Writer: Yes. A great group of writers.
Storyteller: And we got some terrific feedback: Shiveringly good imagery; love the intrigue and impending danger; can’t wait for more of this very mysterious psychological thriller.
Storyteller: What’s wrong? They liked it.
Writer: Psychological thriller, S.T. A thriller.
Storyteller: *widens eyes* *blinks*
Writer: I told you I didn’t want to write a thriller.
Storyteller: Thrillers sell.
Writer: I wouldn’t know, I don’t read them.
Storyteller: I’ve seen you reading them.
Writer: No, S.T, those are ‘literary thrillers’.
Writer: This is your fault.
Storyteller: My fault! If it wasn’t for me what would you have?
Writer: I’d be writing happily — just seeing what my characters do.
Storyteller: A pile of unconnected words you’d just keep polishing forever and ever.
Writer: Very shiny words.
Storyteller: If anybody is to blame, it’s Stephen King.
Writer: Stephen King?
Storyteller: I know you weren’t really reading Jane Austen back in high school.
Writer: Shut up!
Storyteller: You shut up.
Writer: Oh my God, S.T, how about the trailer for the new It movie?
Writer: Not that I really want to see it.
Storyteller: Sure. *rolls eyes* So about this book we’re writing?
Writer: I have doubts.
Storyteller: Surprise, surprise. Let’s just forget about genres and labels and try to write the best book we can.
Writer: You’re going to make it a thriller, aren’t you?
Storyteller: I have some great plot ideas.
Writer: Too much plot will ruin my character-driven exploration of the human condition from a flawed perspective. I think of it as like A Bar at Folies-Bergere — the angles of the mirror are skewed; in the reflection the barmaid leans forward to the customer in the top hat, but in reality she is standing straight, ambivalent to his attention. In the grand balcony, reflected impossibly behind the barmaid, a woman looks through opera glasses at something beyond the frame.
Storyteller: You know we’ll have to delete that chapter about the Manet painting before any editor sees it?
Writer: No we won’t.
Storyteller: We’ll see.
Writer: What’s beyond the frame is important, S.T.
Storyteller: Like in It?
Writer: No, not like in It.
Writer: Te he.
Storyteller: And a balloon? Come on then. How about a ‘literary thriller’?
Writer: I hate you.
Storyteller: Everything down here floats.