Friday, June 15, 2012

I feel at a loss for words. This is not something new.  I am not one to shy from conversation, but I am shy about a different kind of words. I want to write, but I am at a loss for how to get to the words to do so. This is not writers block though, it is about the translation of verbal stories into written form that renders me quiet and reticent.

I find that literary flourishes more often detract, rather than add, to a story. They can be misleading and create mental imagery that is called in to question with later portions of a story. I suppose that my mark of a good writer is one who can tell the story in as few words as possible, convey the spirit of the story's point (or message) and lead the reader on some glorious path of whatever the path is that a reader takes.

Don't get me wrong, I have lots of stories... stories I even want to tell. I am just stuck on the part that translates a story from an oral tradition to the written form. Then, I feel compelled to wonder if the stories are just a narcissistic extension of some part of my psyche and while I think that most art forms are, I am just not sure if I am completely comfortable with this. I also wonder how I can escape it, it seems like the natural state in some ways.

blah, blah, blah

So, maybe I am thinking about what makes for good writing. Someone I know told me that writing is about taking the ordinary and "turning it up to 11"(being provocative, maybe). I see why, no one wants to read about the boring, but I would argue that turning things up to 11 can also be dishonest, especially when trying to tell stories that are personal. I can see the value, but the process of of being able to make the mundane seem vital escapes me on so many levels and for so many reasons.

When I read my favourite authors, I don't get the sense they they overplayed the story to make it more interesting. In a story in one of my favourite books there is a scene at a dinner party and while I may like the story because it directly involves my mother as one of the characters, I don't feel like the story in the book was over played. It was just told well in a written form.

I wish I could do this, write well. Tell the abundance of stories that reside within me and that do them justice... the justice they deserve.

Another friend told me that to learn how to write one must read. I think that is very true, but what have I seen come from this attempt is that I tend to copy styles. I want to find that voice which is my own, which allows the person I let read the story to hear it in their heads as if it were coming from my very mouth.

So, backtracking a bit... over the last year or so I gave poetry a chance. In general I hated poetry, I found it soul killing and overly flourished. So, I made a concerted effort to read more poems. I find that I am much more generous to poetry now. I still do not think it is a higher form of writing or some deep look into the soul of humanity. But I will state that the poems I found compelling used wonderful verbal imagery and I am more apt to stop and take a look at a poem now, than I was over a year ago when I started this path.

So, having had that learning experience with poetry.... I think I need to practice writing in that same vein.

I have a place; here.

That, sadly, was the easy part.

The hard part is that elusive what.

Where do I begin? It is a mix off too much to choose from and fear.