already feel the buzz of electricity that I hope means the blockage has gone.

And yes, on this occasion, Vito finally gets to say, ‘I told you so.’ Or whatever that is in Italian.

No comments:


Home Bio Books USA Readers Writers Contests Events Blog Links

Join Kate's Newsletter

Email Kate

Modified and Maintained by HR Web Concepts