Thursday, December 4, 2014

Brokeback Mountain Great Opening

If you're writing, you need to read the short story by Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain. One reviewer notes every sentence is a jewel. You need to read the ~10K word short story to understand the competition! Excerpt:

Ennis Del mar wakes before five, wind rocking the trailer, hissing in around the aluminum door and window frames.  The shirts hanging on a nail [important image at the end] shudder slightly in the draft. He gets up, scratching the grey wedge of belly and pubic hair, shuffles to the gas burner, pours leftover coffee in a chipped enamel pan, the flame swathes it in blue.  [swathes,brilliant word choice-jr] He turns on the tap and urinates in the sink, pulls on his shirt and jeans, his worn boots, stamping the heels against the floor to get them full on. The wind booms down the curved length of the trailer and under its roaring passage he can hear the scratching of the fine gravel and sand. It could be bad on the highway with the horse trailer.  He has to be packed and away from the place that morning.  Again the ranch is on the market and they’ve shipped out the last of the horses, paid everybody off the day before, the owner saying, “Give em to the real estate shark, I’m out a here,” dropping the keys in Ennis’s hand. He might have to stay with his married daughter until he picks up another job, yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.

The stale coffee is boiling up but he catches it before it goes over the side, pours it into a stained cup and blows on the black liquid, lets a panel of the dream slide forward.  If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong. The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies, leaves a temporary silence. [wow, great simile for kinesthetic and auditory detail, appeal to all senses-jr]

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