Thursday, January 11, 2007

Writing Really Really Poorly

'Winners' of the worst first lines competition. Here's the thing. I've written PLENTY of lines like that in my writing. And not all of them are caught in editing. Oh despair!

I'm pretty sure all those 'winners' didn't intend to write poor sentences. But you just get too close to the writing. Like a myopic member of the bomb squad, you know you are working with something terribly dangerous, but you just can't see it, no matter how much you want to. No matter how strong your preference for "not being blown to small, vulture digestible chunks" is, those clunky sentences aren't going to reveal themselves.

And, if you've been reading this blog at all, you know I'm the master of clunky sentences. For me, it's a matter of attention span. Why write a single sentence to mean one idea, when you can write one sentence with twenty eight parenthetical statements, a footnote, 3 endnotes, an aside and maybe an idea or twelve? I blame my youth, young adulthood, adulthood, and any other hood i'm in for, spent on video games. Lovley, attention obliterating video games. Mmmm, focus, it's what's for dinner.

Back to writing poor sentences. Sometimes when I'm writing, it's a chore just to get out a single paragraph. Clunkiness is the name of the day. Participles hanging, gerunds, subjunctive clauses, and many more grammary things that I talk about and drop in passing but which, if pressed, I wouldn't be able to distinguish from a 2nd tier NFL football team. Or first tier. Or any tier of any sport that isn't sponsored by Nvidia™ and or Intel™. If you didn't get that joke, then there is a marked lower probability that you have a Star Trek™ uniform in your closet. Even lower chance that you have a Star Trek™ uniform in your closet not just for the kitsch value.

Out of things to say for now. Count yourself lucky, I almost had an entire post going about kitsch.

(What the hell is kitsch? Is it like, crap that's not cool unless that terribly eccentric hipster with the CDs of bands that never made it (becaause they didn't sell out (and also, because they sucked ass)) and the kicky cardigan with the ironic hammer and sickle embroidered in the sleeve says it is? It's like the cool kids arbitrarily deciding what's cool and what's not. Not that what is cool and what's not isn't completely arbitrary. I'm just against any individual having conscious input into it. Massive corporations that sell a marketing logo sewn ontop of the same sweat-shop produced garments I get at WalMart, yes, Cody down the street who finds any main stream film (or any film not film on a super 8 and written in ancient Uzbekistani) just not cool enough, no. )

Damn, it's 12:30 and I still haven't got any words down today for my book. Have at ye!

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