March 4th, 2004

bear by san

(no subject)

Kat's still being smart about plot.

I think she's right, in that in some respect, it's again the attempt to categorize that breaks down. Because we have these categorizing brainses, and they don't necessarily do us any good once we get past a certain point in the real world, because the categories are always arbitrary.

It's when we forget that our categories are a convenience and start treating them as natural law that we get into trouble.

Lately, I seem to be moving into a place where I'm less interested in talking about writing, because it becomes more and more plain to me that the ultimate answer to everything is 'it depends. Can you make it work?'

On the one hand, I realize that for many writers (myself included) there's a lot of value to be had in obsessively intellectualizing things and understanding how they work. But on the other hand, at some point, it has to become reflex. Because writing is too hard to do consciously.

I'm also very tired of dealing with people who fetishize for or against some aspect of craft--no present tense! always use first person! no adverbs ever!--which seems to me like an artist who intentionally limits his palette, or who can't abide a fan brush.

I mean, I have a few fetishes of my own. But I try to keep track of the fact that they are fetishes, and not for everybody.
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bear by san

The first rule of fiction is you can't talk about fiction.

Well, you can. But you have to accept that you're probably only explaining things to yourself.

Case in point:

The story is a thing.

And the filters of analytical tools--models of plot and structure, modes of analyses--are just ways of looking at it.

They're tools.

You can use them to slice the story up different ways, but it's still the same story.

***

1002 words on B&I tonight, after deciding I probably was too tired to write. It held off until 8:00 PM to start flowing though. Bastard. Although I finished this scene.

I am on page 448 of 601.

I should probably figure out something for Matthew to be doing in here. He sort of needs a POV soonish.
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