Fact: I have started writing 4 or 5 different “books” in the past 4 or 5 years. I’ll get this idea in my head for an excellent piece of (at the least) chick lit, I’ll write and write, and then the inevitable happens….I get too caught up in juggling real life and end up with a couple questionable chapters of an undeveloped story. These half finished works of mine are, embarrassingly enough, mostly about a girl falling in love and living happily ever after with the prince charming of her choosing, and I cannot believe I am admitting that I, too, more than once, fell trap to the fluff. However, I don’t want to write clichés any longer. After all, it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, right? We aren’t always supremely happy, we don’t always have the best relationship with our parents and not all stories end with the protagonist lucky in love and making bank.
I just finished reading “Provinces of Night” by William Gay, a Southern Gothic writer who lives in Hohenwald and actually signed the copy that I was so graciously leant. His style is uncanny, writing such dialogue that you honestly feel as if you’re somehow in the book, witnessing it all right next to Boyd and Raven Lee. He writes the nitty gritty, and I can’t help but crave to emulate that somehow in a piece of my own. Sure, it’s a far cry from the pseudo romantic comedies I’ve starting writing before, but I feel like this is the time for me to actually write about real life and real relationships. Everyday is not a fairytale, and not every story ends so nicely. That’s what I love about both “Provinces” and my personal favorite, “The Long Home” – all loose ends are not tied up at the conclusion of the story, and everyone does not necessarily live happily ever after. All these black-and-white-I’ll-die-for-you-after-knowing-you-for-a-week stories can’t hold a candle to the gray, er muddy, areas that W paints in his stories that have so enthralled me this summer.
Ladies, and perhaps gentlemen, put down whatever fluff your pretending to mindlessly enjoy and pick up something with a little more grit. I strongly suggest the aforementioned as well as “Fay” by Larry Brown, a story of a less than leading lady so intriguing and perfectly told that I solemnly swore to never ever read the fluff again.