piece by piece

The first thing I ever read by Stephen King was The Green Mile. I had read in a magazine that he was going to publish a novel in six monthly installments, and I was ready. Each month, I was at the bookstore the day the new part came out.

In the introduction to the first volume, he mentioned seeing his mother reading a mystery. As he was watching, she put her finger to mark her place, and then looked ahead at the ending. He was shocked (already thinking like a writer), and part of the deal with The Green Mile was to make that impossible. When the main character handed a prisoner a shoe, I had to wait a month to find out how that shoe proved the man innocent (one of the things removed from the movie, but don't get me started on that).

I've always liked things that come in episodes (hence all the sections called "Episodes" in the first half of U-town, which is how they were posted on BBSs in the early 1990s -- one episode at a time). I've talked before about how much I liked I Love a Mystery and Dark Shadows (the former was after the fact, of course).

Do you want to know what will happen, the coming event that Jan Sleet knows, and nobody else does? You'll learn when it happens. You can't peek ahead and find out, any more than Marshall can.

But I confess that half of the reason I work as I do, piece by piece, brick by brick, is because I enjoy working that way. Like building a house without plans, hoping it will come out right. There's a certain excitement to that.

On another subject, I've been thinking about Daphne. I think that, at some point, we'll have to learn more about her. Not right now, of course, since she's not even in this part.

For example, is "Daphne" even her name? Carl called her that, but he also called Pete "Eustace," and he referred to starling as "Lady Britomart" and "Sweetie."

I think there's a lot more we need to know about Daphne, along with her rather unconventional (and soon to expand) family.

More of the current chapter, not including Daphne, next week.

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6 Responses to piece by piece

  1. Pingback: television sucks me in, at least a little (well, it was probably inevitable) » Anthony Lee Collins

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