Day 61: Brain Fodder

Think of the most improbable place people could live then skip two to the right and you have the ah’Taconschientee or in the suffixial patois, Shanty.

From a distance, Shanty gleams like a melting drip of a dragonfly’s eye. Nearer you make out the honeycomb of confetti-like solex clinging together and glistening in the sea sun. This could be a stalactite or an icicle.

You trim your flit to hover in a more or less safe zone back from the congested hive of flits, hangers, and sticks swooping and, well, flitting to and from Shanty. It is not hard to swap your fellow fliers for wasps and Shanty for the papery nest. The rear fans of your flit sense your curiosity and wind up a degree. You drift toward Shanty’s center of gravity.

You’re a killer. You have business here. Deadly business.

You chuckle at the melodrama and unzip your jacket to expose your décolletage.

This not an edit.  It’s a discussion of my thinking.

I like that I didn’t waste time with overly specific details.  Laundry lists of whats and wheres and hows don’t much appeal to me as a reader, so I don’t write this way.  When I make descriptions I like to overload the effort to include emotion, tone, and setting along with the information.  The stalactite reference juxtaposes the rest of the insect imagery but it’s still natural.  “…but it’s more alive.” tacked onto the end of that first paragraph might help it blend in even better.

I really do feel like I pull off the overloads I have worked on pretty well.  That’s not to say I shouldn’t continue to evaluate them closely.  My two concerns are that I don’t know when to pull back, that I linger too long on that type of description, and that I may not transition as smoothly as I think into the more plot-advancing stuff.  These descriptive analogies and extended metaphors bring the strange events and places proximal to the reader–that’s my intention anyway.

Considering my habit of scanning pages for dialogue and nearly always glossing the description, the way I write is the inverse of how I read.  Initially that seems odd, but the more I think on the two it may not be so strange after all.  I love dialog.  I don’t write it so I can’t screw it up.

Great.  I really don’t need to uncover another fear tonight.  Not after I’ve been running scared on the tacit word count challenge.  Good thing I am being introspective rather than creative.  This head writing is always dense.  At least I’ll make my unspoken quota of five hundred words a post on this one.

Using second person in this was an accident.  Or maybe a hold over of my recent training style.  When I train I direct the participants to do perform tasks: you click here, you drag this there, or you arrange these in a row like this.  Hmmm.  Not sure that I would have categorized second person as a training style.  I wonder if the immediacy and the improbability of second person could be better served with that in mind.  Maybe even mix in first person to make it read more like a trainer.  I do it this way, but you could do it this other way if you like.  Masia Freixa was second person too.  It was more of a tour however.  Actually that might be a better them to write second person in than training.  Less apt to get preachy, still allows the reader to make decisions about the events.

I might be digging on second person more than I would have thought.  I wonder how you can find well done examples.  I know of none.

Even before it’s clear this is second person–I think it ramped into that–it obviously doesn’t take itself seriously.  The writing is self-aware if not deprecating in it’s ‘let me tell you what I’m going to write’ way.  I think maybe people would be ready for an overt narrator like this.  Another bit of research to do on reading trends.

Brain fodder.

Word count: 520

Day 59: Humping the Muse

I feel like I have been pushing the envelope on some of these little scenic things I am doing.  If you’ve paid attention to the word count you will see that it dwindles as I press on.  Most of this drop off is a reflection of my poor ability to lock in a time of day to write the remainder stems from the medium I am using for inspiration on a lot of these: other peoples photos.  Such reliance does a number of good things and some bad things for my productivity.

Using external prompts like photos allows me to write about unexpected events or things–things not sitting on my desk.  Photos transport me to a world I might not have otherwise considered or to a view of the world within my considerations in a way I might not have possessed without the photo.  While some folks might find this method too much like trying on someone else jeans.  Initially similar but increasingly foreign as you attempt to button them up.  I am OK with that (but not for pants).  A writer needs to take someone else’s approach from time to time.  Doing so is like having an editor for your inspiration.

Easter egg hunting holds no appeal for me.  Searching out muse photography holds little more.  Long range and regular it ain’t.

I think I had the most fun with the piece of artwork I had seen several months back and can no longer dredge up from the Internet.  That one brief image spawned three perspectives and four characters so far.  It also felt more like my own, yet new.

What all this means I am not sure.  Perhaps I will return to ‘Shanty‘.  Perhaps I’ll just apply the same technique to another inspiration experience.  Both are attractive.  Older posts call out to me to be edited and expand as well.  I may heed those sirens.

The immediate next step is going to be nothing so emotional or creative.  It’s time to increase the word count to something substantial.

Word count:  335

Day 56: Drawing on the Write Side of the Brain

Is it too early for me to learn to draw?  I find myself increasingly jealous of the talents and skills of artists.  I don’t want to be a painter or well thought of talent, but it would be fun to be able to sketch stuff.

Art and photography are quite an inspiration to my writing in the last month.  I wouldn’t want to under estimate the efforts of these creative folks, but I find that achieving the same outcomes with words to be tough.

With words I have to balance the dullness of complete and precise description with the tone and emoting of a scene.  The words draw the reader in the proper direction, but never to the exact destination.  Subsequent words hone and focus the scene.  With drawing you really can go all the way there–if you want to.

But I can’t imagine how I would wordulate something like “Monsters Inc.”  That’s the challenge I posed to myself when I first started not really doing anything with “The Bringer of Mist”.  I am glad to have written more on it here and expect to continue, but I just don’t think I could capture the full feel a cartoon movie provides.  In some circumstances you could get away with blatantly stating, “Hey these are cartoons.”  Then you could iterate as needed.  But that’s just not the style of writing I am going for in my work.

I’ll just have to keep working on it.

Word count: 240