If only the mastering of the keyboard, the typing of letters, were all there was to writing well. I have ideas and thoughts that run through my mind when I am away from a computer (or even pen and paper). And often, when I clear away everything and crack my knuckles and get serious about writing, I find I have nothing.
Tonight, I have turned off the TV, left all rooms that may distract me, and am focused on writing. I am sitting in the dark on my back porch. A mild breeze is blowing and the only sounds I hear are cicadas, distant trains, wind in the leaves, and the whir of air conditioners.
I read for the words—the stringing together of everyday words in a way that is beautiful and thoughtful and inspiring. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with a writer’s ability to WRITE. Some writers are good at storytelling, others are good at the stringing together of the words. The genius is the one that can do both.
I am reading two books right now—Pat Conroy’s “Beach Music,” and Alan Moore’s “Watchmen.” To be fair, I just finished Conroy’s prologue and am further in to Watchmen. Contrary to the fact that I LOVE attending the International Comic Convention every year and am somewhat well versed with comics (due to my hubby), I am not a huge comics fan. The main reason is that I tend to prefer character development than action. And a lot of the comics—at least the superhero genre—is action packed.
There are several graphic novels I have read that I consider some amazingly good reads, and not just for the comic crowd. And Watchmen is quickly falling into that category, even with its hooded avengers. And the reason for this is simple: The writing is strong and well crafted. The story, although dated in that it involves the U.S.’s cold war with the Soviets, is timeless. You could just as easily swap Iraq for the USSR and the story would be the same—our government will always have some political enemy that it behooves it to scare its people (you and me) by highlighting our differing cultures to make the other one ungodly and evil.
But I digress.
The writing. Alan Moore‘s writing is pretty incredible. And he’s written things you know and you just may not have ever thought of them as starting as comics—like “V for Vendetta” or “From Hell.” But I am not here to write his biography or inform you of the great things he’s written. I will leave you with one line from Watchmen, just one. It is writing like this that inspires me. It also unnerves me because I could never string everyday words together so beautifully as these.
The word “cancer” runs through the audience on a firecracker string of anxious whispers.