The words flow slowly at first, hesitant, struggling to take form. Like condensed cloud clusters, fragments of information around which can build a plot, or a character, rotate slowly around in my head. As an idea for a story takes shape, the thoughts begin to swirl faster, spinning faster and faster, gaining momentum and speed. As I pick up my pencil I am a hurricane when I write, the words spewing forth onto the paper, accelerating with unexpected intensity. But such intensity is impossible to maintain and like an eye wall undergoing replacement, the number and speed of ideas grows weaker, moieties wandering off course altogether.
But then, like a strong gust of wind, a new inspiration generates a fresh torrent of ideas that beg to become a part of the story to be told. Hurricanes get their energy from warm moist ocean air and spin around a center known as the “eye”. As a hurricane becomes better organized, the winds increase in strength and spread out over an ever widening wind field. The strongest hurricanes have well-defined eyes clearly delineated on visible radar. The most powerful winds are found just outside the eye, but on the inside of the eye, it is calm, with low winds and no rain.
Similarly, as the pieces of a story begin to come together in my mind, the noise fades away and my thoughts quiet. Out of a multitude of possibilities emerges a clearly defined single theme, glorious in its clarity. Outside the noise builds to a dull roar as supporting ideas begin swirling around, increasing in strength, until once again I am driven to write like a hurricane. With a course set, the story unfolds, drawing its energy from the supporting details, characters and sub- lots, spreading out across the paper as unstoppable as a force of nature.
Hurricanes remind us of the fleeting nature of things. They remind us that it is impossible to escape the forces of change. When a hurricane makes landfall, the once peaceful landscape is transformed into a scene littered by debris. Am a hurricane when I write short stories, creating prose so powerful that it has the ability to shift the readers point of view. Haphazardly spew forth raw ideas in an effort to lay the foundation for a decent narrative. My erection is unpredictable, the creative aspects steering my course.
The resultant work is similarly littered with debris in the form of sentence fragments, omitted commas and misspellings. Contemptuous of a system that rewards conformance to a mold that precludes most of us from ever achieving our full potential, I write like a hurricane, blowing hardest about things I find wrong or unfair. Rarely following the predicted path, my writing sometimes meanders or occasionally stalls. On occasion it is steered off course by conditions in the environment I have no control over.
In those situations I do my best to navigate a path of my own choosing, ever conscious that wind shear and high pressure may cause my Story to completely fall apart. The power Of engaging content shares the brutal intensity of a hurricane; both are inescapable, irresistible forces creating a psychological tension impossible to ignore. I am a hurricane when I write, using sarcasm and irony to grab the reader’s attention, sucking them further and further into the storm. By creating a contrast between the main characters present situation and the action that will unfold, keep the reader reaching for closure, keeping them hanging.
By withholding the resolution of any one plot line without creating another open loop, I make it impossible for the reader to disconnect. Like the saying goes, when you find yourself in the middle of a hurricane, or an engaging short story, its too late to leave town. All you can do is ride out the storm. Once a hurricane moves over land it no longer has warm water to power it, quickly dissipating. And, when have exhausted the whirlwind of pent up thoughts and ideas onto my paper, I know it’s time to start cleaning up the debris.