Friday, November 03, 2006

Some Exploits of Myron Poe -- Mood

Here is another snippet of another work in progress. I couldn't resist playing with some common tropes, seeing how much I could tell by showing through metaphor. At the very least, it keeps me busy :)


A neon sky embraced the night, igniting the oily clouds shrouding the stars. Rain fell as though the heavens wept; thunder rolled and rumbled, sending shudders through the house.

Such a thing didn’t seem possible to Myron Poe. The violence of the storm felt surreal, as though the skies in some way had been angered, seeking revenge upon the world below.

Sitting in the dark, cradled in a wingback chair, Myron peered through the picture window at the moiling tempest. Oaks, maples and spruce waved back and forth in eerie unison. The wind greedily plucked yellow and red leaves from some of the trees – leaving the green ones behind as though their time had not yet come.


Stewart Sternberg said...

Yep, lots of tropes here. The weeping heavens, the shuddering house, the wind as a living entity, the natural selection of leaves.

Two of the metaphors gave me difficulty. One because its four something in the morning and I can't sleep, and the other because I've never been bar-mitzvahed.

A neon sky embraced the night, igniting the oily clouds shrouding the stars.

I stopped at this first sentence. I looked up the different definitions for neon. I then discarded the actual definition and tried instead to use image of a neon sign flashing on and off. Except that in doing so, the regularity of such illumination takes away from the strength of an image of a storm. I then focused on the second part of the sentence...igniting the oily clouds. I liked the use of oily. I liked the phrase igniting oily clouds. However, I still had a problem with the use of neon.

Next sentence: the phrase moiling tempest. I actually had to look up moiling. To be honest, as soon as I saw the word, I thought about circumcision. A moyle is the person who performs the ritual in Jewish culture. I thought...moiling tempest? Yeah, I can see how a moyle would create a fuss.

William Jones said...

Thanks, Stewart. And those two metaphors are the key ones at my shifting the common tropes -- later on in the tale.

"Neon" is plamsa energy, so a sky colored neon would be an unusual storm. Although, in my excerpt, this isn't played upon. So I think I like the fact that the metaphor causes some stumbling because later the reader learns it is not a "natural" storm (multi-colored lightning).

And oddly enough, I didn't consider the word origin you selected for moil. I went with the Latin/French roots and meanings, as those are the ones I commonly use and associate it with. For me it basically replaces "growing," but comes with a touch of "foulness." One of the definitions of "moil" is "a growning mass." Or if used as a noun, it means "confusion," or "turmoil," or "defilement."

However, using "moyle" as a root does add a new aspect to the trope!

Christine said...

I don't quite get what is meant by tropes, but I really like the mood. It seems like the weather is almost living, maybe like its the end of the world with the neon sky embracing the night and igniting the clouds.