Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The "White Silence"...

Ah, what a day it is right now! The whiteness is literally beginning to close in on us and the big storm they’ve been talking about is coming to fruition. The winds are steadily increasing straight out of the north, and this isn’t even the big part--the blizzard--that is predicted to roll on in late tonight on through most of tomorrow.

This is a “Jack London” kind of day. In fact, lying on the corner of my writing desk right now is a copy of Jack London--Tales of the North. I just re-read one of London’s short stories, “The White Silence,” and I look out my window into our very own version of “white silence” and feel very good about the wonderful words London wrote to create that feeling of man’s struggle to survive in settings outside himself.
It’s not pleasant to be alone with painful thoughts in the White Silence. The silence of gloom is merciful, shrouding one as with protection and breathing a thousand intangible sympathies; but the bright White Silence, clear and cold, under steely skies, is pitiless.”
One of my other favorite authors, Alistair MacLean, most famous for The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, H.M.S. Ulysses, among many others, was also a master of describing inclement weather. I think my penchant for having weather play a major role in my stories is a result of my admiration of MacLean’s style. There always seemed to be some storm or the fury of the North Atlantic that provided a wonderful element in his settings. His characters, constantly battling against incredible odds, are not only trying to defeat “the bad guys,” but they have to fight through the adverse weather at all turns.

Adventure novels became an important part of my early reading development. And who knows what other subtle influences from Alistair MacLean have found their way into my own style and plotting and characterizations. 
MacLean once said: 
"I am just a journeyman. I blunder along from one book to the next, always hopeful that one day I will write something really good." (http://www.colocad.com/Maclean/page2.htm)

And so on this day of London’s “White Silence” and MacLean’s “against-all-odds” battle with the constant snow and winds and gray skies of Where Eagles Dare, I settle in and see if I can “write something really good.” Down that road we travel now…MLA

No comments:

Post a Comment