Journeys on a Sunday

I started this day with writing. (Well, to be exact, I started this day with feeding the cats, munching a few oat cookies and then arguing with one of the cats — the one responsible for the ripped finger — who could use my desk.) I worked on the snippet which precedes the arrival at the museum. Since the scene starts in Amy’s room (“Amy put on her bonnet and eyed herself critically in the mirror.”) and ends at the museum a ride in a carriage was involved. Now for me, one of the most difficult things to write is transporting characters from point A to point B: you can’t just jump from the townhouse to the museum; you can just write “And they drove to the museum.”; no, I always feel I have to convey a sense of the ride or the journey itself. Yet at the same time, the description shouldn’t be too long, else it would bore most readers to tears. So what I’m usually aiming for is to give readers a fleeting impression of said journey. I think of this as doing an impressionist painting: you just want to give a hint of things that are there and keep everything blurred around the edges. The journey itself is contracted into just a few sentences. Thus sights which would normally (i.e. in real life) be far apart, fall together as if in a collage:

Soon they were all bundled into Lord Munthorpe’s landau, its hoods pulled down so they could bask in the rays of the golden October sun. It sparkled on the windows of the houses they passed and made the trees in the squares and parks glitter like flitter-gold. They joined the flow of carriages in Oxford Street, most of them no doubt directed towards Hyde Park. Lord Munthorpe’s landau, however, turned east towards Tottenham Court.