Thursday, March 11, 2010

This is why I'm going to grad school

This notion of lyricism is part of the reason I'm paying money to get a degree in writing: a few years ago I thought that was artful.

(Please, read the post linked above -- it's short -- but resist the impulse to read the comments, they're inane, asinine and repetitive in not only syntax but in sentiment, which means that none of the first dozen commenters realized they were committing the error both intentionally and unintentionally therefore destroying any achievement of wit on their parts.)

There have to be well regarded novels out there that pull of that kind of shit in the extreme -- otherwise we wouldn't all think that it was how we should write when we want to be poetic. And there's the fact that that sort of repetition works in oratory, particularly when you're attempting to hype up a crowd. So talk about mixed messages -- we're allowed to take it in but not allowed to produce it ... kinda like when I wandered into the bathroom when I was four while my father had his head under the sink trying to fix the drain and walked back out saying well shit, shit, shit.

There's a lot of reasons I'm in a writing program that fit under the umbrella of "I want to learn to write well." And one of them is nuance and subtlety in phrasing and prose styling. (Trust me, I'm still a student, but I'm trying.)

"Prose styling" -- now there's a phrase I never would have used two years ago.

I looked at Nathan Bransford's post and thought this is atrocious, but I know ways that I could rework this to keep the same feeling and lose the pretentious, seasick feeling that comes with reading it. Then again, it would have to be earned, and you can't earn anything in 250 words. I'm in grad school to learn how to think these fixing sort of thoughts.

I'm also in grad school because, as I mentioned above, reading widely isn't enough for me to learn what to do, when to do it and why it's sometimes better not to do it -- just like listening to what everyone around me said wasn't enough when I was four. I need someone to plod through the murky details of things with me. To have a discussion. To inform me. To lay down some boundaries and some conditions which I can apply to situations so that I can determine for myself when it's best to wander around muttering shit shit shit.

Highly Recommended