Lumber Camp, Night,
oil on board/panel,
National Gallery of Canada.
An editor once told me that she always looks for an evocative phrase or sentence within a piece she's editing that makes her go "ahhh" with pleasure for its insight or imagery.
The one line that really grabs her.
That makes her wish she had written it.
Makes her yell Yes!
I knew just what she meant.
(Happens to me often with you lot, btw.)
Maybe it's because we both explore that border country between the normal and the not; but, for me, Jason's writing ( The Clarity of Night) frequently contains such moments.
The latest is his serial story called The Stairs -- which contains therein the line: Darkness spread itself below and wet its lips for him.
Geesusgod, I think that's a great line.
Both by itself and within the context of the tale.
And I think it illustrates the editor's point.
There are "hooks" for initial interest, and there are hooks that appear throughout to sustain that interest.
Writing needs to be more than consistently competent. It needs to provide readers with something extra -- some moment of truth, some flicker of insight, some precise and exquisite illumination -- that they may take away and fondle in quietude.
And sometimes, all it takes is one line.
The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends that you love them. Over and over.