Coordinating Conjunctions

I did not work the comma thing to exhaustion yesterday, so I’ll try a few more today.

I said yesterday I needed to find out some of the other conjunctions, and I still do.

I’d look now, but I fear I’d leave for the Internet and never return.

The eight coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, nor, plus, or, so, and yet.

I think I’ve done the first two plenty already, yet I may do more to be sure.
I’m having trouble creating a situation to use nor, or I’m not giving it enough consideration.
Margy yells when she talks making working with her frustrating, plus she’s a bitch.
The glass of milk spilled, so I cleaned it up.
The tractor ran out of gas, so I left it in the field.
“We definitely need some more cups, plus we need ice.”
We could clean up the kitchen, or we could vacuum the livingroom.
Ron held a degree in Astronomy, yet he rarely stayed up late at night.
I don’t think I’ve been doing these anywhere near correct in the past, plus I’m certain I’ve actively tried to do it the opposite way in most cases.
This exercise makes me worry my reading skills need work, for clearly my attention to punctuation while reading is low.
I still haven’t come up with a suitable sentence for nor, nor am I likely to find one.

242 words on day 538

Independent Clauses and the Commas That Separate Them

Benhá loiters in my thoughts. That story paces back and forth in a single small antechamber of creation. I need to get the door to the next room open soon. For now I’ll leave it to wear out the carpet on it’s own. I’ve got something else in store for today—something new.

I came across and educational, training, and coaching technique in conversation over the weekend. Like the karate kid you repeat succinct actions. Once you’ve iterated those actions sufficiently you move on to other core skills—repeating those until exhausted as well. Or alternatley building on the initial actions. If you trained at piano you might start with two notes over and over then move on to another pair of notes or add a third to the first pair.

My version of this—if I can find a quick resource—will be to practice one of the appropriate uses of commas: seperating two independant clauses joined with a conjunction.

The car careered off the road, and Lonnie was thrown across the backseat into the armrest.

  • Charming slipped the touris under a stack of shirts so they didn’t blow away, but Jun-kata didn’t pick them up.
  • Brother Gane dropped his flit to the scant pad atop [the leaf] as he had less than twenty years before, but touching down didn’t make him feel better to be back.
  • Independant clause, conjunction to another independant clause.
  • I would usually write this as two sentences, but I could write this as one.
  • The music played, but no one danced.
  • She smoothed the raised words on her thigh with her thumb, but they wouldn’t receed.
  • This wasn’t as many entires as I’d hoped I’d have today, but I can always write more tomorrow.

302 words on day 537

Haymaker

I read a book doctor’s critique of another man’s writing yesterday. That critique threw laser-guided punches. I discovered I’m standing close enough to the mat to soak up some of the spit and blood and sweat.

While I’m certain I write better than the gentleman accomplished enough to be done writing a novel I’m not so sure how much better. I suck at commas; I’ve been promising myself I’d look up that whole dependant clause thing—again—and remember it this time. I over use semi-colons because I like them and think they’re cool—same with em dashes. I’m ok calling fragments stylistic when I’m sure there’s a plausible way to use a comma instead.

I’ve never held a character for an entire novel. Most times I’ve not carried them more than a page. None of them have ever experienced anything like growth or change. I doubt any of my characters in recent years displayed more than one emotion.

Tension. Huh?

Structure. Theme. Stakes. Volume. Girth. Texture. Nuance. Weight. Distance. Soul?

Yeah, well…

179 words on day 525

Verdantly

I wish there were some way to write and listen to music that wasn’t always Enya. A glowing key keyboard might be nice too. I could really write the hell out of something if my keys glowed and I could listen to Old Crow Medicine Show. Alas, I cannot.

This green font in my Write Monkey application pleases me. I’m sorry you can’t enjoy the fresher-than-that-old-blue color with me.

My Kindle 3 case arrived today. The kindle will arrive at some future—as yet unspecified—date. Hopefully the pair will travel with me to Denver and Cimarron. My new Kindle would alert stewardesses to my hip self; my old iPhone would say, “But he’s not out of control.”

This green font awesomates.

Awesomates actively replaces the passive voice phrase ‘is awesome’.

As lame—or drunken—as this all may sound, writing this way serves a purpose. A purpose hard to define, but a pupose nonetheless.

160 words on day 524

Repeating the Punchline

I’ve chosen to spend my free Sunday morning reformatting an old laptop hard drive. I’m thus constrained to writing on the phone unless I’m planning on writing later tonight. Ha ha.

Rod Taylor’s Here, There, or Anywhere is my theme music for the moment.

Read a blog yesterday with several college writing prompts for real life. It wasn’t funny after the first couple. Essentially everything after the first was repeating the punchline. The post got me to thinking about a whole host of writing I don’t do here on 1000 Days. I’m not sure how to define it except to say the results show a clear attention to purpose and a thoughtful effort.

Instructive writing. A conveyance.

I’m about inventive writing here. My writing presumes that I’ve digested much of the world around me and that I’ve developed the skills to concoct from that meal a new thing for you to enjoy.

I wonder if I’d have more success writing more towards a purpose than creatively?

165 words on day 513

Practice Being

Day 478

Several months ago I purchased the Mouse Guard Roleplaying book. I’ve been reading the Mouse Guard comics for some time now and have generally collected anything David Petersen has written regarding mice. I’m becoming less enthusiastic as he’s not been as prolific as I’d like, but when he’s doing, he’s doing it well.

This past weekend I finally started reading the book. It’s different than I’d expected. Meatier. Not typical. It’s not a roleplaying experience I’m familiar with. I’m not familiar with many.

I’ve not finished reading the manual—I’m only a couple chapters beyond the intro—but I’m impressed with the heavy emphasis on plot driven play. I don’t know how well that works in actual play, but it sure stirs the writing guy in me. Give’s me more ways to think of the things I’ve been thinking but not writing recently. I’m starting to believe that placing a target in front of a character and a time limit for her to obtain that goal may just be a plot. That the random conflicts the author throws up develop meaning through mere presence in the story.

I don’t believe and I’m not saying here that just doing these things makes a story great or even just good, but the do make a story. I still need to practice being, before I can practice being good.

224 words

Archiving Serendipty

Day 475

I should keep better track of the things I read. I suppose thats what Delicious and Evernote are for, but I don’t always have the time to archive serendipity. I should keep better track because when I everntually write about the things I read I’d like to link back to them for your reference. Suffice to say I did read several somethings along the lines of what I’ll write about now. I did not make this up.

That I did not ake this up should be evident in how clever it is. What I’m writing about not my writing.

A reader should be able to pick up a book, start reading at any point, and within a few paragraphs know the characters’ goals. That, for me says quite a bit. I need go no further, but will anyway.

I don’t think the authors I’ve aggregated that statement from meant that a character’s whole plot goal should be immediately apparant, though I suspect they think it should appear soon. I believe they mean a character’s scene goal; their current driving need. Worse, they expect clarity for the antagonist’s goal too; the bad guy can’t just poke your heroine in the eye he needs a reason to poke her in the eye.

These are the writing lessons I love to find. And consequently love to avoid incorporating in my writing.

Last week a wrote with this in mind, but neglected to have a goal for my antagonist. My antagonist merely through up half-hurdles for my protagonist to overcome. Looking back on the piece I didn’t like where the bad guy’s flimsey efforts were leading. Ultimately he’d have become a throwaway character and the scene would have played for no other useful reason than to introduce the protagonist by name in a clever-like way; that could have been done elsewhere and better.

OK, so. Bad guy needs a deeper life I decide. This story is not outlined at this point so I can do anything I want. Suddenly I’ve decided that our minor functionary is now the client who hired our protagonist to off the wife of his boss. Now I’ve got something I didn’t have before.

368 words