Wednesday, January 23, 2008

postmodernism impression comic

I do think that postmodernism is more then just denial of structure. (It's also denial of meaning!) Derrida aside, I find people who think misspelling things is funny to be a tad bit crude (sort of like a comic made on paint, however, they should not belittle the inability to spell, as it is such a traumatizing ailment!). But really, what have the words ever done to you?

My postmoder(ism?) impression

Lost in translation translated my modernism impression from English through five languages and then into English again. I don't think I have postmoderism down; I don't even know if it exists. I assume as a reaction to the modernist view my last post would be the postmodern one, this is just gibberish. But fun gibberish.

They are selected by these mornings. The luminous ones of the non-equal and external coffee. The way that the same light is not the same external part... [Sounds like what I'm studying in philosophy right now!] that the form gives. Did I forget that it introduces milk? Cheap milk is not milk at all. [Very true.] I cannot drink milk.

It is the soy oil (or possibly a coffee launderer.) those that the doctor said to take. To make the examination is really the end. [Don't have a bloody clue where this came from.] I am in my car -- in the God of the traffic, in the aversion of the traffic. And of me it drinks East Coffee with no launderer. Great beginning to the day, is it pageantry of the right? [not even sure anymore...]

I spilled my coffee in the external world of the traverse box. [ahem, car.] Traffic is of the damned! But I am an expert at arriving. Who is the same old man and the same old work? It is same old people and the same old office of the man. [The old man?] God, what an aversion I have to work. It is so similar.... But really, my coffee was terrible. It is normally correct, but today? Terrible. I have an East Kaffegenerator. [ I just can't delete this one. I really want to know why coffee is associated with east though.] It was great, every day, when I would eat a great cup of the coffee. But now? This does not work very well. I must possibly clean above it.

Since I used a computer program to base my changes on I have entered a grey area of ownership. I edited the output, and changed it outright in places, but if the program or the programmer has ownership then that would be just the same as picking up a book and changing it a little. Is it the percentage of the change that makes it mine? The program just did what it was told, where as I provided the original and the final copy. Joint ownership maybe?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My modernism impression

So I got up this morning. It wasn't even light out...Not even light out and I'm making my coffee. And I forget to put milk in it, right? Well, not really milk. I can't drink milk. Soy supplement (or maybe its just coffee whitener) the doctor said to take it. That isn't really the point. So I'm in my car, in the traffic – god I hate the traffic – and I've got this coffee with no milk--whitener! Great start to the day, right?

So anyway, I got to work okay, well, not really okay. Damned traffic. But I get there and it's just the same old job y'know? The same old people; same old desk. God, I hate my job. It's so...similar. But really, my coffee was awful today. Usually it's okay, but today it was awful. I have this coffee maker, the one they advertise. It was great, every day I'd have a great cup of coffee. But now? It doesn't work so well. Maybe I need to clean it.

Coming up next, post modernism! Or maybe I should do an impression on impression of postmodernism and just spell everything wrong. I suddenly occurs to me how overdone this is.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fantasy is genre

Another world is not a box, some strange land under and alien sky is not a box. It is a land, and it is strange, and it is vast and sweeping and irredeemable. And I am doomed.

I do not want to learn how to write fantasy. That was not my plan. I wrote, and it was fantasy. Maybe all those books I read influenced the choice, or maybe it is the natural way for one like me. That is what I thought at least. It is still true, but what the hell is fantasy? A little niche drilled into the wall, a premise already given at the beginning so you are stuck there and you cannot escape ever.

I love it, I love it dearly and I cannot imagine how a thing could really matter to me if it were not fantasy. It is such an honest sort of writing, everything is there and tangible. It is such an earnest sort of writing, there is no sophistry or judgement, only the keen desire to lead the reader off into some unknown place. That does not seem so bad.

But we use a set of tools and symbols to create and the ones I hold are of more then character and plot. I have such a variety of clothes and mechanisms, little things that flavour fantasy. How can I cast off these clothes? I thought I had, I thought I had done away with it. I thought I had the tools and symbols at my command, I thought I could do what I liked. I don't like this.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Villains and personality

Villains should have personality. This is what they tell us. Do not forget to make them realistic or to give them reason and motivation, elsewise, they will not be a real person.

What? Real people? I write fantasy! Mine should not be real, mine should be pretty little bits of paper with things like greed and courage written on them. I'll use red for one and green for the other and white in case I need some purity. If I make my characters realistic then how am I writing a fantasy? Guess I'm not. My goal is to create characters that are wonderful, vibrant, and tangible, henceforth, my villains must also be real. I guess I lose the fantasy there. (I can always make up for it elsewhere.)

Why must they be real? Because that is the underlying structure of it. (I've seen this before, but never in a way that made it click. Maybe I can manage.) There is a way of looking at things called magical thinking. Magical thinking is especially suited for fairytales and by that right we may, with only mild damage, apply it to all fantasy.

Fantasy is very physical. The character is sad; it rains. The character is angry; the world falls into chaos. The character is torn; a villain appears for them to fight. This is all well and good, but it means that the entire story must be taken. The reader will fall in love with the story instead of the characters. This is acceptable.

The problem occurs when writing a longer piece. We wish our characters to face others, but we also wish them to face themselves. How can they do both? The others represent them and henceforth cannot do anything but be a part of the hero. Henceforth we must allow the hero to internalize his inner conflict and face an enemy who is not a reflection of themselves but instead a complete and self-sustaining entity.

This is not to say that the villain cannot at times act as a piece of the hero, or the hero a piece of the villain, just that when the characters are maintaining vibrant and tangible personalities they will be separate. If you do not desire an external foe, and your character is complex and interesting enough that you wish to work through them for the plotline, then the villain need no more then a cloak and the worst traits of the hero.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What did the fourth wall ever do to them?

Wikipedia on the fourth wall: "...the imaginary invisible wall at the front of the stage in a proscenium theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play."

I found the fourth wall last year, and I found it amusing, then wondered why people were so against it. I did not experiment, however, I heard the little voice whisper behind my left ear 'they say you can't, I say we can!'

Yep, I love to disagree. I looked at it a little more though, and the more I saw it the less I was impressed. Why break the fourth wall? Humour maybe, but it stopped being amusing before anyone wrote a word, or at least after the first ten pieces written in such an abusing form. I get it: literature these days is all about pain and violence and hurting poor innocent barriers. Ooh, I can translate that: “M > ((P^V)^B)” Brilliant. But I do not necessarily agree with literature being a necessarily damaging experience. It harms certain legal rights of the readers...or something.

We had a lecture on Aristotle today, the teacher explained that plot was the most important element. We must remember that in Greek tragedy the characters were mythological and henceforth already well known.

Poor boy in the class put up his hand, he asked “what about character driven stories?” Someone had to. I suppose, even though it was obvious. And true,too: the teacher was discussing Aristotle in the present instead of looking at his views from a historical perspective.

I love Aristotle, I do, but it has been more then two thousand years and we still read this as the One True Way. I suppose it is frightening if we don't have anything to model from or disagree with. It is far worse when one of us breaks. Say I want to write a tragedy that takes place in more then one day, instead of saying 'pluralism is good, I'm writing in this way' I will behave like a little child breaking the rules of my parents.

It is the same with the fourth wall. Maybe it ought to be broken, sometimes it is good or useful, but it is childish. It isn't a mature writer taking a variation on the proper way, it is a little child who leaves their bed unmade.

And so is this, I believe more inflammatory then intelligent. Pathos for broken walls I suppose.