Monday, May 2, 2016

Hard Work & Tools

I think I might have been prejudiced against forms of writing / expression other than novels for a long time. This prejudice might have taken the form or way "civilized" people refer to "primitive' societies. I think I also used to feel guilty writing novels, and not sticking strictly to poetry; it's very well known in the publishing and writing world that most chapbooks don't sell as well as novels.

For example, when I worked on a novel, I used to believe that the act of writing was a part of writing as well. I hope this makes sense when I think of what a writer / poet said, about the goal of poetry.
I believe Lewis Turco said ( and I think I am heavily parahrasing here ) that the goal of poetry is the words themselves...I remember that when I wrote poems sometimes, I try not to stop once I start, because I like finishing the poem in one go. I rarely edit later.

When you think of novels, two more things come to mind though. The effect, aesthetic and feel the novel wants to have or project, as well as the narrative element of storytelling. For example, a thriller will have have a different 'feel' to it ( both while reading and upon finishing ) than an epic would have upon the reader.

If I were to categorize the phrase 'effect, aesthetic and feel' as 'function', then I wonder if poetry can be thought of as a genre focusing on the form of words, whereas novels, movies and telepathic entertainment ( if possible ) use words as a tool to achieve a function(s) in a field or subject.

I don't know if what I wrote is true. If it is, it certainly helps dispel some myths I've had about writing.  I used to romanticize about writing as much as people romanticism about 'true love'. Once I realized that if I had grown up on  telepathic entertainment instead of words,  and that then I would prefer telepathy as my weapon of choice,  I've come to question some of my understanding of writing as a profession and vocation.

If written words is my choice of tool when it comes to expression, it is more likely that, one,  I prefer writing because I am good with words ( as a poet, and someone suffering from the lack of the ubiquitous ability to telepathize ), two, that's the easiest way to achieve the function I want ( as opposed to making a movie or art in the genre of fantasy ), and three, without hard work, any tool is useless and cannot achieve it's function...as opposed to being 'born to write', or being a natural.

Also, while the preservation of intent of expression makes sense  while writing poetry, I don't know how much it applies to novels, because the words in a novel are a vehicle, and often nothing more.

This would help me while I'm working on my current fantasy novel, as I now I realize that if writing is a tool, that would mean it would be okay to skimp on certain aspects of writing in favor of the narrative, ideal or virtue ( such as beauty ) I was aiming for. It would also open the different possibilites writing can be used for, such as screenplays and journalism.