While I’ve been gone the past few weeks, busy with a community theatre production, I developed a teensy crush.  Actually, it’s bigger than teensy.  I’m entranced.

During my time off stage, I began reading F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s second novel, “The Beautiful and the Damned“.  “This Side of Paradise” was good.  “The Great Gatsby” was amazing.  I didn’t think anything could top the glorious descriptions he laid on paper of high society and the perils of unrequited love.  Is there a greater line than, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” in all of literature?

But then I picked up “The Beautiful and the Damned” and found that F. Scott’s writing can, and does, get better.  I’m only thirty-nine pages in and I’ve found myself highlighting descriptions that make my skin tingle.   “…with books gleaming like ornaments against the walls, and Maury radiating a divine inertia as he rested, large and catlike, in his favorite chair.”  I never thought of my books gleaming like ornaments.  My bookshelves bring a whole new joy with that description.

Then, there is his description of Gloria. “Well, I can’t describe her exactly-except to say that she was beautiful.  She was-tremendously alive.  She was eating gum-drops.”  I can just see a beautiful woman with sparkling eyes popping gum-drops.  Gum-drops!  Who would have thought?  It only proves that the smallest detail in characterization can make the biggest impact on the readers perception.

My favorite part was a chapter called “A Flash-Back in Paradise”.  One of the most beautiful chapters, written entirely in dialogue.  Gloria came alive in her words.

I was thrilled by his choice to write entire blocks of dialogue with no tags.  To know that it can be done by a great master of literature gives me courage as I face this new novel.  As I was working through the idea in my mind over the past year, I decided to write the entire novel in blocks of description alternating with blocks of dialogue.  I knew that it would be a challenge, but knowledge that my literary hero was able to dip his toes into a daunting task gives me hope and courage. 

Now that the production is finished, I return to writing. 

To my dear friend,  Liberal, here are the pictures that I promised.



About author A. Lynn

A. Lynn has enjoyed the craft of writing since she finished the songs in Barry Manilow's songs as a five year old, prancing around her grandparents rural farm. Her style has changed as she's grown up. In the past ten years, she's experimented until finding her style and voice. Now, she's ready to take an effort to share her stories with the world. View all posts by author A. Lynn

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