Sunday, July 19, 2009

Writers' Workshop

It is the summer of our children's stupidity, but also of our own periodically surfacing discontent. Perhaps the occasional discontent of the mommies has to do with the foolishness of some of our offspring, or perhaps it is our own responses to those actions combining in an incomplete fusion reaction with the hundred degree-plus temperatures of the past weeks? Tempers, desires, and dreams flare only to fizzle out like defective 4th of July sparklers. Into this occasionally heated situation comes the Writers' Workshop of discussions gleaned from the desire to develop a craft, share the knowledge and ideas culled from books, classes, and web content, and to have others' input into works in progress.
Bored already with the S.O.S, despite the passage of only half the days intervening between one school year and the next, we meet over kitchen tables, in coffee shops, and while walking across miles of super-heated concrete to discuss and consider character development, dialogue, and plot ideas. I have none of the above to offer at the moment because fantasy fails to hold my attention these days, but am entirely entertained by the offerings presented. Asked about my research, I respond that I am writing from experience and imagining. If the world described in print is cut wholly from the warp and weave of my own fantastical cloth, there is nowhere but the recesses of my own imagination to research the strands defining it. If the world in print is my own, or a version of it, then it is known with an intimacy no researcher can define or describe.
The topics for my own summer writings are of the sort that lead to infrequent publication. The words pour out only to be shredded, crumpled, deleted, or otherwise disposed once translated into expressive form. The characters shift and shimmer without clearly defined protagonist, antagonist, ingenue... The chimera recognized and named will be relegated outside the pages of the main story line. This is no myth, but a modern tale of stark reality. There is no need to develop meaning in the fable, but merely straight news reporting with the most important details coming first and those mattering least to follow. Except those dry reports fail to convey the frequent bouts of laughter, the sorrows and disappointments of broken people, or the hope of potential. Neither labels marked "tragedy" nor "comedy", but rather more of the "dramedy" genre seems to fit the spine of this particular volume.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Absolutely beautiful writing. You have a gift, friend. Hugs today and a few giggles all in the company of plenty of things-round.