This week's brief was very nice and straightforward: Write 500 words (remit: opening section of a novel) beginning with a random sentence. Quite similar to my Trigger Phrases post of yesterday, in fact.We were also encouraged to watch Ian McEwan discussing the craft in this video below:
.I went for the second person continuous on this one. I started things off with the phrase "How long have you been here?" and went from there. Wanted to do something exploring different types of reader POV, rather than narrative POV. As always, thoughts & comments, your own work and feedback are all encouraged.
How long have you been here? Five, perhaps… even ten years? Oh don’t worry, it was almost rhetorical, you see… -I’m sorry my friend, please raise your wrist for me, just like I am. Up, further, further… yes, very good. That’s it you can set it down again now. Well firstly I’m very surprised that you can move at all, to be honest with you, as they tell me you’re-uh, quite heavily sedated you see.
Although I can tell, a certain look in your eyes… You’re still here, even if you can’t show it. I will admit, I would have preferred our discussion to have been on more, mutual terms. I personally didn’t think all this, drugging and restraining was necessary, but your… guardians here, they insisted that we take every precaution. Now, I understand what you’re thinking, as I said to them, what is the benefit – You’ll enjoy this, I think… although there’s no way of knowing, sadly - in bringing me a sedated man for questioning?
If our situation afforded you a little more command over your faculties of speech, you might just agree with me. Perhaps you’re thinking that? Ah, the twitch of an eyebrow… perhaps you are. But I, on the other hand… am simply a man looking for answers. A man, fishing through reams of red tape whilst talking to a supposed madman in a piss-wet cell; half way around this cursed world, far away from his home and family.
Now I suppose you must be wondering, why I remain. Why am I still talking to you? We’ve established that you can be of no, vocal use at present thanks to the establishment in which we find ourselves. May I sit? I’ll sit.
So my question to you, my friend, is twofold. Firstly, if you can move your wrist a little, can you move it enough to identify a face, among a series of others? I just need you to point, if you think you can do that… Another twitch! So you think you can? …That’s good. Now, secondly and perhaps more obviously… Why would you want to help me? I ask this because I presume you wish to, and it’s an excellent question, I might add, and you’re very perceptive to have asked it… Well done. Now the answer is tied up in all sorts of things, but as you may have already guessed, things will work out better for you if you comply. I wouldn’t exactly say you were in a position of negotiation at present. Would you?