a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

“Magic Moments”

Now, here’s the real reason I write—fiction, at least.  I suspect this is the reason many authors do:

“Magic moments.”

When I have one of these in a writing session, I feel really good.  The trouble is, they’re highly subjective.

Magic moments are those moments you write about something, describe something, anything, and it’s just so right.  You know you’ve nailed the essence of that moment.  That’s just the way it is in real life.  Or at least the real life you’ve established on your page.  Something about this particular bit of prose rings true.  You feel like you created a universe, a successful, real, you-can-kick-the-tires-of-this-universe universe.

It doesn’t happen often.  Sometimes a week or go will go by without a magic moment.  I often find myself, during those times, going back and reviewing, critiquing, revising passages, because they just sound hollow.  All the rulebooks say you aren’t supposed to revise while you’re writing, but I do; I suspect most authors do.  It’s pretty hard not to.

I have no idea what it feels like to sit across from a famous superstar and hear her talk about her life.  I have no idea what it feels like to live in a small small town like Callicoon, New York, population 214.  But I have to convince myself, and you, that I do.  Or the story won’t work.

That’s a subjective call.  It’s so hard to make for that reason.  Some day every decision seems right.  Other days every decision seems wrong.  But once in a while I get one of those very special, very rare magic moments, where I say, “Yeah, this is just right.  This scene went perfectly.  I can see it happening just so.”

It’s very satisfying.  But I have no idea if other people, when they eventually read it, will agree with me.  That’s the thought that keeps me up at night.  ;-)

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