chapter and legend

For the first time, probably ever, I've been writing in December. Little bits per sitting, almost every weekday. Steadily creeping along. As of today I have 3000 words. A completed chapter.

This morning I read it aloud to Tim, the first person who's heard it. I guess a few weeks ago Tim heard part of a paragraph, as I was trying to describe something about him and asked for his input. There's this legend, sort of, that gets told by people who work (or worked) with him at the TV station. One winter during a storm he kept the transmitter from going off air using a paper clip and duct tape. Or so I thought I'd heard.



Tim corrected me. There was no duct tape. He explained in detail how he bent the paper clip to make contact with circuity thingies (not his words), which fooled the transmitter into staying on.

As much as I would love to have Tim's voice in my story depicting his engineering adventure, I opted to remain focused on my narrative. I expressed Tim having accomplished his feat "using his wits and a straightened paper clip." (They start out bent, right? So it must have been that he straightened it.)

This, I learned today, is not quite correct, because while Tim did straighten the paper clip's original bendedness, he employed it in his own bendy design to carry out his rescue of the station. After hearing me read nearly 3000 words, Tim offered this as his only concern about my writing. Which I loved.

Not that I won't desire feedback from other sources, which will certainly give me many changes to ponder. But Tim's thoughts are supremely valuable. Outside my writing world, yet so close to my stories in his very own way.

Together we concluded it's most correct to say he used his wits and a contorted paper clip. So there you have it. The synopsis of my first 3000 words.

Comments

Fresca said…
"circuity thingies"
That's what I would say!

I love this story. It reminds me of an author who called a winery to find out the name of the wire cap that binds a champagne bottle's cork.
(I think it is called a wire hood, but not totally sure, nor do I remember the author's name!)

Anyway, it was an example of the kind of invisible work authors do to make a seamless piece of writing--you can't tell they've done it unless,but sometimes you can tell if they *haven't* done it.

The opposite problem, I think, is authors who are so eager to show they've done their homework, they name every single thing accurately ("she drove a Honda Civic") and it becomes tedious.
deanna said…
Thank you, Fresca. This project, while being difficult, is the first thing I've worked on in a long while that feels like the work I know how to do. So I'm keeping at it. And I'm not having spare time to read much on the internet. I like peeking in on your posts about the work you're doing with people losing memory. Such a creative, difficult job and so worthwhile. I hope my "paper clip memoir" (as I have fun calling it) will be worthwhile somewhere, sometime. For now it is so for me, anyway.