An Actual Post Where I Talk About Writing (and ponies)

May 24, 2011

Lately I’ve been looking at the use of language in short stories. This includes the speaking mannerisms and conversations of characters/perspectives in a story. Allow me to explain.

Everybody talks differently. I say and use words that you probably don’t, and you probably use words that, if i heard them in conversation, would confuse me. I’d just awkwardly laugh and pretend that I know what you’re talking about. Well, I  think the same is true for any character in a story. Even if it is very subtle, it’s still a difference.

For example, if I were writing a story from a human male perspective, I would include words like “Gnarly”, “Rad”, and “Awesome.” There would also be some smelly armpits in there somewhere. Alternatively, if I were writing for an unintelligent mass of goo, I would make sure the vocabulary included words like “Blurp”, “Squish”, and “Gurgle.” This would be accompanied by some slime dripping (and some stinky pits of some kind).

Now conversations are a whole ‘nother problem.

People not only use words differently, but engage in conversation differently. Maybe they make eye contact with the speaker, or avoid it at all costs. Maybe they are uncertain and shrug all the time. Maybe they tap their fingers or bounce their knee. Suppose the speaker is very authoritative, so they only speak in commands and short sentences. “Do this.” “Go over there.” “Massage my feet, you scum.” You see my point.

This was something that really took a lot of effort for me in Memo. Even though the whole story wasn’t conversation I still wanted the reader to feel like they had a good look at what was going on as well as what was being said. I tried to imply body movement and emotions in conversation. I’m not sure how successful I was in accomplishing this, but I gave it the old college try. It will be something I will work on in the future.

So the next story I’m working on is going to have a noticeably different tone to it. I would like to be able to focus on these issues, but I will likely end up forgetting what I want to focus on, thus leading me to write a story about two tiny ponies that just nay at one another.

Oh Crap! That could be the best idea ever! Better put it in writing!

Pretty Pony: Nay :::translates to: Sup? :::

Cute Pony: Nay ::: Sup?:::

Pretty: Nay Nay :::Nothin’. You?::::

Cute:  Nay :::Nothin’.:::

Pretty: Nay :::Cool:::

Cute: Nay :::Cool:::

Old Englishman Pony: Nay :::No:::

Or, maybe not?

Answer: Nay.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to avoid humor. In fact, I will try to get a serious short story made one day soon. I’ll just write what comes to me.

In completely unrelated news, I’m currently searching for the best way to clean a laptop from the constant touching of my hands. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

D.A.

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2 Responses to “An Actual Post Where I Talk About Writing (and ponies)”


  1. Was it just me or did you compare human males with unintelligent goo? Both of their stories would include stinky pits. :)


    • I think it would be more fair (on behalf of my sex) to both agree and disagree with you. I agree because I did compare the two beings. But in opposition I would have to say the comparison was only in reference to the pit/stinky item.

      However, there is a strong association with intelligence level and the pits factor. In mathematics it would be described as an inverse relationship. As the number of pits and smell level increases, the intelligence level decreases. The equation follows:

      {(# Pits x depth of smell) + Intelligence} = viscosity of being (goo or human)

      or

      {(P x u) + I} = v P x u is know as the Stank Constant.

      It has revolutionized the economics of deodorants and colognes. It may yet win me that Nobel Prize.


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