2003-01-10 16:35:31 ET|
unfortunately i will be unable to attend tomorrow nights festivies due to a work mixup.
and the following may not mean anything to anyone on here at all- but is in fact a big step for me....
i am attempting to write a story. this story has been in the works for years. the pieces are coming together faster, and thanks to someone helping me (you know who you are), i may actually write something good. something worthwhile.
i will not give away the plot, but it is probably going to be categorized as 'cyber-punk', whatever that is.
(warning: many of the concepts here can be found in Lajos Egri's 'the art of dramatic writing'... i can explain to anyone who asks... )
>>>>>> something clicked today-in regards to writing. i had always had a problem with 'premise', and a story having to grow out of such an idiot simple idea like "great love defies even death" (Romeo and Juliet)... it seemed that stories (and life) were far more complex than any idea that can be summed up in so trite a statement. Life is too wandering, too chaotic, too meaningless... to encapsulate into a three part statement, and besides it is life (and beauty) which inspire me, not morals, or point-proving. Therefore any attempt at story structure seems condescending, limiting, inane.
i was wrong.
perhaps the combination of reading existentialist philosophers (meaning of things isnt as obvious as you think, if there is one at all) and studying the binding laws of Drama have congealed in my head... to something not-quite-liquid-not-quite-solid... Jello, if you will =)
in all seriousness, i have seen through the problem instead of ignoring it, or trying to dance around it. the epiphany came to me when a book i bought today drew the line between story and plot.
Story is a sequence of events.
Plot is a sequence of events that are causal and have meaning.
Life is story. Arbitrary, loosely connected at best, if anything, the organization of man's ideas have structured themselves around the phenomena and not vice versa. When we believe in our ideas before the phenomena (aka reality) that is when the surprises (and disappointments!) begin.
So many arbitrarily cruel things have happened to me. And yet i seek out coincidences that could have greater meaning. I do this to the point of borderline schizoid personality disorder. The conspiracy... of beauty and death... connecting the dots of a chaotic life like a child would invent constellations. It's not clear whether which constellations you decide to pull out of the sky matter, or whether they need to agree with other people's constellations.
What is clear is that people seek meaning. People try to turn the story of their lives into plot, try to draw in patterns where there is none. Acute symbolism and abbreviation of experience rob of us true perception, especially in this age of sensory overload. the meaninglessness of a single experiences in and of itself can be maddening. Almost like looking at a friend's face and seeing the face of a stranger...
"things are divorced from their names. They are there, grotesque, headstrong, gigantic, and it seems ridiculous to...say anything about them. I am in the midst of things, nameless things, defenceless..."
And yet, the very fact that I am reading this existential bullshit means that i am looking for something. Answers. (answers, you want answers?) I am seeking to impose meaning upon ontological phenomena. this very act is un-existentialist. ("i want the truth!" "you cant handle the truth!")
THEREFORE- It is okay for stories to have premises. It is okay for sixteen plots to be beaten to death to infinity. It is okay for me to place a value judgement in my story (my story=obsession leads to isolation) that only means that particular value was true in that place, in that time, in my story not in all places, times and stories.
It is okay for stories to need meaning, for plots to require premise. I can forgive them because i now realize that in my search for meaning, I participate in the creation of fiction every moment of every day.
10 billion pseudo-intellectual snob points if you read all of this.