Jump to content
DesDownunder

'The Invitation' moved from Flash Fiction

Recommended Posts

Indeed I sympathise with you Cole. Salesmen certainly are part of this breed.

I eventually found I could think quickly enough on my feet to respond to these kinds of gorillas, but unfortunately the new psychopaths that were in control of management in my place of employment were schooled to ignore silver-tongues and just do whatever they wanted, with "whatever it took."

I think writers and creative people in general, do ponder their chosen forms of creativity, more so than the glib, quick off the cuff speaker and manipulator of other people's lives. But Merkin has a real valid point about the drafting and researching of a writer's work, being supplanted by the ease of publication to the world, by clicking the send button.

Link to post

I do indeed have a problem with the ease of pressing SEND. Thankfully, it isn't in writing stories. If anything, I'm the opposite with those, working them over and over before even sending them to editors. Though my editors probably think that's unlikely. But emails, that's different. I'm always sending them, then reading them over after the fact. Good thing no one dies from excessive blushing.

C

Link to post
We appear to have foregone the notion of writing in draft, of rereading, and making of making sure that we are correctly saying what we mean to say.

You mean, like this sentence? :lipssealed: :lipssealed: "and making of making" Hmmm. :inquisitive:

I'm just kidding around a bit.

Seriously though, I think it is sometimes much harder to proof your own work before sending. I find that I need to reread my posts AFTER sending, and then edit. For whatever reason, and it might be type size, I can't see the errors while still in 'draft' mode.

I have TWICE used different versions of Dragon, and been unhappy each time. Whether it's my voice, or whatever, I have to 'teach' the program too many words. The way it works is, you say something, the program guesses what it is, and you then correct anything that is wrong. It learns from your corrections. The trouble is, I seem to be perpetually correcting, and not getting anything done, not even training the stupid program. When you add the punctuation comments/instructions into the mix, it is so distracting to my thought processes that I really don't get anything written. I've given up on doing it that way.

Link to post
Seriously though, I think it is sometimes much harder to proof your own work before sending. I find that I need to reread my posts AFTER sending, and then edit. For whatever reason, and it might be type size, I can't see the errors while still in 'draft' mode.

It's for this reason that I do two things:

1) I rely on valued friends to look over my shoulder, read my work, and tell me when something makes no sense, or if there's some obvious mistakes. Usually everything I post goes through at least three sets of trusted eyes after me (including VWL, Cole, and my longtime partner Rod at the moment). It's uncanny how one of them will pick up on an obvious flaw the rest of us have utterly missed. Without them, I'd look like a much bigger fool than I already do.

2) I always print out the material on paper and go at it with a red pen. You get a much different feel for editing when you can lie back on the couch and read it that way, rather than staring at a computer screen. Paper's the best for editing, no question about it.

The trouble is, I seem to be perpetually correcting, and not getting anything done, not even training the stupid program. When you add the punctuation comments/instructions into the mix, it is so distracting to my thought processes that I really don't get anything written. I've given up on doing it that way.

You and everybody else. Noted computer pundit Leo Laporte has said the same thing many times. Everybody in the early 1980s thought the ultimate goal would be to have a computer to which you could simply speak, and it'd turn everything you said into sparkling pearls of online text. It don't work that way.

Inflection, meaning, sarcasm, double entendres all have a way of getting watered down from voice to print. I also think you have to be too much of an actor to tell your story in the voice of the other characters, and it's beyond the abilities of most writers to do that. Few actors are good writers, and vice-versa.

I also have the problem of having to stare at the empty screen for a good solid fifteen minutes sometimes, just waiting to find a place to start. That doesn't work well with a speech-recognition tool. Too much pressure. I have to write at my own pace, and if it takes 6 hours of typing and 10 hours of thinking and staring to crank out a chapter, so be it.

Link to post

Trab and Pecman both describe the situations with which, I am only too familiar.

There is another point to this dictating aloud to the computer that is even more of a problem for me. That of it being, a noisy process.

If my partner is trying to sleep, my voice will keep him awake, and not because he adores my melodious tones.

Trying to whisper into the microphone doesn't really work either. The said partner then thinks, I have invited some late night, street urchin (of legal age, of course) into the computer parlour for nefarious viewings of seductive images, accompanied by me whispering sweet nothings in the urchin's legally aged ear.

None of this is conducive to getting the speech to text program to recognise what I have spoken, let alone permit a flow of creative thoughts that will actually become, worthy literature.

I love to talk aloud to myself in the car, sprouting ideas and imaginary texts that I know are exactly, what I want to write.

So I tried to record myself in the car and...zilch. No words worth anything, no world shattering thought, nothing, or the traffic noise drowned out the one really great phrase that would unlock the mystery of the meaning of life in the suburbs.

(CAUTION: driving and talking could be dangerous, especially if you thinking of street urchins.)

It just doesn't work. Even when I can remember what I said during the car journey, the moment I start to type it up, it changes. The creative flow changes and the object of the thought finds a new perspective, and the written word is not what I spoke in the car. Sometimes it's better, sometimes not.

I do think we have different ways of achieving our aims in writing, but the act of typing while the creative process is happening in the mind, does seem to contribute an added depth to the content and even the form it takes as well.

Of course when all the creativity is accomplished, then is the time to go over it, make corrections, tweak the salient points and phrases, get it all edited and cleaned up, much like giving a bath to a street urchin, or two.

:inquisitive:

Link to post

When I posed the question about using a voice to pc program to "write" a story, I knew well its issues having tried it and gave it up for the reasons already noted here. However, I hoped that someone had figured out what I could not--a way to make it work.

As I think about the responses so far, it is clear that there is something that happens when finger hit the keyboard or the pencil scrawls its way through a story. Though we can not now do this, I wonder if there was a way for thought transfer to paper if that would be the "breakthrough" that is needed to make this kind of thing work. I don't really think so.

There is something almost magic about how being forced to be slower as in typing or writing long hand aids the creative process in some undefined way. I think there is a synergy in putting ones fingers to keys even though it can be a painful process at times.

Link to post

Nicely said, Rubilacxe.

I wonder if younger members have any thoughts on this. Do they find it easier than those of us who have grown up in an analogue world?

Link to post
Guest Brandon T.

Do I think that thought transfer to written word, to the form of a story, on paper will ever happen... Not in any timeframe that would really affect me, no, not really. It'd be like dictating, I'd imagine. Only, without words. And far easier to mess up. Can you imagine stray thoughts creeping into whatever you're writing? ACTUALLY. That reminds me of painters. You can almost see how their thoughts shift and shape the painting as it grows from that first stroke into what it will ultimately become. Thought to paper would be the writer's equivalent to painting, I'd think. But again, I don't think such a breakthrough--if we're going to call it that--will happen at any point in my lifetime so I don't really have an opinion on its merits or faults.

But maybe that's me and my anti-SciFi ways.

Hm. Typing. Writing. My writing when I type is different from my writing when I write things out longhand, but I don't prefer one over the other. I prefer to draft characters longhand and to write stories on the computer. But I don't mind writing stories longhand. Either is fine with me. Annie Proulx said that she did all of her writing longhand because computers lead to "cliche and facile prose." I have DEFINITELY seen examples of that. For sure, I've seen flat, voiceless writing that prattles on and on and on and on and on about nothing in particular and offers nothing in the way of insight into ANYTHING caused by word processors. I think Elements of Style (which I can't say I like) says something about avoiding the click and clack of keys or something. It supposedly leads to wordiness and cliche, tepid writing.

But, at some point, I think it just comes down to the writer and what they prefer and what they comfortable doing. Do I think that writing longhand makes you feel the weight of each word and makes you REALLY consider how wordy you are? Yeah, sometimes. Do I think that word processors are quick and easy? Definitely. Are either of them going to help you write if you don't have the ideas or the desire or the creativity in that moment to write what want to write? No.

So, yeah, I think it's more to do with the writer than the medium.

And I've already made my thoughts on voice known. I think I'll write in third-person, past until I die. Not because I can't write outside of that style, but because if I start writing some other way, I don't think I'll be able to get back to how I am now and I rather enjoy how I am now. Maybe, someday, I'll branch out. But that's not today. AND. I am definitely against switching voices mid-story or mid-chapter because it leads to ambiguous, vague meanings and complex tangles of prose that require a bit more concentration than is natural and sort of ruins the nice flow and the picture the author is trying to weave. BUT. I've already said all of that. Just thought I'd comment on the part about writing media.

ALSO. I don't think I could use voice-activation. Just because I don't think that way. I don't think out loud so I'd have to write it then dictate and then I'd wonder what the point of that would be.

Link to post
Do I think that thought transfer to written word, to the form of a story, on paper will ever happen... Not in any timeframe that would really affect me, no, not really. It'd be like dictating, I'd imagine.

Rod Serling wrote most of his short stories and virtually all of the Twilight Zone shows by dictating. He even did an episode about a writer who dictated all his stories, only everything he dictated out loud started coming true. (With much hilarity.)

Annie Proulx said that she did all of her writing longhand because computers lead to "cliche and facile prose." I have DEFINITELY seen examples of that.

It can. Harlan Ellison used to say you could look at a stack of Stephen King books, arrnged in alphabetical order, and point to the moment where King started using a word processor, because his books started getting much, much longer. I think there's definitely a tendency to write longer when it's easy to write, but that just shows the importance of editing on paper.

On the other hand: after King was hit by a car a few years ago, he had trouble sitting in front of the computer, so he wrote his next book, Dreamcatchers, entirely in longhand. And I think that was still a 250,000-300,000-word novel.

Link to post

Writing longhand is a pain. I've never written anything of any length while writing with a pen or pencil, because of the physical limitations of that method - the aching wrists, etc. The one thing I miss about writing with a pen, oddly, is the smell of the ink. I can remember sitting in my dorm room in college, hunched over some thesis paper, and smelling the ink from my ballpoint. Other than that, I can think of no good reason to write longhand. If you need more time with the text, you can do that onscreen as well as you can on paper.

cheers!

aj

Link to post

You wrote a thesis in longhand?! I can hardly imagine that! It took me forever on a typewriter. Oh, do I wish we'd had word processors back then! But longhand? Incredible. I assume you then paid a school typing service to type it up. Maybe I should have used a service, too; it certainly would have looked better.

How many pages was it? Don't ask me that; I don't remember at all.

C

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...