Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Complication: Zac Probes Non-fiction

Call me unoriginal, but I hate being called unoriginal. Bending words on a computer screen to alleviate the experimental lusting within my strange and lewd cranial-scape is just too much fun. Necessary, would even be appropriate. Coloring pictures used to be all about staying within the lines, but all I want to do is see how fuzzy I can make them.

Reading "Writing for Story," by Jon Franklin, topples over writer's blocks, kicks our motors into fifth-gear, all with that Dad voice full of salt-pepper and knowing. He's reassuring but is careful to not prop writer's up on watery legs. His building blocks are solid, clear, and defined. Note-cards, structure, laptop--go out, write, keep your nose to the ground.

About half-way through the book, where he starts going on about stories involving Heroes, Dragons, and how sub focuses cannot occluded, my own focus waned. A little tick in the corner of my eye, twitching, twitching, nudged its way into the heart of the irreverent rebel--the royal ass-hole of experimentation--and would not shut itself up until I acknowledged the form Franklin was smoothly, casually introducing was too damn velvety, clean, bleached.

Franklin isn't a bad guy, nor is the book bad either. But it doesn't resolve my desire to experiment. You have to know the rules to break them--yeah, I have heard it before (any bad writer has)--but I don't know if I want the Secret to be hard work.

Is that pessimistic of me? Or just lazy?

*lights a cigarette, sips some coffee*



  1. Sounds about right, Zac.

    All I know is that as a writer I want as many tools at my disposal as I can. Especially the good, effective ones.

    Of course we all write for different reasons and to different ends.

  2. Which is right: my pessimism or my laziness?

    Encouraging structure is fantastic--I wouldn't have a castle if I didn't have a hut before. But do we dream of the archway before or after the keystone.

    Struggling--no, starving would be more appropriate in relation to artists--for the write words seems like an afterthought. The gravy rather than the potatoes.

    Saying Franklin is wrong would be incorrect--it just rubs me the wrong way like paying college tuition means I receive an education.

    Perhaps I'm not being clear. But do we always have to be for readers to understand writing? Or just our perspective?

    Hurumph, maybe I should dream a way out of this circle of logic first before driving around in a hotboxed Cadillac through bat-country.

  3. Well, speaking first to the fact that I know you don't smoke, that's probably the reaction that I would have. Otherwise, I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I don't know if I agree with you. I think that, although Franklin's tone could be indeed velvety (and not necessarily in a good way), I do think that it is sometimes about sludging through it. I can appreciate the desire to experiment, though. It's just difficult to experiment in a way that lends itself towards a great narrative.