Writing as a Performance Art

Lately I’ve been fascinated by the concept of oral storytelling.

About a month or two ago, a friend sent me a link to some spoken word poetry.  It was fantastic.  The words themselves were beautiful, but the passion and skill of the performers made it better.  Around the same time, I listened to Neil Gaiman’s Worldbuilders readings of Jabberwocky and Green Eggs and Ham.  Anyone can read those stories, but he took it out of monotonous rhythm and made it interesting.  Plus, the accent.  Then I started on epic poetry.

If you’re at a party and they start passing around the Homer, just say no.

Last week, I found myself with the smudgy draft of a short epic poem, at nearly midnight.  It’s the short story equivalent of a real epic poem, and considering the inherent structure I’ve dissected and essayed upon since then, it’s doesn’t quite fall into all the parameters of epic poetry— but it has the basics.  I wrote a short poem in unrhymed blank verse, set in my current storyworld, about a mythic hero’s last sacrifice.  No, it doesn’t invoke the Muse.  No, it doesn’t begin in medias res.  Unfortunately, I skimped on both allegory and epic simile, because I haven’t created enough of this world to be that academic, and I still had a bit of a purple prose filter on.  But still, I consider it epic.

Probably the biggest reason is this: it’s written to be performed. Continue reading “Writing as a Performance Art”

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Writing for an Audience

November was productive in many ways, but NaNoWriMo was not in that list. While I managed nearly fifteen thousand words of serviceable writing, it was boring, filled with starts and stops, and generally not worth all the effort. Thus, I found myself scrapping the draft halfway through the month, claiming other responsibilities. Those responsibilities were real, but had my writing been more fun, I could have found time for both.

Scrapping a novel halfway through NaNoWriMo is a biannual occurrence, at least for as long as I’ve participated. Two years ago, I attempted to rewrite my second novel, then dropped it as a hurricane ripped power from my neighborhood for ten days. Despite the better excuse for quitting, I was finding the novel boring anyway. I was still new, and hadn’t gotten the hang of outlining just yet.

This year, I had a different problem. The entire October previous, I worked hard on worldbuilding and characters, making sure I would have ample material to write when November hit. The night before, I was excited. The morning of, I didn’t want to write.

I had decided this year to take things more slowly, making sure I knew my purpose for everything so I wouldn’t write trash, nor leave out anything significant. I had resolved to write for myself, for craft, and to produce the best first draft ever.

You can see how well that turned out.

Since then, I’ve restarted, and in a short while almost surpassed my NaNoWriMo wordcount. I still want to write the best draft ever, and I still want to know my purpose for everything, but I’ve changed one thing. I’m no longer writing for myself. Continue reading “Writing for an Audience”

Why I Should Get a New Device

It has recently come to my attention that I haven’t acquired a new device in quite a long time– not since I got my graphing calculator at the beginning of the school year, in fact.  Since said graphing calculator has no internet access nor even the ability to play space invaders or anything, I feel that it is about time I got something else, something more fun.  And yes, it is possible to top the thrill of correctly graphing a quadratic equation on the first try.  This post shall strive to prove to you why I would like– nay, why I deserve– a new device.

First of all, it would help, not hinder, my writing career.  After all, isn’t it easier to Google and take notes on a small device that I could carry with me all the time?  All the functions of the internet are there, at my disposal.  Looking up definitions, calculating the velocity of a falling object, and knowing what noises a penguin makes– everything would be available to me at the touch of a screen.  More than that, I would be able to do necessary activities without losing writing time.  By using another device to check my email, chat with friends, and update word counts, I would spend less of my computer time doing mundane tasks and more of it writing.  After all, I only have so much time in which I can use the family computer. Continue reading “Why I Should Get a New Device”