arguing ground

The Charmer, John William Waterhouse

While writing East of Eden, Steinbeck readied himself to face the day’s work by writing a letter to the late Pascal Covici, his friend and editor at Viking Press. In Journal Of A Novel: The East of Eden Letters, Steinbeck said “…these notes serve me as a kind of arguing ground for the story.” and that is exactly the purpose the Swans journals serve for me. I’ve argued myself in and out of corners, into the desert of frustration and out of it, all for the good of this book, which will not let go of me, or perhaps I will not let go of it. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, feels the same to me.

Yesterday I did 3 pages of a new scene; a good rough draft. Needs work, more detail, need to weave in more emotion and texture, but that can wait until later. Right now I want to move forward, keep writing, keep laying down the words. Today I didn’t have a set scene in mind, but I did 829 words. I have not finished the scene; not sure if it’ll stick.


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