The art of fiction: a guide for writers and readers by Ayn Rand & Tore Boeckmann

The art of fiction: a guide for writers and readers by Ayn Rand & Tore Boeckmann

Author:Ayn Rand & Tore Boeckmann [Ayn Rand & Tore Boeckmann]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction
ISBN: 9780452281547
Publisher: Plume
Published: 2000-08-15T21:25:25.040000+00:00


Style I: Depictions of Love

When I was writing Atlas Shrugged, I spent a long time planning the scene where Francisco comes to Dagny in the country. Many issues had to be integrated in this very complex scene, and I was exhausted after days of walking and thinking on the road in front of my house in California. One day I told [my husband] Frank that I was tired of planning the scene. He knew about its content, and, not too seriously, he told me: “Oh, that’s simple. All you have to say is: ‘He rushes up the hill, he seizes her in his arms, he kisses her—and she likes it.’ ”

Everything between that sentence and what you read in Atlas Shrugged comes under the department of style.

The swiftness of Francisco’s movements was carrying him toward the hill while he was raising his head to glance up. He saw her above, at the door of the cabin, and stopped. She could not distinguish the expression on his face. He stood still for a long moment, his face raised to her. Then he started up the hill.

She felt—almost as if she had expected it—that this was a scene from their childhood. He was coming toward her, not running, but moving upward with a kind of triumphant, confident eagerness. No, she thought, this was not their childhood—it was the future as she would have seen it then, in the days when she waited for him as for her release from prison. It was a moment’s view of a morning they would have reached, if her vision of life had been fulfilled, if they had both gone the way she had then been so certain of going. Held motionless by wonder, she stood looking at him, taking this moment, not in the name of the present, but as a salute to their past.

When he was close enough and she could distinguish his face, she saw the look of that luminous gaiety which transcends the solemn by proclaiming the great innocence of a man who has earned the right to be light-hearted. He was smiling and whistling some piece of music that seemed to flow like the long, smooth, rising flight of his steps. The melody seemed distantly familiar to her, she felt that it belonged with this moment, yet she felt also that there was something odd about it, something important to grasp, only she could not think of it now.

“Hi, Slug!”

“Hi, Frisco!”

She knew—by the way he looked at her, by an instant’s drop of his eyelids closing his eyes, by the brief pull of his head striving to lean back and resist, by the faint, half-smiling, half-helpless relaxation of his lips, then by the sudden harshness of his arms as he seized her—that it was involuntary, that he had not intended it, and that it was irresistibly right for both of them.

The desperate violence of the way he held her, the hurting pressure of his mouth on hers, the exultant surrender of his


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