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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Conjunction, junction, what's your function?

I am Envy. I cannot read and therefore wish all books burned.

-- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

The more Renaissance lit I read, the more love I develop for standardized grammar and spelling. Especially in non-formal writing (letters and depositions and so forth) there is often the effect that the commas, conjunctions and pronouns were applied with a cannon. And verb tenses were, quite frankly, a matter of whim.

On the other hand, I do find that some of my slush still shows up looking like that. I wonder... does that mean there are a lot of Methuselan Elizabethan poets out there writing SFF short stories for the semipro market? That would explain why we get so many stories on themes of Hell, I suppose.


Meanwhile, Act II. I thought I understood how to do it, and now my subconscious is balking. The five-Act structure of the novel is handy because it allows me to jump forward in time and move through things quickly--which is good, because there are myriad little important events that take place separated by vast plains of banality (Oh, look: Will is cheating on his taxes again). But it also makes me wary of changing things between acts when they seem to be working. (In this case, it would be losing one character's POV for about 150 pages while I dispense with 6 years worth of politics and playmaking in London. But if I keep the POV, I have to come up with an arc for said character, who is currently enjoying the fleshpots of wherever it is that he is and--well. Hmmm. Actually, I wonder if there is some stuff I need to establish there. Oh, hell, there is. A whole factionalism thing.)

Usually, when my subconscious won't go over the water jump, or gets stalled halfway through the in-and-out, it's because it's spotted some problem that the rider (my conscious mind) wasn't aware of. We have a pretty good trust, my horse and I. Refusals are a method of communication.

So is my clucking and prodding. Sometimes the hack is just scared because that hedge looks really big and he can't see what's on the other side, and I can chivvy him over it. Sometimes he's right, and I have no clue what I was getting us into, and we go down in a heap.

It's a process.


I like the horse metaphor. It works for me.

The creative process is one of those inherently overdetermined things that needs several different metaphors, all of them conflicting, to even approximate what it's actually like. And they're all true at once.

At least that's how it is for me.

Creative process

Yeah. It's really amazing how complicated and mystical the whole thing gets. And how it can be all woooooooo and mystical at the same time that you're up to your elbows in gore.
Bah. Standardized spelling, grammar, and punctuation? Modernist fads that will hopefully soon pass away.