The Walk

Sugar Hill, Harlem - february 10th, 2010

What does one think about on walks such as these. The elements dictate speed. There is no moving away. I think the walk alone with so much happening around is really important, but how to show such things in writing? It’s a great chance to get inside the character’s head and more importantly, to show the reader what is happening inside the character’s head. Still, it has to be entertaining. Something quick. Still, it has to give them the feeling that they shared a similar time. The elements for us inside.

“The snow was hitting hard” – something. Wait. Never, never have I put a character inside the snow before. The coldness of the feet and the need not to do anything at all about it. Actually, you start to accept how uncomfortable everything is and just move through the world at the pace the world allows you to move through it.

‘It was coming down so hard I just had to move through the world at the pace it allowed me to. The snow creeping into my shoes helped dictate everything.”

Yes. That is how. Then bring in work. About how it is we go so far to make the money. But that it’s the need for it. The choice does not exist not to move forward against the elements. “If I was inside and wanted something to eat, I would have never gone across the street to the store. For money, for the need for money, I walked until I felt the start of the scratch in the back of my throat that I knew would turn into sickness. I didn’t care. I knew I could hold off until my next day off.’

That concept of having to do something until the next day off. Looking ahead and letting those days go. That would be something for the father in the story. Not the son – the main character. I’m not into the Anti-hero on this one. I’m going to give the reader someone to follow on this. Follow through the snow in their lives. I may have hid it too much in The Last Block in Harlem, but I won’t do it in this one. It’ll all be out there.

All of this comes from a man walking with his head down moving through the snow. Where was he going? What was he thinking? Where was he coming from? What was inside of him? The internal dialogue is important but I think you have to write it out over and over again and then just chop it down.


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