Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The energy of writing and a surprise short short SHORT piece of purple prose

Short short fiction can be a story of few words or a few thousand -- there are no rules. Roberta Allen advises us to follow our energy in her book, Fast Fiction. Her ideas mesh so well with the philosophy I love -- Abraham-Hicks and LOA. I was listening to an Abe CD recently where their advice to a writer was to write for enjoyment and let it attract the market rather than try to write for a market. These ideas are interesting and a lot more fun to explore than the traditional advice.

It is important to remember, especially in the beginning, that the words in an exercise are less important than the energy behind those words. Whenever you have energy, you have the seed of a story or novel, even it is only a phrase or a sentence that excites you. (p. 10)

As I think you realize by now, this book is about playing with possibilities so that ultimately you will make the right fictional choices for yourself, the ones that "feel" right. Energy, feeling, and the writing process are the key words in these pages. If you learn to follow your feelings and go where the energy is, you will learn a great deal about your writing process. When you know a great deal about that, you know a great deal about yourself.... (p. 12)

When I say there are no "real" rules, I mean that they are not carved in stone. I believe rules are made to be broken, but only after they are learned. There is a reason for them. They focus the mind.... So my advice would be to learn as much as you can first. Then go for it. Ultimately, what counts is whether your story or novel "works." How you got there is beside the point. Exactly what happened may never be known. You may not be able to follow your own trail twice. That's the way stories and novels are sometimes. They are words plus a little bit of magic. (p. 14)

A philosophy to live by in any creating!

Ok, and in the spirit of creating I'm going to also include a short short SHORT piece I posted for a Purple Prose contest at AbsoluteWrite (my favorite writing site). We were given a selected sentence and were to pick a genre and rewrite it in purple prose.

I selected this quote from The Old Man and the Sea and chose to rewrite it as a very flamboyant science fiction piece:

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. (The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway)

Journal Entry: Some on this planet say the river Styx exists only in mythology, but it runs...oh, yes, it runs...a dark, hellish, fishless stream of energy...winding its long and lonely course in the Stygian darkness of space (both sublime and ominous) to this cerulean, azure globe where the crabby, fussy, stubborn, wizened old man sits hunkered in his small, wooden boat beneath the searing rays of the luminous star lighting this planetary system. This star...spewing millions of protons and rays and stuff into space in violent bursts of radiation, and he, the crusty, ancient mariner of a man absorbing these rays into his very skin, nay even into his brain... dance again as the seemingly endless night oozes into the virulent, blinding day for the eighty-fourth time. Our note log indicates: No sandwiches. No drinking water. No Doritos. No soap. No toilet paper. No deodorant. Probably no underwear, but we really don't want to know. And, as we sit thoughtfully in our fifth dimensional observation post, we must add: No fish. No wonder.

(copyrights held by everyone noted, including me.)


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