Thursday, July 11, 2013

Yours, Johnny, by Hollis Shiloh

Yours, Johnny
by Hollis Shiloh

Two young men start to correspond—one a civilian, the other a soldier struggling with his life in Vietnam.

Pen pals become something more as the boys discover things about themselves and each other through their letters and their lives.

A love story.

Length: 12,400 words
Heat level: low

Review copies available - please contact me!  :)

Cover art by the amazing!

About writing the story:

This was an intense story for me, even though in many ways it's written very sparely.  (That seemed to be the style required.)  I love the characters, but it took me many months between writing the opening words and the ending ones.

I generally feel a little sad when a story ends, even if it's happy, because I feel like I'm saying goodbye to characters I adore.  This counts for me as a reader and as a writer.  

No matter how happy writing 'the end' makes me feel, it is often a mixed feeling, because I know I may never write about these characters again.  (Sometimes, you just can't force a sequel, you know?)

But I don't cry about it or anything.

With this story, it was a little different.  I cried during one scene, not even a particularly sad scene—they were just talking; it was great actually—and I realized as I typed frantically away, crouching on my bed, that I was sobbing, those sort of chest-shaking, trembling-handed, noisy sobs.  

I mean, I'm not a big crier.  I don't really do that a lot, especially while writing.  I love writing!  Sometimes it can frustrate me, but overall, it makes me very happy; that's why I do it.  I can count maybe a handful of times I've actually sobbed while writing, and I've written a lot of words of fiction in my lifetime.  Maybe I tear up a tiny bit during the occasional emotional moment, but nobody can prove it, and I don't always remember if I do or not; I'm focused on the story, you know?

But with that scene?  Oh my goodness!  I was doing the noisy, messy cry, the weird-little-sounds-like-a-wounded-animal sobs, the leaves-your-face-red-and-gross sobs.

It was that big to me, just hit me in the gut.  Not a thing of logic or contained, quantifiable mental energy, but simply pure emotion.  

I'm still a little awed that a story of mine could do that to me so unexpectedly.  I sort of hope it makes somebody else gross-cry so I'm not alone, but I suspect the scene in question mostly had meaning for me personally, and may pass others by quite unexceptionally.

No comments:

Post a Comment