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.
Word count: 520