Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fiction Second Workshop Notes & Impressions

Regarding the idea of the mimetic sense of a piece, or, for example, writing something in a confusing manner to suggest how confused or confusing was a situation to a character tends to backfire. When a reader is confused, the sense of credibility that would assure her/him that the sense of bewilderment is being engineered is troubled. A reader just feels as if the narrative is not clear, not as well-written and crisp as it might be. To establish a sense of the swirling confusion for the reader, you would want a good sense of what is happening that might contain a passage or paragraph or shift in perspective where some of the narrative gets foggy. Check out how it works in The Yellow Wallpaper (online) and you can see how unreliability gets established.

Consider "thisness" the idea of this love, this eating disorder, this day when this event happened as opposed to the larger, general catch phrases that make it easy for a reader to "relate." Readers "relate" best to that which is so specific, so detailed, so textured, so sensorily-rich that it makes it seem as if no other could be telling THIS story and that this time, this illness, this love are being told because they are so particular, unique and unusual. Because we feel this way when we are experiencing anything profound, the reader will often "relate" more to that sense, that intriguing telling than to the large, broad, general telling.

Imitations: The big question to ask is "how well can this function without the original text?" One way of handling this is to consider a new setting and one that perhaps provides a really informed perspective. EX: Here are the kilns and there is the slip.

Another way to tackle this is to "speak back" with information that is so voice-driven and original that it can apply without any "original text." Example: "I get it. The paperclips are alphabetized according to the minute variations in the way that they are bent. The soup is labeled with the soup-eater's first and last name, from this we are given to understand that the soup is someone's and that someone is not us. From this we gather too, that if someone other than Soup Eater opens this soup and consumes it, there will be event referred ever after as "The Chicken & Stars Incident." Soup is king in days that end with y as in Why this job? Why kill days with the steel edge of a full can of soup? Why leave them bleeding and hungry on the ground like that? But it's only Tuesday anyway."

As to Ands and other grammatical debates, check this out. Beware that you might still have to adhere to the rules as many people understand them. (Professors, etc.)

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