The Writing of D. F. Lovett

D. F. Lovett's Blog

Enjoy regular thoughts and ideas, in web-log form, from D. F. Lovett. 

Eight More Days of the 100 Day Project

I have continued with the 100 Day Project every day since beginning, with today being with twelfth day of it. Each day I’ve worked on a new iteration of the Bulwer-Lytton sentence. On some days the rewrite is a reworking of the original, while on other days I build more on the themes and styles that have evolved since the beginning of the project. 

In each case, my new sentence is intended to be the opening sentence of a work. 

Day 6; April 8th

The rains fell on the streets of London as the flames of the lamps struggled against the darkness.

In the case of the above, I sought to only work with words from the original sentence. I added only conjunctions. So far I consider it to be the worst example. Here's a glimpse of the working progress in creating this one:

bulwer-lytton-day-6.jpeg

Day 7; April 9th

Someone must have complimented Paul Clifford’s storytelling in his youth, for he told stories as if doing the world a favor, routinely dwelling on such details as how the weather had behaved and how the lamp flames responded.

Day 8; April 10th

 All of Paul Clifford’s neighbors—the majority of whom would eventually serve, for one side or the other, as witnesses in the trial—described the evening in question as rainy, windy, dark, and above all else, stormy. As such, their testimonies were regularly called into questions by all parties, as a recurring theme was the inability to see one’s neighbor’s lamp flames from one’s own home. 

Day 9; April 11th

Paul Clifford squinted out the window, searching for light in the dark rains of night. 

Day 10; April 12th

The storms of that night could have passed unnoticed, were it not for the knock on the door and the stranger responsible for the aforementioned knock.

Day 11; April 13th

They warned me, before I left for that other place, that the nights would be dark and starless and the days filled with rain and wind. 

Day 12; April 14th

The first time that Paul Clifford read Edward Bulwer-Lytton was a summer evening, in London, as he waited inside for the storm to pass.
 

Rather than explain in depth what I’ve learned or what techniques (or homages) are present in the above rewrites, I'm more interested in letting them speak for themselves. I'm happy to notice they are creeping further into the metafictional and that a first person narrator has finally arrived in at least one of them. 

One other thing I've noticed is this: in a few of the instances above, I find myself compelled to keep writing. To see what sentences and paragraphs and chapters come next. I suspect these are the same ones that a reader would want to continue reading.

Maybe the lesson this time is that you cannot expect your reader will want to read what's next unless you, the writer, are compelled to write what's next. 

David Lovett