Monday, November 06, 2006

Scratch Pad

The last time I wrote was months ago.
It must have been from sheer laziness that I neglected to pick up the pen again to populate white space with black streaks, curves and dots. They may remain as such…meaningless splatters of black on white since there seems to be nothing to write about.
But I am following one writer’s advice of just to keep that writing hand moving and with the theory of a million monkeys typing all at the same time for thousands of millennia would by happenstance come up with something of literary value.
I do not expect to have the luck of a million monkeys today. I know that at the moment my mind is full of crap and nothing paper worthy would come out of my present train of thought. I should live life more so that I could restock my treasury of experiences, widen my knowledge, get better insight into things and into people. My self imposed reclusion is taking its toll on my ability to project myself into other personalities and somehow stunts my imagination. My mind hasn’t been stimulated for quite a while that some atrophy might have set in.
Still I should keep at it. I must form this habit of moving my writing hands at all times. This could be likened to casting a gigantic seine into the ocean for it to gather all that it encounters on the seafloor and those pelagic aquatic life forms residing along the mid-water line. This indiscriminate harvest could lead to writing about things that I hardly know anything about. But since they got dragged up by this ravenous sea catchall they must be given thought and a few lines…only because they were there. Together with the marine detritus some rough gems may be resurrected from the ocean’s bounty. Some stray truths that could start the premise of a piece of writing or some highly individual character that could be developed into a fascinating story.

“Life is wonderful” is one truth that one could use as basis for a piece of writing whether fiction or non-fiction. But it should have a more specific sub premise otherwise it would be ineffective in setting one off to a writing start. Now, there could be hundreds of sub premises that one can generate from “life is wonderful”. Think of the blessings that you have benefited from since you saw light in this world and you will come up with something like “caring for the less fortunate is rewarded by good fortune” or “happiness comes to those who give happiness to others”. A basic truth like “war is hell” has been used by countless writers and yet they never cease to provide us with enjoyable literary renditions emanating from a generic observation. Again, this is because one can get to more specific sub premises of which there are countless numbers of. “Avenging the cruel death of a beloved in the hands of the enemy never appeased the soul” or “the lives of the innocent wasted at wartime is an ignominy that will visit us in peace time” make for interesting story development.
We could go on and on with observations on life and the hundreds of sub premises that can emanate from them. The observations are as they purport to be… mere observations and not incontestable facts but they are most real to some and truisms to those who experienced their reality no matter how fleeting. But these are mere suppositions to those who just learned them as an outsider looking in. There is nothing wrong with that. One could make a statement about life from pure vicarious experience. Any person can, in fact, manufacture their own basic premises without having to validate it by real experience. It is not possible for any one person to experience every conceivable emotion, event, fame or shame. The writer must hypothesize, make a supposition, create scenarios and develop interesting personalities and then converge them into a literary form

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