Saturday, September 27, 2014

September Snippets

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"And strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky / are next to mountains anyway."

I've finally gotten back into the swing of writing (fitting it into my schedule and sorting ideas into reality) and I figured it's about time I let you all read some snippets. I'm writing all over the place at the moment, so the snippets were chosen accordingly. It also occured to me that this post might serve to explain the difference in writing-style between my three main novels: Psithurism and Gumusservi are obviously sister works, but the style does vary slightly between the two; as previously stated, Finding My Balance is far more delineated than most of my work.

I hope you enjoy them. :)


"A dark shadow flew in her face, a scream lodged in her throat, yet somehow she didn’t faint. Instead, an odd voice in the back of her mind told her she was a silly girl to be afraid of the dark. It sounded a bit like her mother."

"“Ara,” she squeaked, colouring and hoping the dark would cover for her. It was not an extraordinary false name, but it would do. The man was studying her curiously, and the child in her arms sniffed. “Just Ara? No surname, nor title?” “Have you trouble comprehending it?” “No, no – only, it is not every night one finds an Ara.” Gooseflesh appeared on her arms."

"Her heart squeezed with a sudden, senseless desire for the intangible Home, and though it was just that – senseless – the coolness of it, like a gasp of fresh air, caught in her throat and stuck hard."
"She slid a fair hand into his hard one. She was wild, brash, foolish; it was the first decision she’d ever made on her own."

"The desert is thick. Many other places are full with shrubs or water, or places and people, death or life. They are crowded to bursting with something, and that Something defines them. But the desert is not full - no, it is full with something else. It is an emptiness that occupies it all, that fills the hollow, dusty void. The thick depth aches for something to fill it, while rejecting, with its very nature, life itself. The Nothingness thickens, clots like blood in the heat, covers up the hole within itself. Such a noose can steal the life from something, and whatever, or whomever finds herself caught in the nothingness is gone.
Down in the rich woods of southern Vita Anima there lived an old woman, suffocating like a flame under a glass, remembering."

"“Fast fellow, ain’t he?” The new boy’s accent was quite obviously New Yorker, but all she could see now were the lights on the ceiling of the gallery, shining like so many burning stars, and the feeling in her heart that the entire world was thrown madly out of proportion."

"“I didn’t want it all to end. I thought we all…I thought we had an understanding. I thought if a man” she heaved a sob “I thought if a man kissed a girl it meant he loved her.”
“Maybe he’s not a man, then. Maybe he’s nothing more than a foolish boy. We’re not in the south, at any rate. Men kiss and run, and you’re better off avoiding them altogether.” Maria seemed to speak from experience, but Scarlett was still thinking about Hugo."

"Smack. “That’s what you get for playing with me.”
She hoped to heaven his cheek hurt good, and raced out into the night. It should have been the perfect exit. It should have felt like victory, and she should have never looked back."

Favorites? Tips? Questions? I want to know!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Writing Is Not Architecture

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In editing a paper yesterday, I began to think about writing, and how terms like "parallel construction" et al make writing into architecture - and what that means. In academic writing, one building-block at a time we stack up our stories until we have a firm cement construction that is the Argumentative Essay.

Well. That's all well and good if you want to write a tight argument and convince someone of the validity of your point on some issue, but that's not how we write books.

I see it this way: argumentative writing is your workout routine. It's healthy, and very good at all around tightening, toning and perfecting you(r writing skills). When it comes to writing literature, however, we get to freestyle. And dance is not always symmetrical - that's the beauty of it. Some lines (or in this case, sentences) will be beautiful, elongated, wordy, they'll fill your soul with all the richness and beauty of expression that is creative writing. But then there are these guys. The short, steady one. In dance, these are the static, heavy movements, and the contrast between the two is what makes a piece so captivating and keeps your reader reading, or your audience watching. Without each other, both sentences become monotonous and dull. No amount of profuse vocabulary (highfalutin-mumbo-jumbo, as Gilbert would have it) will make that sentence new, unless you break it up with something easier to chew on. No amount of defeatist drama in those 4-5 word sentences will grab your reader any faster if you don't incorporate some longer sentences and let your writing flow for once.

See the thing about architecture is it assumes similarity. For every flowery, Grecian pillar, (or sentence) you need three others for the remaining, respective corners of the structure. But with creative writing, we get the freedom to stack a tall, flowering pillar next to a short, squat one, next to a sharp square one and so on. The resulting myriad of sentence-lengths is what creates rhythmic, living writing, with that sort of je ne sais quoi that perhaps now vous sais quoi precisement. 

So please, for the sake of all of us reading, vary your sentence length. Nobody. Wants. To. Read. Like. This.
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