Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Fragile Vision

by Jeffrey S Savage

Sariah made a comment in her blog Saturday that I wanted to elaborate one. She said, “I haven’t started the story yet. I’m almost afraid to. I don’t think I can capture on paper what I have in my head.”

One of the biggest fears and biggest joys for most writers I know is, “getting it right.” You have a scene in your mind and you are both elated by what you see in your head, and afraid you’ll break it when you put words on paper.

I have a scene I am working on right now that is close to the climax of my new horror novel. The three main characters are close on the heels of the creature that has stolen Wendy’s son. Just as they think they are about to catch it, they realize they have been lured into a trap. They are indeed in the lair of the beast, but that’s where it is most powerful—deep in the primitive forest where the things of man have almost no meaning.

As the step into the clearing, they see a dark mist floating in front of them. At first it looks like nothing more than a wall of smoke. Then they begin to see faces in the smoke. Faces of men, women, and children who have died while filled with fear. Bill tells them to turn back, but before they can do so, Wendy suddenly screams her son’s name and darts forward into the mist. A moment later, the ex-horror writer moans, holds out his hands and stumbles into the darkness. Bill turns to run and finds himself surrounded by rabid animals that drive him into the darkness as well.

As Bill backs into the mist and feels coldness close around him, we break back to Wendy and see that for her the mist had formed into a thick oak door with a heavy metal knocker and thick bar. The door is rattling and she hears her son screaming, “Mom, help me! Please, help me!”

Wendy pushes open the door and finds herself back at the worst time of her life. A time when she failed her first child and lost him. She is forced to deal with something she has blocked out. And unless she can face it, she will never come out alive. It doesn’t look like she will be able to cope.

Next we join the horror writer. He looks into the smoke and sees a huge towering tombstone with the names of his wife and children etched into it. The ghost of his wife steps through the tombstone and reaches for his hand, saying, “You’ve lived with the guilt long enough. It’s time to pay for what you’ve done.” As he steps through the tombstone, we finally learn how his family died and why he is so scarred and walks with a limp. But he doesn’t need to face what happened so many years ago. He can live happily as long as he wants back with his family if he gives up the chase.

Finally we join Bill as he meets the horror face to face and is amazed to find that the creature is not at all what he expected. In fact, maybe he is the evil one himself.

For me, this is a scene I have dreamed about almost since I have started the book. I am scared to death of screwing it up, but there is nothing better than having your vision making it onto paper and finding that it is even better than you imagined it.
Well, no guts no glory. I’ll let you know how it comes out.


At 9/12/2006 12:38 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Yikes, Jeff! You're giving me the creeps. I can't wait to read the book!

At 9/12/2006 3:15 AM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

You don't mean to say there was a door in the woods, do you, Jeff?


Post a Comment

<< Home