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Work Room - Week 11

This morning I was thinking about asking stupid questions in order to find out about what's going on. Maybe you saw that Green Room.

When I was thinking "What do I want to talk about in the Work Room tonight?" I kept going back to it. Because I was thinking about how people respond to those questions - what they say and what they don't say. I was thinking about how you can go online and find a source or three to back up pretty much every conceivable opinion someone could have on a subject, and several that you can't believe that anyone would actually say out loud.

This, of course, brought me back to the subject of writing.

In your entries, you are the one crafting the POV and control the flow of information.

It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or whatnot (especially the whatnot) - in that space where your words hold sway - you control the horizontal and the vertical.

So how do you determine just how much is going to get out there? And how much does it change from piece to piece? Do you find yourself changing that up? I'm not just talking about "what perspective do you write in", I'm looking at the flow of information itself from these characters - and how much of it reflects on the type of person you see yourself as being?

That last bit is heightened for non-fiction of course, but it's definitely applicable to every other form of writing, or creative enterprise.

It applies to Real Life as well: How much information do you let flow about who you are, and how much do you keep back? It's an every day of life issue, that often enough gets solved without too much thought for some, and too much for others.

Do you find your narrative voice ends up being the same? Or do you purposefully try to change it? What happens when you *do* change-up your every day voice for another?


The Results are in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/898318.html

and there is a new list of topics: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/898794.html

We also have the Second Chance Gauntlet about to heat up for another round: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/897827.html


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2016 04:06 am (UTC)
Apparently, when I change my narrative voice, I land somewhere between Coleridge and Columbo.

(Real thoughts on this in the morning, but having lots.)

ETA: I spend a lot of time controlling my identity (obvious statement is obvious). And I'm sure that's apparent in my work, no matter what I'm doing. I'm very measured in how I dole the information you need to read the story, or the poem, or the "what-not."

I think it's a question of pacing ... you can't dump everything at once. (Well, you can, but then it's not a story, it's an infodump.) Whether it's slow builds, or surprises, or both, you find a rhythm to your narrative and spin images accordingly. And certain information is related to the structure of a story (intro, rising action, climax, denouement).

I probably lean a bit heavy on letting dialogue (or monologue) convey information, rather than doing it through description or scenery.

Edited at 2016-02-23 01:25 pm (UTC)
Feb. 23rd, 2016 05:05 am (UTC)
Well, I think I'm definitely in the "whatnot" category (if not the "what the hell was that?" category).

What controls my narrative voice? Depends on what sort of bullshit stunt I'm trying to pull on any given week. If I'm doing some sort of full-out spoof or satire, I'll usually take the style or voice of whatever it is I'm spoofing (Texan dialect, infomercial sales pitches, social media + error messages, whatever) and then exaggerate it to the point of absurdity, the more fucking ridiculous the better. Those tend to be the easiest to do because the voice and style are already THERE, I just have to hold up the funhouse mirror and let fly. Usually with those posts, the hard part is coming up with a solid, workable idea.

If I'm just rambling or ranting about some old bullshit, things can get a little trickier. I've found that, when I'm super in my "zone" and\or writing with a purpose, I tend to have two distinct voices (as opposed to my regular nekkid chatty casual style which is what you're seeing now) - batshit pissed off I'MMA WHUP ALL YOU BITCHES WITH MY CAPSLOCK OF DOOM ranty-ass war lord, and sort of a more calm, quasi-sly tone where I try and see how many stupid jokes, bad puns, and double meanings I can slip into any given sentence. The ranty-ass warlord usually just sort of explodes out of me once I work myself into a tizzy, and then I go back and edit for coherence. This is what I use when I'm going for shock value or addressing a topic where subtlety or satire just won't work or won't achieve the desired effect. The more calm tone with the dumb jokes tends to be for when I want to poke at something with a stick as opposed to blow it up, or when I'm not really targeting anything and just sort of being goofy for fun. It's like - am I trying to lob a grenade or do a parlor trick? (Or do a parlor trick that involves lobbing a grenade and then being like - Oh my goodness, where did this grenade come from?! #TrollInTheDungeons)

As for how much makes it into any given entry in the first place - sometimes the answer is "depends on what the fuck I can manage to pound out a couple hours before the deadline" and a lot of times the answer is "probably about three times as much as *should* have made it in, you long-winded teal deer jackass" but the *ideal* answer is - enough to get the point across and make the entry seem strong and solid without making people want me to just STFU and get off the damn stage already. I've also been known to cut shit if I think it's a little *too* far over the line, but that's a delicate, dirty balance. On one hand, I fully realize that alienating too many readers is a good way to get myself voted out of the competition, but on the other hand, I fully realize I can't still respect myself in the morning if pull my punches like a frilly little wuss and file down my jagged edges to please the Delicate Snowflake brigade.
Feb. 23rd, 2016 07:15 am (UTC)
That's an awesome question Gary.

I think I'm kind of an open book but I do leave a lot of inner turmoil off the page at times. It may come out more in the fiction then the non-fiction actually. In my fiction I'll tend to have the character have more of things I'd like in my life (money, love) but then have them be way more off the deep end mentally than I find myself or express myself to be.

I think that answers something? or maybe it just makes mo questions. I like being as confusing as possible. I like mostly giving information and getting A reaction. I like mostly sharing what I love in some form to make others love it and then twisting it so things go in a way that you love me, hate me, are scared of me, confused, whatever... all of that... none of it... as long as you react.
Feb. 23rd, 2016 07:29 am (UTC)
In other news... Porqoi Story is perfect in what would be the next chapter in the fiction piece but... I don't know if I'll be able to get my brain wrapped around something I barely understand myself in three days.

I don't want to take a bye, because boom... there's the topic. I wish there was a way to get... an extension or something.
Feb. 23rd, 2016 10:26 am (UTC)
Hmm...writing wise I tend to let everything hang out, at least in the preliminary stages ("just get it out there", basically). What I choose to leave or omit comes with the editing. Especially with creative nonfiction, you have to strike that balance between making the nonfiction literary, and within that, characterizing real people. That means you might have to leave out something which did happen IRL in order to make a better story/essay, or you might have to add a character who wasn't there IRL or dial back somebody who was, that kind of thing.

I didn't know any of this, of course, when I started writing creative nonfiction. I was young and an open book. I wanted the whole world to see ME, warts and all. I've learned a lot about editing myself and editing my work since then. It's gotten to the point where I pick and choose who knows what about me IRL and having friends who are the complete opposite flooring me time and again because I now do not understand why you'd want to "let everything hang out".
Feb. 23rd, 2016 01:29 pm (UTC)
On the topics: I have to say that occhiolism (once I looked it up) reminds me of one of my favorite poems. And since I did poetry last week, I can't do it this week. Ah, well.

Feb. 23rd, 2016 06:45 pm (UTC)
This is such a seriously heavy and deeply psychological question. It's quite the Gestalt - "The whole is other than the sum of the parts" - examination.

And here's the thing, even responding is an example of how much or how little or how sideways, tangential, obscure, oblique, and opaque one is or can be.

I tend to want readers to do some work to get down to the bone of the thing. And I think that's probably true of me as a person, as well. If you don't like the hide the skeleton is wrapped in, then you'll take a pass. And that is fine! The trick is making the marrow worth the mouthful.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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