Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slow progress

The writing has been slow the last few days. So I'm going to share a passage from a book I adore, Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind. If you haven't read this book and you like fantasy in the least little bit, you should pick it up. Rothfuss breaks the rules in this, it's his first novel and he wrote and rewrote it for years. It shows.

From the prologue:

"It was night again. The Waystone inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
"The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed through the trees, set the inn's sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. If there had been a crowd, even a handful of men inside the inn, they would have filled the silence with conversation and laughter, the clatter and clamor one expects from a drinking house during the dark hours of night. If there had been music... but no, of course there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained.
"Inside the Waystone a pair of men huddled at one corner of the bar. They drank with quiet determination, avoiding serious discussions of troubling news. In doing this they added a small, sullen silence to the larger, hollow one. It made and alloy of sorts, a counterpoint.
"The third silence was not not an easy thing to notice. If you listened for an hour, you might begin to feel it in the wooden floor underfoot and in the rough, splintering barrels behind the bar. It was in the weight of the black stone hearth that held the heat of a long dead fire. It was in the slow back and forth of a white linen cloth rubbing along the grain of the bar. And it was was in the hands of the man who stood there, polishing a stretch of mahogany that already gleamed in the lamplight."

I'll leave off there but listen to the words and the way the slide off your tongue if you read them out loud. I love his use of alliteration. I love that it is not simple, and that he shows you the silences and paints a picture of his character before you even know his name or the color of his hair. If you get any sort of chance to read his work please do so. The second book will be out soon, hopefully next year.

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