Contemplation And Cowardice
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.
He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the staircase. He owed her money, and the thought of seeing the old crone–whose heavenly recommendations on judgement day will not take up much of her inquisitor’s time–and hearing her bleat about the rent was enough to make him contemplate murder.
But as with most things in life, the thought was never more than a pleasant diversion.
The Daily Theme from Figment for Jan. 18, 2012
Courtesy of Lev Grossman
T.S. Eliot wrote: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” It’s just as true of novelists as it is of poets. Try stealing something from a writer you like: a style that works for you, or a character you love, or a situation or a moment that really floored you. See if you can work it into your own plot. Often you’ll find that by the time you’re done, you’ve made the style or the character or the situation your own, and what started out as theft has turned into inspiration.
I stole the first two sentences from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, and did my best to make it my own. Obviously, Dostoevsky had a lot more space to play around with his characters.