Monday, June 22, 2009

Pastry in a cavern...

Free-writing. They tell you to do it in many writing "how-to" books. So this is me, free-writing.

On "writing how-to" books: I'm of mixed opinions. Usually, I already know what they are telling me and I am just sort of reading them to assuage my ego. By reading something I already know, I am assuring myself that I know what I am doing. I'm not actually really getting anything out of it. I'm pretty happy in my writing technique.

Right now, while reading "how-to" books, I am mainly skimming the editing sections, since that is what I am doing currently in my novel. And yet I always come away dissatisfied in what I have read. I think it is because I am looking for an instant fix, rather than the involved process that I inevitably resort to and that is necessary. It's kind of frustrating.

At the same time though, I enjoy reading "how-to" books that are sort of quasi-memoirs. I enjoy reading about other's writing lives, especially when they can write about their lives in an interesting manner. Which is pretty much why I am afraid of trying to impress with my writing about my writing life, seeing as I'm sure I make it all incredibly boring.

Anyway, continuing on another thought, I have been looking over band titles for work and that, combined with recent phase I have been going through with song lyrics (especially foreign song lyrics translated into English), has just made me uber inspired to write free-form poetry and short pithy prose. It's not even related some of the time, just sort of disjointed thoughts sort of kicking around in my head. I'm thinking of getting a Twitter, just to write down those things. But sometimes they grow longer. But they really don't mean anything. Think of them as just writing knick-knacks: they don't really do anything practical, but we keep them around anyway.

I wonder how many things are actually like that and then other things are read into them. For instance, I am currently watching "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and there is so much that happens that doesn't seem to make much sense. Is it because we are trying to read sense into it? Can it just be artistic? Does it have to have meaning behind it? Obviously you can read meaning into it, but if it wasn't intended that way, are you wrong? Or are you discovering something about the author's work that they didn't even know?

Haiku is like that. People read meaning into it, but I wonder sometimes if it isn't just something that someone thinks is pretty. Haiku is really the only kind of poetry I dabble in (apart from my random free-verse spurts) and sometimes it's just because it looks pretty. There is no higher meaning to what I am writing sometimes. Or, if there is, I'm not intending for to be that way.

But back to band titles: In my drama class, we once had to make a radio show, in the tradition of the old radio programs with a cast and everything. We had to do sound effects and voices and write a script and everything. We also had to come up with group name. Well, we brainstormed and finally resorted to writing random words on slips of paper and then choosing two at random until we found a good name.

The result? Underground Strudel.

Yes, sheer brilliancy. Does it have a higher meaning? Nope. It just sounds awesome.

At the same time though, I do enjoy a title (be it bandname, novel title, or whatever) that actually does make you think. Just two or three words and it contains so much meaning.


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