the Rift

Journey to the Good Writer Title

Vincent Posts: 32
Stallion :: Equine :: 19.0 :: 10 Buff: NOVICE
Claribel :: Irish Wolfhound :: None Sparrow
I have been writing this for a while, actually. Not exactly on paper or a in word document, but in my head. I think Helovia might just need to see it, sit on it, so that maybe it will touch some of you. I know it's long and terrible but it's worth it. Unless you're like Fitzgerald or something, you should never ever read it.
I find myself tripping sometimes (more over my own mistakes than others, lol) over the terrible bears of spontaneity, grammar, syntax, punctuation, diction, and voice in my own posts. It is nearly impossible for me to produce a clear, concise image without mottling it with horrible syntax and grammatical error. I know lots of writers use RP to get away from that law and order to just let themselves write for once. But I still see people struggling, like me, with that beautiful image or feeling that they wish they could have made more meaningful. I know the answer to this problem is reading good writing - but I still find myself unable to produce sentences that don't harbor huge ambiguous words and false narrative, even though I'm reading! I hope this rings true to others who find themselves lost in the creation. It's that nasty over-analytical bug that disrupts your writing -fog- and cripples your muse because you can't write a damn good sentence!

I am constricted by passive language, it's the way my mind thinks. I write constantly in passive voice and I know everyone that reads a Tay post wants to vomit because you can see the image after you've mentally rearranged the stupid idea. I want an active voice, and I don't want to have to think about it! When I'm writing a post, I start with one random line and try to keep going with a hope in mind that I can go back and fix my errors. But the passive voice and verb abuse hinders my train of thought because if I stop to gather them, that locomotive comes unhinged! Even if I study really good syntactical books and analyze pieces that have a really strong narrative presence, I still trip over the same speedbumps. I even find myself losing my tense after a while. That's when you know you can't even digest what you've said. So I apologize for all that have witnessed these problems, and my poor characters that live within the periods.

I think this topic/question can be projected outwards on to you guys because I see other players trying to deal with this problem. Some examples of players that have a really strong command of the language are Blu and Neo because I've studied them the longest. xD

There are way more than just Blu and Neo - I'm probably too caught up in editing the stuff I've written above to remember you or I just haven't had the time to read you lately. :x Apologies, you probably know who you all are so have another cup of amazing.

But we are all good writers too, and what separates us from them like water beneath oil is most likely our execution. We have stupid mistakes, like in math, clogging our imagery our mood our central message. We keep wishing people could see the moment we're describing, and feel it like we do when we read really active writing. We wonder constantly why our image doesn't sound as fantastic or quote-worthy as someone else's and we've been beating our heads on our desks trying to figure out why when we try harder, it gets worse. There is nothing more annoying, more frustrating, than trying harder and making it worse.

It's self-deprecating, in fact. I have procrastinated my posts and even artful school writing for days and even months before I'm threatened enough to start with the first word. It's terrible because you haven't forgotten, you still have to remember what you should be writing and confidence eventually goes right down the drain. When you have no confidence, no muse, no insight, no character, no desire to even write, and no command of the English language - what the hell do you actually have? That's definitely the question about writing that rings truest to me.

The first thing you have to cross off that list is definitely the "no desire to even write" because you do, if you're still here on planet Earth you still need to say something or else you would have already put yourself in the ground, as silly as it sounds. So get rid of that. Then you have to go insane. Yes, go insane. And by insane, I'm talking about that artful insane, where you do whatever you have to do (dance, drink, cuss, smoke, eat, bathe, ect) to make yourself go into the creative state. By now you're probably trying to figure out what the hell that might be for you, you should share it, or not share it, but whatever it is I promise that you will know it eventually if you don't know it already...

While you "go insane" your mind becomes stimulated and it begins to generate things. These "things" that it generates are insightful, muse-creating ideas that your brain has produced. Yay! You have muse! The brain is too intelligent, to horrifyingly unknown to not have something interesting in it. I promise that whatever you're dealing with can go away for a minute, a second in your day and your brain can produce an idea. I don't believe in "no muse", "no inspiration", "I'm too fed up with everything in my life to focus on another detail", "I'm sorry but there will never be a good sentence out of me", and "I don't have the time." I have been guilty of saying ALL of these things more than once, and probably all at one time in some cases. All of these things have kind of become a disease for me, and they've given me all sorts of chaotic side-effects like bad sentence structure, passive voice, grammatical explosion, death-to-idea, no originality, no spontaneity, etc. These things that I first talked about came from not writing. They came from an attempt at trying to regrasp something so sophisticated, so unexplainable, and so elusive that the actual act of writing was mutilated.

First, we have to understand that we write all the time. The left side of our brain is the writing side, the logical side, while the right controls the primal-escape route, the tangible feeling, the beautiful imagery. Writing is transferring the primal observation on the right side, to the left side, then back to to right side, to our hand, and to our keyboard/pen and paper. It's terrible. But we don't exactly have to do the last transfer to be writing, nope. Writing is as simple as reflecting, imagining. Buy a bus token, sit by the window, let your mind wander. You're writing.

I promise, that if you do this you will find that everything comes together. It may be insanely abstract, what you put down. You may think that what you're doing is absolutely nuts. It is, but you're human and at this point you don't care because you want to be good at writing. If you actually have something that you want to communicate (at this point in the process, you should) the expression should be as thoughtless, as natural to you as it can be. Write a "page of garbage" and when you're done you've found treasure. You put words on the paper, and if they're words, they have meaning. Whether or not the meaning is of merit, is someone else's judgement. This exercise is meant for you to become comfortable again when you're putting things down. It's an act of bravery - accessing those rare, elusive moments in your memory. Sometimes they are purely scary to think about. Sometimes they make you cry. Sometimes I've been writing about something completely unrelated to any of my memories and I start getting emotional because something was accessed, something was written. You have to be willing to go back because anything you write is a memory, even if it's a dragon fight on Jupiter or something totally out-of-this-world, you are still reflecting, remembering. There is some kind of humanity in it. Like our characters, they're horses. Mythological ones at that. But at the the same time they're human, more human than horse, horse skin on a human. They have a purpose.

I'm arguing that if we define the purpose, if we can feel the image in our minds with any strength, the execution, those subtle weird twists of impulsive "how do I use these words" will go away and we will communicate in a natural, meaningful way. If your sentence is as dull as "Vincent felt like running." You have a good, fucking awesome sentence! It makes your reader think about why he wants to run. If you can ask a question, there is a story to be told. Perhaps Vincent was running from some sort of cannibalistic infected wraith, but in the way the sentence was said, so casually, so briefly - there is still a question as to why it was said that way. Perhaps he has been running his whole life, yes I mean metaphorically. Think about all the times you've been running in your life. This is important. Do not dismiss this idea. It is universal to even the people that say it isn't. So, "Vincent felt like running." There is no fluffy, flowery language, no: "I contemplated filling the void with a voice, a silvery-black voice that moved like smoke, but I couldn't command legs to run, eat turf, spill grasses onto grasses like Dionysian apathy, lurch into the setting sun and feeble cloudlines where I would be eaten alive, limb torn to limb by mechanic jaguars as they chased me through my reverie." I'm sorry, but I have absolutely no reaction to that. It is a "try hard" sentence. I would rather read forty five simple sentences than read that one. I'm frustrated and eaten with anxiety because I can not possibly fathom what in the blue fuck was going on. Writing "like it is" is definitely a style, while writing obscurely is as well. But sometimes "writing like it is" is true. A good writer writes truths.

More than all of that, a good writer describes things in a unique way, moreso than the stupid obscurity of that ridiculous sentence about "mechanic jaguars" and so forth. They are able to construct such a specific idea that they fill in those weird abstractions with something so universally concrete, it's everything unique and not unique at one time. Yes, this is probably one of the most complex, insane acts a writer can do.

We'll take that shitty sentence and make it something gradually better:
"I filled the void with my voice, a voice that kept me running, eating turf, lurching into feeble cloudlines where I would be eaten alive by degraders, haters, as they chased me through my reverie."
Notice that it makes way more sense. You still have to analyze it a bit to find the intention, but the most important part is that there is an intention. I chose to go in this direction with this sentence because it has truth behind it. Lets try condensing again, and see what we get.
"I filled life with my voice, the hope that kept me lurching into cloudlines where I could be pulled down by the feeble ones I love, as they listened to my reverie transcend reality."
It still could use work because more abstractions have surfaced, but this is by far, much better writing than the original. Now we can identify the speaker, here. We know this is a person who is achieving their dream. We can see the antagonist. As a matter of fact we know them, we can identify their faces, smell them, talk to them in our daily lives, we are the speaker. This is such a universal intention. The "I can do whatever I want if I put my mind to it" mentality is a truth, and that's why the image of the sky works because we relate it to "sky is the limit." This could eventually become a masterful, unique way of showing the cliche.

This technique is easily translated to your characters, believe it or not. Hopefully your character has hopes and dreams, if not, it's back to the drawing board. These things should drive your character, everything you have, they have. If they are having a shitty day, most likely, you are to. It is impossible to establish a true distance between writer, and character. Vincent and I have something in common: We are both terrified of failure, we both do what we do because we are threatened, at times, to do them. We both live in a mildly insane fear, intangible and sickly, and that fear is what draws me to him, I want to harness my own fears through his, and that is why I prefer him to any other. This goes with Feuille as well, she wants and seeks change but is stuck in her own season. I feel the same way, a minor who is beginning to learn that the way the world is, sucks. I want to change it, but I can't because I'm stuck in a degrading household that limits what I can do in the moment.

These are the truths to me. These are the tools I use when I go to write. You have them too, but you need to use them and not the flowery language that you cling to for a word count. Sometimes the language ends up having a meaning, but usually it's by chance. If you feel bad for the people that read your posts, don't post them, wait until you have that one spark of truth. If you are writing 1,500 word posts that are made of meaningless crap, you are not writing, you are dumping. I would rather read 100 words of reflection, of epiphany than 250 forced words of false expression. And I'm one-hundred percent sure that every writer on the planet would want to write the best 100 words ever than the most words ever. I sure would.

Passive voice is surely going to be a struggle, always. I doubt I'll ever get the chance to grow out of it because there will be days where I stop writing, and I have to refer back to this to guide me in some sort of direction. I know now, by dreaming it all up again, that passive narrative, choppy diction, or uncontrolled ambiguity, can't be as horrible as I think it is. I have truth on my side, and no truth is passive. It can establish all the metaphors I need, all of the unique descriptions, every single little punctuation choice. It is my inspiration. I harness it and take it for a long walk down memory lane, conjuring the images, putting them in my little satchel so when I come to the keyboard, I'll have an amazing blueprint with every detail right in front of me. I'll know that I only have to write the first line, the first truth that comes to mind.

So when you look at your post, your empty little white box in whatever land, and you are haunted by your echoing conscience going: "Dear God, how do I craft a sentence?" Rethink, define a truth to you. State it. Reflect. Daydream. Be confident in whatever the hell it is you're thinking of, touch your keyboard, let your little finger find a letter, poke it, and begin.

Writing is like that little game. The stupid, annoying game that when you think of the game, you lose the game. When you think of critically of your syntax, diction, or any other superficial stupid "techniques" when you're writing the first draft, you lose the game. You lost your ability to be spontaneous when that was all you wanted in the first place. Don't lose the game. Do not think just write, I know it sounds impossible but it's not just ask any amazing writer on this globe. Let your reflections pour through your head and to your fingers.

Please go write something.

I raised myself.
My legs were weak.
I prayed my mind be good to me.

Ampere The Mother of Companions Posts: 719
Dragon's Throat Sultana atk: 9 | def: 11 | dam: 4.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 14 hh :: 6 years HP: 73 | Buff: DANCE
Kygo :: Green Cheek Conure :: None Blu
<33333 you're amazing Tay!

Tag me only if starting a new thread.
Magic or force permitted any time, aside from death.

Beowulf Posts: 48
Hidden Account atk: 4 | def: 7.5 | dam: 7.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 18Hh :: 8 winters HP: 65 | Buff: NOVICE
Mykah :: Canadian Lynx :: None Eaglecry
Hnnnggg all dis is Soo true <33

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