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DS Daily Post-Neglecting Brevity

I am the victim of a common plague in writing noobies: I write a lot of useless words. Of course, they don’t seem useless to me, however I am often told they are.

You see, most of my short stories originate from visual sequences in my mind, filled with insane amounts of detail, each adding a tad of splendour to the scene. If it weren’t for the SpeakEasy’s (Weekly writing challenge) word count limit, many of my posts could be twice as long as they are. It’s rather easy to end up writing at length when trying to describe a three dimensional movie in your mind, filled with sights, smells, sounds, touches, and tastes. Not only that, but writing about sci-fi/fantastic plots often requires much more context then the real world’s, as foreign concepts/objects that are well defined to me need to be summarized and explained to a reader.

Despite this, I strive to edit the not-so-important stuff out, just to keep whoever is reading from falling asleep. Sometimes it’s tough, saying goodbye to a good sentence, one that deserved its place in the final story, just because it didn’t fit. Pressing “delete” can sometimes be a hard thing. That sentence probably had friends and family… It’s in a better place, now.

To sum it all up, on the brevity/verbosity spectrum, I definitely am more akin to the latter category. However, with efforts, I hope to be able to naturally write crisp, concise pieces, without having to put down good material, fruits of lots of mental work.

Thanks to Daily Post for the fun prompt. First time I submit to you guys! Hope you liked this brief (dem puns) piece. Comments much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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Posted by on 21 September 2014 in Dragonspark

 

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Why write?

I’m relatively new to WordPress, and one of my favourite things about blogging has been comments. I love to read, write and answer them. Recently, we were awarded a Liebster (not incredibly prestigious but still sent shivers through me when I saw Sue Blake’s comment). So we did the whole Q&A and nominated some bloggers we liked. One of my nominees was a girl whose blog I had just recently started to visit regularly, the amazing SJ Paige. During the ensuing comment chit-chat, she briefly mentioned her motivations for blogging. This seemingly casual remark caused a surprisingly big reaction within my brain. Why do I blog? Why do I spend countless hours in front of my PC screen telling stories of mages, secret agents, and spaceships?

Rationality gave me the answer. “You accepted your friend’s invitation and challenge to join the SpeakEasy” it declared, “after which you realised you could learn how to write better from these people.” Yes, but why do I feel this urge to write more? Why am I addicted to all sorts of feedback, comments especially?

Analytics then spoke up. “It’s a form of human interaction. You’re a human being (a bloody teenager at that). Evolution has wired you to pursue social interaction. It’s how you’re gonna meet a mate to further ensure the continuation of the human race.” Ok, but then why are the most satisfying comments tips, advice, constructive criticism etc… Why am I so proud when I put the final period on a post, one that outshines the tingle of satisfaction I feel when I hit “publish”? Why do I feel like a kid in a candy store while surfing through WordPress?

Dead silence from Analytics and Rationality. Well Ramble, it’s just you and me.

The way I see it, two possibilities stand out. Either I’m a lot more of an attention seeker than I originally thought I was, or this is what artists feel when they create a piece of art, or at least something that goes beyond the status of words on a piece of paper (Don’t have the pride or notoriety necessary to call myself an artist… in public… yet).

I feel like we all have an inner need for attention. We all need some sort of proof that we exist, that we are more than the sum of our actions, that we transcend the status of mere animated physical body. Maybe that is how Evolution makes us pursue human interactions: by making us addicted to them, being the most efficient and visible testimony to our existence (how it affects the life of others). Maybe it’s just a quirk produced by our overly complex brain. Maybe the machine in our heads has a desperate need to verify the reality perceived by our senses, to make sure it has a place in it.

Then again, this inner need for attention wouldn’t answer the whole question. It might justify the glee I feel when I see the high five comments on the SpeakEasy posts, and even part of the immense satisfaction caused by the comments with reactions in them (every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Here is a reaction caused by my action. My action is capable of causing a reaction, therefore it is real, and therefore I’m real). It doesn’t, however, explain the sheer pride I feel when surfing around on WordPress, knowing I’m part of that big machine. It doesn’t explain the satisfaction of finishing a post, or even that of having a good idea for a post.

That’s when the whole “artist’s pride” theory comes in. Again, I’m not calling myself an artist. I’m a teenager who happens to know how to use a keyboard. I have no qualification as a writer other than an unfinished high school education. Except quality doesn’t matter in this equation. The point is that it’s a creation, something my brain made from a set of electric impulses. Somehow, that simple fact makes us proud. Proud that we have created something. It doesn’t matter that it won’t make us rich or famous, what matters is that it is a contribution to a community (WordPress), and to a culture (the internet’s blogosphere). And that is a beautiful thing.

This pride does explain my urge to come up with new ideas, new stories, and new worlds. It explains my fascination for this community and my happiness to find my humble posts contribute to it. Is this artistic drive within all of us? Is it only due to yet another brain quirk? I have no idea. Do you?

Which one of these is the fuel my brain feeds off of when writing? A mix of the two probably. Which one is dominant? Are they fundamentally linked, and thus, impossible to separate? Am I an attention whore or Picasso?

Here is another question: Was Picasso an attention whore?

 
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Posted by on 11 July 2014 in Dragonspark

 

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Letter to the Fireplace

“I have songs in my head, and sometimes not just one but up to two or three. I have words in my head, popping up from nowhere and lingering, so many that if I could catch them all they might make an amazing story; but, like people and autumn leaves in the wind they often just pass by leaving little trace if any that they were once there. I would tell you I know too many words, I speak two and an almost-half languages with a few words of others floating around. For example, I know three ways of saying hello in Japanese. And because I know too many words, I often forget the simplest ones and muddle up the others and I get unusual blanks. I have too many worlds and stories in my head that I usually forget this one. I have people in my head, not often ones that really exist but often that come from stories I like. They talk to me, we have adventures, or we don’t. There is a small place in my head for the people I love where I remember those ones, who they were, who they are, who they could be and what they mean or meant to me. I tend to forget fights or grudges, either completely or just enough to still remember them when I need them. Things I don’t want to remember are hidden in the Tartarus of my brain. I don’t want people to know who I am, because it makes me vulnerable and I know some wouldn’t understand. I tend to stay away from people because most will judge me and I’ve always been shy. I often have difficulty staring reality in the face, I’m usually never completely there except for a few rare times when I’m confident enough about it. I can only sit still when I’m not really there, when I’m dreaming of something and my mind is far away, if I’m not I’m always twitching and fidgeting and looking around as if I were watching an invisible fly.
I don’t know if I want to change, but I don’t know if it’s possible to live like this forever. I don’t even know if I can change. And it wouldn’t be easy.
But no one can see this deep in the depths of my heart, so none will ever know.
Or could they?”

Tiger felt silly now, writing a letter to no one at all. What did she think she could achieve? But she knew that writing had helped clear her mind. So, before going to bed, she scrunched it up softly and watched it burn in the warm fire. With a clearer head and a well kept but not heavy secret she left again to catch people and autumn leaves in her dreams with floating songs and loved ones.

 
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Posted by on 12 June 2014 in Banzaï

 

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Loss of Inspiration

Peace… serenity… a deep untamed plain with untapped secrets before me. I search for the inspiration as it gives itself up to me, bit by bit, by an art that few have mastered. I am patient because I am confident that ,given the time, a new story will be born from the ashes of that rich desert of unseen riches. I know that those who believe what they see are blind. 
I am almost there… that idea, that inspiration is so close I can smell it, I could touch it if I stretched- MUNCH MunCh mUNcH “watcha doin’?”
I calm down and try to forget the irritation of being torn from this meditation as I answer “writing…”
He looks doubtfully at the blank page on my phone:
“No you’re not, you haven’t written anything”
“Because I’m waiting for inspiration…”
“What you’re just waiting? You know that’s not going to work right?”
Thank you Mr know-it-all but I’ve written far more stories than you…
“Mmmhhhhmm…”
Because I’m going to ignore that ignorant remark…
“Tell me when it doesn’t work”
Okay genius… I think as I sarcastic-look him away. 
Finally I can try again… sLURp… *dogfeetnoise* pitter patter pitter patter… BROLOMBODOM *dogcomingdownthestairsnoise*

On the Ning Nang Nong 
where the Cows go Bong!
And the Monkeys all say Boo!

SluRP *milkshakenoise* whirrrrrBOOMclac *slidingdoornoise* creak creak creak *someonewalkingupstairsnoise*
Every noise has a name. 

There’s a Nong Nang Ning 
Where the trees go Ping!
And the teapots Jibber Jabber Joo.
 

I’ll try again then – *theme music and annoying game music that follows during the entire game (meaning a long time knowing him)*
Exasperated I give up and move upstairs and he didn’t even see me leave, he was so engrossed in his game…

On the Nong Ning Nang 
All the mice go Clang!
And you just can’t catch ’em when they do!

So it’s Ning Nang Nong!
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning!
Trees go Ping!
Nong Ning Nang!
The mice go Clang!
What a noisy place to belong,
Is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

………………………………………
Poem: On the Ning Nang Nong by Spike Milligan

 
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Posted by on 13 May 2014 in Banzaï

 

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