July 26th, 2003

bear by san

More writerly whitterings from mailing list posts: this time the 'fictional dream' and 'white space'

Beginning writers, like beginning artists, tend to use a lot of symbols. (For a further discussion, check out the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.")

So called "fabulous reality" or "the fictional dream" is a writer's term for what a visual artist calls "white space"--it's a matter of retraining the eye, or the intellect, to see the outlines of things as they actually are rather than as we expect them to be. Which is why grounding and detail work are so important: those keenly observed details are what break through the symbology barrier and put the reader into the world of the story.

It's all about learning to *see*. No, really.
There's some discussion of this in Robert Anton Wilson's nonfiction (if you can call it nonfiction), where he talks about reality tunnels, too.

It's what makes the best writing seem fresh and crisp and concrete: the writer is showing us not symbols, but actual things. Things that seem to have a visual and tactile reality above and beyond their existence on the printed page.


All of which makes me wonder: at what point in the last two years did I suddenly learn what the hell I was talking about, regarding writing fiction? Because I don't think I knew this in 2001.
bear by san

The joys of writer's IM chatrooms:

matociquala8 (1:16:26 PM): Why are all my characters named Will?
matociquala8 (1:16:39 PM): You'd think these people only knew two names.
HiddenAgenda17 (1:17:00 PM): well there's the whole spelling thing
HiddenAgenda17 (1:17:12 PM): How do you spell Amarynthe?
HiddenAgenda17 (1:17:24 PM): says the priest
HiddenAgenda17 (1:17:34 PM): ::fuddle parent:: call her Anne
matociquala8 (1:17:47 PM): There are five Wills in the Lord Chamberlain's Men alone.
matociquala8 (1:18:05 PM): Must have made giving notes a nightmare.
matociquala8 (1:18:18 PM): "Will, I need you upstage--no, Will, not you. Will!"
HiddenAgenda17 (1:18:43 PM): Red Will. Poxy Will. Big Will. Little Willy
SpcWriter (1:18:46 PM): "Will you come here, Will?"
SpcWriter (1:18:59 PM): "I will."
matociquala8 (1:19:09 PM): That's why Kemp quit. He got tired of being called Little Willy
HiddenAgenda17 (1:19:29 PM): well you would
HiddenAgenda17 (1:19:36 PM): with all the Dicks around
  • Current Music
    Schoolhouse Rock - Elementary, My Dear
bear by san

If Dusty Springfield

Never did a single thing in her life except record "Son of a Preacher Man," it were enough.


'Scuse me: I need a cold shower now.


Wordcount: 1018 words. God. Damn. It.
And through that meatgrinder of a scene that has been kicking my ass since Monday. Which is fucking odd, because not a damned thing happens in it except for setup for other scenes and some exposition and a little plot development. But it was a tiger to write.

And I figured out how to dispense with the eleven months between September of 1595 and August of 1596, which I need for expositional reasons (stuff happens that is Important Later, but the POV characters aren't there for it. So it needs to be handled As Exposition.)


Frelling historical novels.

And I have a headache. I'm going to shower and see Seabiscuit, and hopefully get that exposition out of the way tonight.

Writing Is Hard


And here upon my knees, striking the earth,
I banne their soules to everlasting paines
And extreme tortures of the fiery deepe,
That thus have dealt with me in my distresse.

--Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta
  • Current Music
    Dusty Springfield - Son Of A Preacher Man
bear by san

Whoooooooooooo! Go, boy! Go!

Seabiscuit: my reserved critical opinion?

Best thing since sliced bread. With peanut butter.

And I'm not just saying that because it's a horse movie, 'cause really the horses are a backdrop as much as anything. Although the animal they have playing War Admiral is frelling perfect. Near-black, a mountain of a horse. Gorgeous.

Best line is something very much like "Keep your hands off me, you sons of bitches." Only in horse.


Words since Seabiscuit: 1479, making the day's total 2,497.
Reason for stopping: Done with the letter. Done with the POV. Done.Done.Done.Done.Done.Done.Done.Done.
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