One of the “writing exercises” I do involves writing something short in a stream of consciousness format.

Allow me to explain.

I don’t try to write complete thoughts or even compete sentences sometimes. I just try to write random collections of words. The goal is to just let go and say any and every thing I possibly can.

Why do I do this?

I don’t even know why I would ask myself that question. I don’t really have an answer. But I can tell you that my skill in thinking like this came to me with time. Time and repetition.

That’s right, I called it a skill. It’s something that has been worked on. I’ve put effort into making sure I can really clear my mind and just let loose with silly words.

I also have a theory about the benefit of doing this.

I think it helps with my vocabulary. In my mind thousands of words exist but in my daily speaking mannerisms I only use, let’s say, several hundred. Now, if I just let fly words that pop into my head, I’m probably going to notice that some words keep showing up.  Sometimes, if I’m lucky, some new words will pop up, and now I have “unlocked” them and I will use them in my writing.

So let’s me and you try this whole stream of consciousness thing together.

What I’m going to do is sit here at my laptop and relax. Then I’m going to try my hardest to turn off my brain. That could take me a few minutes . I know when I’ll be ready to begin once I feel like I’m looking into a big blank void. (Yes, I’m totally serious about this right now.)

Now the next paragraph you see will be my actual stream of consciousness thoughts. It will probably be full of typos and run on sentences, it  will likely appear to be complete nonsense. That’s because it is. But I always seem to get a real kick out of it and maybe you will too. So here goes nothing…

happy horn tripe toes falling tenticle raid cars freak shopping. Calloused means are justified by wenches. Camels are not going to forget. Sometimes the rules say to knots and slip the rides. Some plubm mistakes full are menting topics. I can’t rear any farms adds. Purpose taunting loves villains

Wow…

Now that’s some crazy stuff. It started off with some messy and patterned thought (H**** H***** T**** T***** pattern). Then more flowing thoughts came through.

What do they mean? I haven’t the slightest.

Now, I’ve also noticed some wonderful little items here. I used the word “raid“. That’s a word that is not in my everyday language. Yet, there it rests. “Knots” and “tripe” are two more of those words.

I like to think of this as a spring cleaning sort of moment. I have all this junk in my closet and I need to get rid of it or need to reorganize it into a more useful position. So I dump everything on the ground and say “Oh wow, look at that! It’s an old Teddy Ruxpin doll.” Then you find a place to put it and say, “Look at that, I thought I threw this thing away 20 years ago.”

Now I have a Teddy Ruxpin sitting in my recliner waiting to scare the crap out of anybody who walk in through my door.

So, everybody wins.

In this analogy the closet is my brain and the junk represents knowledge (knowledge of words that is). Then, as I dig through the old T-shirts and baseball gloves, I see that Teddy Ruxpin.

I should also clairify that  “Plubm“, “menting“, and “wenches” are probably misspelled words for “plumb“, “minting“, and “wrenches“. But I don’t care. It was typing with my eyes closed and was pretty surprised that I went that far without too many errors.

So, just because you all are good sports, why don’t you try a paragraph or two? Maybe you’ll have a completely different experience. I would love to see your results.

Crazy thoughts today,

D.A.

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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.