1. ghostkisses

    ghostkisses Member

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    I'm a mysterious entity that talks in all riddles (help me)

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ghostkisses, Jul 22, 2018.

    Odd title, but seriously. Time to call myself out on this.

    I know most people say show, don't say. I won't say. But I definitely won't show you either. Instead I'll just leave you in a utter state of confusion. And for some reason, confusion is deemed good, because according to my incredibly scientific data, if someone sees a whole bunch of words they don't understand it is automatically a Really Really Good Story. For some reason.

    If you add metaphors into the pot, you are in for the Oh My God I Have No Idea What The Freak Is Going On, but My Goodness It Sounds Epic.. special.

    Send help. Honestly. I can't describe a room without taking up a whole page speaking in nothing but metaphors, it is apparently FORBIDDEN in my mind to go "oh yeah, this is a chair right here." It's not a chair, you fool! Why, that is a *insert 3 million metaphors, none of which allude to the item being, indeed, a chair here*! Silly billy! What were you thinking?!

    It's probably not a good thing when I'm playing this game I have and I am reminded of myself whenever this mysterious entity starts reciting some epic poetry and the mc is just like... What the freak.. What the freaaaakkk.... What in the heck are you talking about?! whenever he encounters said entity. But that's me. That's definitely me. But I like the way I write! The writing is generally for only my eyes, and I know what I'm talking about, but...

    It sucks that I can never outright say anything, like I can't make statements, I can't even say someone sat down without twisting that statement alone into some dramatic emo poetry reading, fr though. Writing dialogue is insane and impossible when you write like this, massive paragraphs, lots of lists and all the adjectives you could ever imagine. But it feels so bland to me when I don't add them! I feel genuinely ashamed if I just write "she sat down."

    I guess it's nice when I'm actually writing emo stuff, but, even my darkest stories have funny elements but I have no idea how to execute said elements when I'm over here being freakin' XxxEmogurl4LyfesXxxxD.. Rawr. That is the most horrific sentence I have ever wrote, but... It's true, so. Help?
     
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  2. Jenissej

    Jenissej Professional Lurker Supporter Contributor

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    Uhm, I'm not sure I understand (q.e.d. I guess), do you want tips on how to write more concise? If so, I'd recommend you try to set yourself limits for your writing:

    Take a prompt and write a story or scene, but with no more than 500 words. Or write it in your current style, then cut it down to a word limit. Or limit yourself to only 10 words per sentence. Or take something you've already written and cut 20 words out of every paragraph or some such.

    This way you can practise saying what you want to say in fewer words that are all the more meaningful for it.
     
  3. ghostkisses

    ghostkisses Member

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    It's partly about getting to the point, partly about being less.. Well. Confusing, I suppose. What I mean is probably no one else understands what all my similes and metaphors and complex words are supposed to mean but me. But people seem to enjoy what I write nonetheless, because I usually get people gasping and going whoaaa before saying they didn't understand what was happening in or what some of the words meant but it sounded cool, so... I could try the word limit thing, though, maybe, I find once something's done I can't really come back to it because everything is awesome and necessary to me, but it's probably just a load of poetical jargon to anyone else, but I can't really edit things once I'm done, so, if I set myself a word limit from the start that could be a.. well, start.
     
  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    It seems like you're pretty set in your ways, which is fine. But if you truly want to strive for a better sense of clarity, it might require you make a few changes. If writing is your way of venting, go ahead and have all the inside jokes you want. If you want it to be something else, I think revision is going to have to become a necessary part of your process. There was a famous poet who said something like it took her six weeks to write twelve lines of poetry. I think poetry requires the same amount of attention and revision as any other type of writing. Study the greats because there something to be said from reading their poems, but when you've found one and read it aloud fifty times something really great happens. I think reading poetry is important and good for the soul. If you think you have the gift of writing it, I hope you take it to the next level. Good luck!
     
  5. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke

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    There's a certain beauty in simplicity. You can have detail in a story, yes, but if you're spouting off every detail of every nook and cranny in a room for twenty pages, there's nowhere for the reader to activate their imagination and make the story theirs, which misses the point of writing. There is, in fact, such a thing as overwriting a scene, and, if I've read correctly, that seems to be the issue you're running into.

    Ernest Hemmingway once said, "My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way." Right up there with the best, he also states the simplest.

    As @deadrats stated, if you want writing to be more than just something for yourself, which is perfectly fine, by the way, you'll need one hell of a revision stage.
     
  6. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    Yeah, I think flash fiction could really help you. I tend to ramble, myself, and making myself stick to 100 or 500 or 1000 words really makes you consider what information is required for the story to work, and how you can say it as briefly as possible.

    Apart from that, it's really just a matter of learning that there is no "I can't" in writing. Arbitrary restrictions help, but they're still arbitrary -- you just gotta train yourself out of the mindset of, "This is the only way I can write." End of the day it's not 'can't' -- it's 'won't'.

    I used to write extremely flowery prose, and to break myself of it I made myself write something with no description. None at all. It definitely sucked, but breaking the habit by going to the other extreme sort of gave me a concept of the spectrum I was working with, and where I really wanted to be on that spectrum.
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Oh, are we not talking about poetry here?
     
  8. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    Oh, I just assumed the references to poetry were about 'poetic' style prose. Can you clarify, @ghostkisses ?
     
  9. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a big believer in 'less is more.'

    If you enjoy creating metaphors, etc—and some of the best writers in the world are excellent at doing this—by geez, go ahead and create them. Let them pour out of you.

    THEN—if you do actually decide to write for other people to read—go through the piece, choose ONE of your metaphors per page/paragraph, stanza/ whatever, and keep it. Ditch the others.

    That metaphor you kept will made a huge impact. It's like an adjective, in a way. Adjectives are fine, but string too many of them together and they weaken each other. Too many, too often, make the writing seem ridiculous, and not inspired or clever at all.

    Overstuffing your writing with clever metaphors, similes, riddles, philosophies and convoluted, but grand-sounding statements can come across as show-offy. That's never an attractive quality. Conversely, it can also indicate a lack of confidence in your ability to create a unique but simple statement, and to trust it will make an impact.

    Less is more. It's a great principle for most things in life, really. Including jewelry! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    This is going to mow your blind. I forced myself to write a page with no structure but lines. One line for every thought or voice. Then I omitted 'and' 'or' 'the' 'like' 'by' 'as' 'for' - all of it. Then I omitted vowels. Then wrote only first syllables. Then abr.
    Once done, my mind not only filled in the missing necessities, it made the ridiculous overkill more obvious. I started noticing where I could add extra IDEAS or dialog instead of fluff. If you have to, use as few LETTERS as possible, not just words, until you're seeing the essence of your idea.
    I ended up with two fully developed, uncluttered chapters, from that one page, because I was writing many ideas instead of describing one idea overmuch.
    Blessed be. Hallelujah. I'm here til Thursday. Try the veal...
     
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  11. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    We have an interesting exercise at our writer's group. We roll the dice six times to pick a genre, time, setting, object, etc. then everyone has five minutes to write the first few paragraphs for that. It tends to cause you to visualize and convey the material concisely or you won't touch all the required topics. We do that once a month.

    I think you need to remember that the most vivid visualization in the reader's mind is their own. Don't force your own visualization on the reader. Concentrate on the senses, what he/she sees, but also feels, smells, tastes, hears. Attract attention to the unusual things... if you were on a Roman sailing ship 2000 years ago, things that will catch the reader's attention are the triangular topsail, perhaps, and the brailes running down the face of the sails, the steeply raked foresail. Not like an 18th century ship, though about as large. Catch the tarred hempy scent of the ropes, the creak of the rigging and the hull, the rush of white water overside, the pitching, rolling and occasional thudding splash as the bow lifts up over a wave and slams back down, spindrift spattering back along the deck. But don't give everything in detail. Just enough for the reader to picture it and say "My God, I am here. I feel the wind and spray in my face. And it's not like I thought it would be."

    And BTW,@ghostkisses, if people like your writing, that's a good thing.
     
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  12. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    I have no idea what on earth I just read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, whatever it was.
     
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  13. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I love the fact that the OP is about not being able to write clearly and concisely, and is itself neither clear nor concise. Mmmmm, meta.
     
  14. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    Sounds like your writing is more about getting your own fantasies down in print than creating a story for other people. It's good to be able to narrow down the intent.
     

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