Weekends glide by so fast I can never seem to get a handle on them. I pack them full with visits and hikes and writings and dining, and then Monday surfaces once again.
In this post, I thought I’d talk a bit about my current reads and my current experimentation with different writing styles, and then do an update on my writing projects since I haven’t in a good while. Hope this post finds you well!
This week, I’ve begun Revolutionary Road, which sticks to the gut, with eloquent, simple prose. I’ve really appreciated this work, not only for the story but for the style, and I’ve found Yates’ way of penning a story has crept into my own writing. The one experimental piece I’ve been working on has been my guinea pig for playing around with styles and tenses. Honestly, I never have done this before. I’ve always written strictly past-tense in the third person. I wasn’t aware that there were other ways to do it, and I’m a bit of a traditionalist and a prude but I thought why not try it out on a piece that may not ever be seen by anyone?
(Forgive me, for I do not know the scholarly terms for all of these techniques and will describe them as is).
The piece I’m referencing was first written in first-person, past tense; and then it was first-person, present-tense, which was wholly radical to me and strange and I appreciate it for what it can do but I certainly don’t favor it; and now, finally, the piece stands as omniscient narrator, past-tense, but with insightful inklings into the protagonist’s mind. I think I like this last one the best. I don’t know if it’s because it feels more traditional, but to me, it sings. The words seem to hold more meaning.
If you write, do you stick to one sort of style? Do you bend toward one form or another depending on the piece?
I’ve also begun Roxanne Gay’s book of essays Bad Feminist. Her prose is lucid and striking. And aside from her style, the content is a must read for anyone living in our present time. It’s kind of a book on how to be a good human by a human who’s trying to figure it out along the way, too, and who has already figured out quite a lot worth sharing. I both enjoy and need the wisdom she offers.
On the writing front, I’m still going, if you were wondering (can I say ‘lol’ on a blog? lol). I know it seems like I haven’t made much progress from an outward perspective, and it’s true; outwardly, I really haven’t. But my queue of short stories into magazines has grown, and in the past two weeks, I’ve written almost five new ones. Presently, I have submitted three of the new ones and haven’t heard back yet… I haven’t exactly been keeping track of my rejections but I know they are well into the double digits. Perhaps I should tack all of them up on my wall like Bradbury suggests… Each new story is better than the last.
I’m learning. I’m moving. I’m doing anything to avoid being stagnant.
On the long-story home front, I’m querying for my middle grade fantasy novel. I have another I’ve finished and am now slowly “uploading” to my computer (i.e. typing up handwritten copy and editing as I go). I chip away at this because most of my energy right now is dedicated to producing short stories.
There you have it. This has been a post filled with a quick geeking-out on tense use and narrative perspectives, reading, and the writing process. If you are a writer or an avid reader like me, I wish you luck and drive as you endeavor to finish your projects and begin new ones. And if you are not either of those, I still wish you luck and drive in any of your passions that you currently pursue.
Also, I try to make the photos on my posts relate to my posts. So if you were wondering why there’s another photo of Hollywood Forever it’s because:
1. I was going for the “past” in past tense, and the dead are in the past. It’s a bit of a stretch…
2. It really was the only interesting photo I had that related somewhat. I had another cool photo of very pink, and I mean pink, totally neon, Tellytubby-looking tea, but couldn’t make an argument for it fitting. Perhaps for a future post.