Yesterday’s Epiphany can be today’s…meh

2014-02-17 12.14.32this is Merle!

Yeah, this is something else that goes along with the territory of writing fiction – at least if one writes in the non-chronological, non-linear way in which I approach the craft.

Sometimes it happens that yesterday’s EPIPHANY is today’s…meh.

This used to happen quite regularly when I did much of my writing in various coffee houses around town.  When on a caffeine-fueled roll, I would crank out some stuff with a Very High Degree of Enthusiasm!!  I would sip my java and reread the day’s work, thinking “This stuff is GREAT!  I’ve done it.  I’ve said something.”   There is no more satisfied feeling than taking that last gulp of coffee, packing up your gear, and heading out the door feeling that you have lived your life well that day.

Alas.  It happens all too often that, once that happy Caffeine Achiever feeling has begun to wane, I read over those same words and find myself thinking, “Huh?!  This is what struck me as so (fill in the _________: poetic, profound, truthful, flowing, ingenious, inventive, just plain nifty!)

Sometimes an epiphany lands squarely in the middle, meaning, the idea seems like it may work really, really well; and then again, maybe not.  Meh.

I’m not sure about this one.  The “epiphany” concerned a change in the narrator, moving from third person to first person part way through the book – beginning with the narrator speaking as a third-person observer, and shifting to narrating in the first person, but as one of the other main characters.            

The set-up would look something like this:

“Mr…Merle…there is something else.”

“What’s that, Miss Shirley…er, Shirley?”

“When I said that you were getting it all wrong…I didn’t mean the facts…exactly.”

“What else could you mean?  You said that I was too far away down here.  Too much removed from the goings-on.”

“I did say that.  You’re right.  But I meant it in a different way.”

“Like what?  What other way is there?”

“I meant to say that the way you are telling the story is too far removed.  You’re telling it like you are far away, as if you are watching everything from a great distance, as if you have no particular feeling about the events.”

“That’s the way stories get told.  They just get…told.”

“Due respect, Mr…  Due respect, Merle, I think it would be a better story if you got inside of it.  Inside.”

“Come again?”

“Be her.  Tell the story as if you are her.”


I will have to live with this possibility for a bit.  Let it swirl around.  See what the characters, and their story, tell me is the best way to go.

4 Replies to “Yesterday’s Epiphany can be today’s…meh”

  1. Yes, so often the brilliant becomes bullshit, in a day. how does that happen? And why does it have to keep happening. I’m considering taking the average of the week before I trash things these days. Just call me schizo scribe.

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