Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Writing Advice from Louis de Pointe du Lac

Sims3 "There's a simple answer to that. I don't believe I want to give simple answers," said the vampire. "I think I want to tell the real story." -- Anne Rice, Interview With The Vampire

This is not my book vs movie post for Interview With The Vampire (that's later) but the above quote is going in my inspiration notebook. I knew I would love this book right there, because those words, spoken by Louis, the book's narrator, neatly sum up my attitude toward writing. Louis begins as he means to go on, telling the real story of his life, death and undeath as opposed to the one the boy who interviews him might wish to hear.

We follow Louis from his human origins, along the complicated path he walks for nearly two centuries, until he informs the boy in matter of fact fashion, "And that's the end of it. There's nothing else. " The boy doesn't like this, but Louis returns " I tell you, and I have told you, that it could not have ended any other way."

I think Louis was on to something there. While Louis is fictional, Anne Rice still managed to make him real, and I say that qualifies him to give advice. What makes Louis real for me is the amount of detail we get about his life, seeing through his eyes, not only what is around him, but what Louis as an individual notices. Another character going through exactly the same events would notice different things, and we would have a different story.

Author Barbara Samuel O'Neal has this to say on the importance of detail, or as she phrases it, "layering in lusciousness." http://awriterafoot.typepad.com/a_writer_afoot/2007/10/layering-in-lus.html

Louis would have approved. While his story is one I want to let sit in my mind and ruminate for a while, I can tell Louis himself is going to stick around in my head (and my inspiration notebook) for quite some time. Even though the bulk of Louis' story deals with the particular concerns of his life as a vampire, he's intimately human throughout. If he'd like to come give lessons to the characters in my imagination's waiting room, he's welcome...but I'll make sure he's eaten first. One never can be too careful.

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