I was raised watching black and white movies and TV shows and listening to big band and swing music. Somehow, I find the stories told in movies, music, and literature from the past are more genuine. Movies like On the Water Front or Harvey or Casablanca all have such real characters, anti-heroes with the most relatable and realistic flaws. Literature like Fahrenheit 451 or The Beautiful and the Damned or A Separate Peace also have anti-heroes and complex, yet relatable plots.
I don’t mean to say that current literature does not have these qualities, but for me personally, it is old, classic literature that inspires me the most. There tends to be a certain kind of emotion within my favorite pieces of classic literature, an emotion I cannot name, but one I try to emulate within my own writing.
Even though my novel takes place twelve years in our current future, there are certain aspects of good writing from the past to which I try my hardest to cling. It’s like that small hum in the background of music when it is played on vinyl. It’s that feeling that sings in your bones, leaving you slightly restless, but somehow content.
Going through revising my novel, I am working on the finesse of this tone. In my head, it seems so simple, so easy, and yet my words are fumbling on the screen in a sorry attempt at what I want them to feel like. They sound fine, sometimes even great, but the tone isn’t quite there yet. Sometimes, there are moments where I get glimpses of my goal, but as of now they are just that. Glimpses.
Luckily, I am not too far in this process. I have plenty of time to alter and shift my words to say what I want them to feel like. Each word will be chosen carefully, as I go through and find the nostalgia and tension hidden in the words of my former generations.