Captain’s Log, November 14th, 2009.
It occurs to me that many of you are used to reading books. This is perhaps a bad thing.
Books are written by people who want to tell stories. Stories can break rules, and explore boundaries, and live.
Books are written by those people, but they’re edited by editors. Editors care about stories, but sometimes they care more about how stories are told. A story can break rules and explore boundaries and live, but a story, they say, must not break certain rules and must not stray too far from certain boundaries and can only live within the lines.
Editors, by the nature of what they are, want rules to be obeyed.
This is often not such a bad thing, as some people need these things to tell something in such a way that is better than they had first envisioned it. Some people need to be told that sentences should not be choppy, should not run on and on, and should have clear and present (thought not always ‘present’) tense.
There is something we should get out of the way.
I am not an editor. I am not a traditional writer.
I write choppy sentences. I write run on sentences, that string together words and things that by some people’s judgment probably should be other sentences, but I think they’re a bit related and that period might ruin the flow (menstruation joke?) and so the sentence has free rain so long as it doesn’t need a breather in between. Because if it does, there’s a period for that. Also, I start sentences with the words ‘but’ and ‘and’ and ‘also’, even though I’m pretty sure somewhere I’ve heard that can be frowned upon.
I also start new paragraphs when I feel like it. Are there even any rules for that?
I can’t stand semi-colons because they are something I never really learned about, like dangling participles and other advanced grammar jargon.
I did not learn to write through rule books or even by example. I write what feels good, and how it sounds best to me.
And with that, I should add that I also write poetic. And I’m not talking about free verse poetry. I mean I rhyme and I rhythm, with strings of words that are better said than read, so much so that grammar and prim and proper punctuation are so far secondary the only thing keeping editors from strangling me is the fluid beauty of the thing itself.
And it is beauty. Even if I’m describing the slow agony of a man being ate to death by a chainsaw, it’ll taste good on your tongue.
And true to my poet’s heart, the beauty of it’s the thing, romancing the devil in the details with alliterismic affluence to the point where, like my editors, hopefully you’ll forgive the forgo’ance of the victorian rules of wrote and fall happy for the ride.
I like wordplay. Alliterismic, some of you might scoff, ain’t exactly proper english, let alone a real word. But the english language is alive! With every ‘yo!’ and ‘yall!’ it breathes in and out. And it grows, it writhes, it hurtles down to ebonic depths and spreads rainboscopic mirrored wings to fucking glorious flights. It leaps tall Twilights in a single bound, and it can show you The Colour of Magic.
So, I like wordplay. If I write a word, it’s real. Especially if it makes sense! If Tolkien can write volumes on the mating lives of Entwives and people never bat an eye, I can say alliteristic. It’s quick and easy, and you can figure it out with context or a little basic wordage. Alliteristic means having the quality of alliteration.
I also like wordplay in that I turn nouns into verbs, and verbs into nouns, and each of them to adjectives and again the other way around. In The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year I took ‘phoenix’, a noun about a bird that dies and is reborn from it’s own ashes, and wrote phoenix as a verb that describes a sense of life from death. The death referenced there was the almost unliving state of being barely awake and very grumpy.
I write what I think sounds good, and use the rules as things to taunt and tease, but only sort of kind of follow.
When you read my books, expect all that. If you’re okay with that, you will enjoy it.
If you’re expecting something traditional… The story’s about aliens, heroes, chainsaws, eldritch horrors, pandas, wonderland, and cows- among other things. If you can accept that, the non traditional style shouldn’t be a problem either. :)
Over 800 words in this post, and they don’t’ count towards NaNoWriMo…
Well, I’m off to write some more. Till next Captain’s Log, dear readers!