Why I Write
Okay (gulp -- deep breath), you guys try to be painfully honest, and I'll try not to be hyperly defensive of my "baby". I can't stand to write myself into a corner and stay there. Comment on ideas, form, structure, point of view, (spelling!) anything that pops out at you. This is a chunk of a novel in progress that is not progressing rapidly. Hidden in my Corners comment on Jonathan's poem is a sort of overview of one of the themes.
Go ahead and try it... One never knows where it will lead! I may not like it afterward, but I have found that the IDEAS that get presented are vital to me. That is why I posted, to interact. Speaking of paragraphs, I just realized that all my paragraphing did not come through. I had forgotten that I have to use the colon to make it happen. Let me fix that, and see how it looks. I am going to add the html code for italics and stopping the italics symbols, as well. Maybe the program will read them, but even if it doesn't, it will clue the reader in that I want that stuff in italics. I played around with the expansion of the translation thoughts, and when I add more, the "feel" that they are thoughts, that you are actually inside a person's head, is greatly decreased. I got to thinking about putting a "quote" (faked, as I have no idea where to look for the original of that silly computer joke. It was WAY before the current computer age, back in the dawn of computers when people were just realizing that computer language was independent of human language) at the start of the section, centered on the page, which would then clue the reader in to what she was referring. I also added a snippet letting the reader know that the quoted voice is her conscious speaking. I really wanted to leave out all that sort of thing and let the reader "discover" what is going on eventually as they read. But, not if I leave them in the dust. What do you think? Is it clear without coming right out and telling the reader that? Or should the explanantion stay? (her conscious niggles her.) --Previous Message-- Hey San, Thanks for clarifying this for me. I understand now!! And yes I do think you could add a little more clarity to her stream of conciouness regarding that line and turn it into it's own paragraph as it deserves,... You have a flare for writing and just reading this message alone makes me want to put bits into your story! Despina --Previous Message-- I am so thankful that you answered. When I posted, my nightmare was that nobody would pay any attention to it at all. When I think through your question, it helps me to clarify in my own mind what I am trying to do with the piece... The character is doing a stream of consciousness dialogue with herself here. She is thinking deliberately that she should NOT pick up this man. The quoted voice is one side of herself, as in her conscious speaking to her in the form of perhaps her mother's voice, giving her "good advice" like mothers are supposed to do. If this program could do italics, the other one, the one that I called her thoughts, would be in italics. It is misleading to label one as her thoughts, when both of them really are her own thoughts, but just a device I used to show her warring with herself, which she does throughout the parts of the story I have written... In the stream of consciousness, you have to have the character do something to trigger a reason, however illogical if you reflect on it, for her following actions. So, then she remembers a silly joke she once heard, about two computers using two different languages. One takes a well-known English phrase, and sends it to the other, which dutifully translates it into Russian and returns it. When the Russian version is translated into English again, the original is unrecognizable... and (in the original joke) funny, a wry comment on the stereotyped Russian mentality (not true at all of the few I have met... but then, what stereotype ever is?) I used it here to lead her back to the hitchhiker's plight, to glavanize her into action. Otherwise, by the time she has thought all that stuff, he is gone and she contentedly goes on her way, and the whole rest of the story doesn't take place. (Out of sight, so she can safely forget about him, not let him affect her life... just ignore that people need help; she can put it out of her mind.) But that crazy Russian translation haunts her. If she puts him out of her mind, she must be crazy, insane, and he must be invisible. She must now decide if she really wants to inhabit a world in which people who have less than we do are invisible, someone else's problem... even when with just a tad bit of effort, maybe things could come around right for them. There is always that HOPE that life will straighten out... So we give to charity, help our neighbors, stick together in disasters, the best side of human nature comes to the fore. And she goes back. Also, it is very early in the story. After a while, her way of thinking the incongruous ought to become more comprehensible, and contribute to our "feel" of her as a real person. Should more of the explanation go into the story? --Previous Message-- Hello San, I like this, has the workings of a short story. It is imaginative and makes you want to read on. I don't think the line "translated into Russian and back into English "invisible and insane" fit well.... but then that's mabe because I don't understand it!! Despina Why I Write
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