The Old Man’s Reverie

Something that’s kind of kicking my ass about this damn story is the old man’s reverie. Let me throw down a current outline and then get into this a bit more.

Part 1 – the scene: 500 words on the house at Thanksgiving

Part 2 – the old man and the dog: another 500 words or so meditating on the old man, the dog beside him, and the old man’s imminent death

Part 3 – the old man’s reverie: 1,000 words or so letting us slip back into the old man’s memory of an event from his past, something allowing us to see the tragic nature of his character – the story-within-a-story is one of loss and regret and possibly self-defeat

Part 4 – the dog’s reverie: 500 words (possibly less) letting us see the dog’s memory of an event of loss, likely the death of his brother; the juxtaposition is that the old man’s memories are of loss and regret – the dog’s memories are of loss without regret

Part 5 – the end: 500 words or so more tying things up: the old man is driven home after some mild arguing about who should take him, he arrives at his retirement home, he looks at the doctor’s letter on his coffee table, story ends


Alright. Now, I’ve gone on at some length about the troubles I’m having with POV changes within the story – Dog’s, Man’s, Dog’s, Man’s, like that. You know, at least there’s some god-damned symmatry there. But more to the point I’m currently struggling with the old man’s reverie. What the hell does he think about for 1,000 words that shows us he’s a tragic train wreck of a human existence?


 Here’s a thought. Maybe I’ll start developing characters and the scene itself. Along the lines of the writing exercises Joel had us doing – just spilling out all sorts of material related to the people, the dog, what everyones’ appearances, personalities, histories are… everything. I’m hopeful that through that the old man’s backstory will come to life enough that I can reveal something about him. Next blog – characters. Or setting. I’m not sure which. Maybe both.


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