Got my newest drabble posted on thedrabble.com – go check out the site; it’s great!
By A.R. Frederiksen “I wish they’d just take it,” her mother said. “It can’t be worse, can it?” Julia looked from her coffee cup to the fridge. A myriad of notes, all A4 with no post-its in sight, sat plastered all over the appliance, the lettering dark and big and bold. Too big and too […]
The dress came alive when worn.
This post is partly, if not entirely, inspired by my roommate. She got me thinking, you see, during one of our bullshit trade-offs. You know, those trade-offs between friends that have nothing left of interest to talk about after years of breathing the same stale air and then have to kill that stale air with enough hot air that the staleness is pushed to the floor, subjugated by physics?
Anyway, this particular time, my roomie provided me with an image that I needed to get down on paper and share with others – now.
Without further ado, I present to you……….
…..… the Tug-o-war between Missus Writer and Sire Brain!
Mode 1 – Missus Writer vs. Sire Brain
MS: “Sooo… anything good happening over there? Hm? Hmhmhmhm?”
Mode 2 – “Sire Brain vs. Missus Writer”
SB: “Hey! You! Heeeeeyyee…. balabalabalabala—”
They say that miscommunication is part and parcel in a relationship, which leads me to believe that I’m in a relationship with my own brain. If I dare peek at it, it cowers in a corner, and if I leave it alone to fend for itself, it springs on me when I least expect it. Or, god forbid, when I have no time for it. Now, this doesn’t just happen with writing, I know. This is just how a brain works, I suppose, with a lot of things.
But, but, but, but— when my brain decides to spring on me with a plot twist that demands I change the last fifty chapters of my novel…. or when it decides to shut the door on me and my deadline… weeeellll……..
My brain never stops working with words and stories.
Rather, it alternates between modes of working with words and stories.
I do wonder how this will look on a brain scan…
I’d ask Sire Brain, but that might undermine my argument, so let’s leave it at that, shall we?
“Don’t rely on the bulb to light up on its own; power it yourself!”
Time for another adventure into what gets my fingers flying across my keyboard – for those who care, anyway, not that I delude myself into thinking that this is a whole lot.
Photography, as always, remains an inspiration… butbutbutbut, travelling mixed with photography truly oil up the gears and gets them going!
Residing in Denmark, but having an American fiancee, I oftentimes travel to the US. Northern Minnesota, more specifically. This time, however, I also swung by New York City to breathe in the grease and blazing Subway heat. You’ll find little concrete and asphalt pictures here, however, because the deep woods and lakes are my truest friend when it comes to renewing my creativity. As a matter of fact, most of my serious writings, my novels, incorporate some element of nature. One of my past protagonists was a human vessel of Artemis the Olympic God, able to create and manipulate nature. My current protagonist is situated in an alternate Hokkaido ruled by feudal-style monsters living in the wilderness. But, back on track; I found nature in NYC, across the High Line Park, an old railway across western midtown that has been renovated into a park raised above streets and stores, but otherwise most of the photos are from Bemidji and Itasca State Park – my home away from home…
Rising from the grave, she wanders.
“Don’t rely on the bulb to light up on its own; power it yourself!”
And I have returned, here, to talk about inspiration!
Now, why have I returned?
To talk about *drum roll* nature!
Nature, for me and for many others, serve as an artistic inspiration. But, rather than discuss just how it serves as an artistic inspiration, I’d rather show you. And so, behold, from the archives of my very own camera, the inspiration inherent in all of nature.
Of course, to gain inspiration from nature, one must do more than stare at it through an antiseptic screen. But, for now, stay here with me – then, afterwards, go search for your own inspiration, out there, in the wild greens and browns.
Don’t like that, stomach tells brain.
This is less of a woe, and more of an advice to whoever cares enough to listen to a self-taught writer who may or may not know what the heck she’s doing. Anyhow, I had saved this post for a different page, but, alas, I decided to post it here – so, here we go, my two cents on the matter of dialogue:
Identify and toss the extras
How often do you hear yourself talk in lengthy complex sentences?
How often do you toss in five adjectives in one sentence, maybe more?
Not often, right?
While poetical writing is beautiful and poignant in its own right, it can be difficult to make work in dialogue, particularly in modern times (a.k.a. the age of text messaging).
Of course, every style and voice is different, but where it pertains to dialogue only, I very much believe that less is more – to quote Stephen King: “the road to hell is paved with adjectives.”
But, but, but, there are always exceptions: if you’re writing a historical piece, for example, you should always engage in dialogue that fits the period.
Mind the punctuation
When you identify and toss the extras, the punctuation becomes important. Why? Because while we don’t naturally talk in complex sentences, we do tend to talk in ellipses, dashes and italics. Do not, however, rely on ellipses, dashes and italics in your dialogue. If used too often, they lose the punch-thwack effect you want them to have. Bottom line: trust the reader to understand what your characters are saying and instead use the punctuation to tell the reader how your characters feel. If you will, have a look at the example below and consider the effect of punctuation on the mood of the sentence rather than the clarification:
“… Can meet? What do— can? I’m set to leave for Wallace’s property— land— the man’s whatever in a matter of days. You said that you would help me; now you ask me to finish the document all on my own with guards lurking outside my door both day and night, breathing through the damned keyhole, until the two of us can meet again— can meet—what do you mean by can?”
Delay the underpainting
One way to secure an easy, readable flow in your dialogue is to delay the underpainting and focus solely on the tennis-match dialogue itself. When applied to writing, the so-called underpainting equals the meaty bits of text in between your dialogue – that is, your character’s actions, the tinkering of plot, scenic descriptions, and whatever else. It can be advantageous to save this for later so that it won’t interfere with the natural flow of dialogue as it transfers from your mind to your fingers and, lastly, to the paper before you.
Read it aloud
In a way, dialogue is much like poetry in that it ought to be read aloud. After all, dialogue happens out loud in real life and not inside your head (of course, that’s debatable, but let’s not debate that just now). Reading dialogue aloud gives us the absolute best idea whether something sounds natural or unnatural. It shows us the hitches, or the lack thereof, in the flow. Remember that in the matter of dialogue, our ears work far better than our eyes.
Easy is as easy does!
Basically, if you do not speak it, you should steer clear of writing it, so always keep that rule of thumb in mind. Otherwise, write your dialogue however you want to. The best writing ultimately comes from the gut – in it’s original, first-draft form, of course.