I’ve started reading Annie Proulx’s Close Range and talk about your sparse prose. Throw me a few more words woman! I envy her abillity to get to the point and tell the damn story and Proulx certainly knows how to tell a story so devoid of fat, you almost feel like you’re starving.
Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying her clean paragraphs and her direct no nonsense style. The bleak prose certrainly works with the type of story she’s telling, but sometimes I find myself missing something – like the time I tried Atkins. I’m not such a bread fan, but after a few weeks of deprivation, I went on a carb bender that had me gobbling bread at every turn.
Close Range makes me want to read something long and substantial; I don’t even care if it’s good, as long as it’s satisfying. On the other hand, I have problems with stories that don’t go anywhere; the words all prettied up with nowhere to go. I guess the problem about wordiness and rambiling is knowing when to stop. But I can’t seem to do that. I find reassurance in repetition. I’m doing it now actually. I don’t know if it’s an ego thing, an insecurity thing or if I just don’t know when to stop.
I mean, I promise never to write twenty pages recalling the taste of a cookie or anything, but I think midway between Proulx and Proust would be a good place.