Monday, February 25, 2013

25 February 2013

Just broke 40,000 words today which hopefully places me at halfway finished with the first draft. Mark Gluth suggested I compile a list of attributes of other works which I admire and would like to work into my own piece. This is what I came up with.

Admired Elements to Apply to BA 

·         Sense of ominous mystery. A general, diffuse feeling of terror, anxiety, malaise, or unease that permeates the work. It builds slowly and shifts so that one may never locate it. Unable to be placed in a creature, location or idea it is rendered even more horrible by its instability.

·         Rigorous verisimilitude. Dialogue and actions are crafted so that they may be taken from real life. Alternately, a deep suspension of disbelief is never expected of the reader.

·         Seamless segues into fantastic elements. Reality and fantasy are never seen as separate and so fantasy bleeds into reality and gains that much more ‘punch’.

·         Fantastic elements are circumscribed. Never seen directly, alluded to, mentioned but always placed out of frame. Allows reader to fill in the most horrible points with their imagination.

·         Media innovation. In this case using language in interesting and new ways. While not a central tenet, unusual and imaginative use of language is important to me. Word coinage, unusual usage and especially utilizing linguistic tricks to enhance fantastic elements it important.

·         Inclusion of scientific and mathematical themes and elements. Using science to enhance the story in various ways including sense of reality and sense of mystery.

·         Meticulous beauty. Attention to detail and format at all times for maximum effect. Taking care in the craft so that a deeply aesthetic effect is achieved.

·         Dry or subtle humor. The comical, carnivalesque and absurd placed in the work without great fanfare. Comedy used to provoke, satirize, or self-depricate rather than strictly amuse. High comedy.

·         Complex characters with equally complex relationships. In BA especially I want to present the nebulous, confused relationships which take place during college.

·         Equal attention to fine detail and overarching themes, neither taking precedence over the other.

·         Attention to gestalt and synergy. Ensuring the reader is left with an effect greater than the sum of the parts, which provides the work attributes and life outside of that provided simply by the characters, language, plot alone

·         Wise use of colloquial language, to enhance and fill out the atmosphere but not as a main point.
·         Similarly subtle and wise use of drugs and extrapsychic experiences.

·         Utter rejection of current and mainstream tropes and themes, Rebellion at all costs.
·         Thoughtfulness.

Aspects I want to avoid
·         Reliance on current technology, cell phones, computers, current events etc. Want work to take on a timeless, dateless perhaps placeless feel.

·         Overly flowery/lengthy descriptions. Want reader to fill in gaps and ‘see’ characters in their own light unless absolutely necessary. Accept that readers can see the world on their own and I do not need to force it on them.

·         Copying or deriving themes, characters, effects or language from other writers without significant (total) changes. Want to avoid any gross comparisons or accusations of over reliance to/on other writers.
·         Boring the reader.

·         Long periods of dialogue or dialogue that seems unusual, forced et c. to get across a point, to forward the plot.

·         Being overdramatic.

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