Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shell Shocked

Recently, I have read back over some of my earliest attempts at writing. Some of it is pretty bad, in fact, some of it is nearly blackmail worthy material. Fortunately, I'll not be going into politics anytime soon, so there's no longer any reason to blackmail me. While reading through this stuff I've come across some issues regarding myself that I really ought to flesh out a bit more. As usual, writing helps me to accomplish more when it comes to figuring things out, so I'm going to write for a while.

Several of my characters from older stories are much deeper and more dynamic than the characters I create now (in my NaNoWriMo novel, for example). These past characters have a consistency that recent ones lack. Some of them refuse to allow changes in their lives that would be unrealistic in that particular character. Others hide behind masks and refuse to allow their true motives to be seen. Yet their actions, and their disatisfication with life betray those motives. All in all, they are more realistic and specifically more human than the characters in my NaNo novel. They contain the strange contradictions that can be noted in every soul.

Why was I better at character portrayal when my writing, frankly, stank? I keep asking myself that. I think it is because I was more honest with myself at that time in my life. Because I let certain things bother me, instead of shoving them away and hiding behind the disguise that I'm okay with whatever. I think it is because I addressed problems in my life and tried to deal with the incongruities that would have harmed my faith in God.

Yeah, faith in God. That's a toughy. I tend to assume that I have a faith in God, and I do, but I forget to examine that faith. I have forgotten to examine that faith for years, I think. Going to college gave me a wonderful excuse. I had no time. It's not that I've become un-Christian. It's not that I could ever stop believing in the awesome God I believe in. It's just that I've failed to confront myself on the issue of examining my own thoughts and how they apply to that faith. I've ignored a minor problem until it became a big problem.

I feel like I'm inarticulate here. I can't fully explain what's bothering me. I just know that I've forgotten some very important things and that it was more because I chose to forget than anything else. I need to stop being the intellectual with all the answers and start realizing that I'm as weak as any other person. Yeah, it's difficult for me to face the fact that I do not have all the answers.

Strange how writing draws out important issues in me. It's not something I'm perfect at, and I know it. Writing forces me to think about deeper issues. I must face my own life and shortcomings in a more thematic way, so to speak. Because when you write, if you're really serious, a little bit of yourself goes into that writing. And then you see what you are and you realize that you cannot hide from yourself and your better judgement any longer.

I'm getting over the shell shocked part of all this and starting into the part where I put all this into perspective and kneel to pray.


little-cicero said...

As far as faith, I too am missing something, but I have found that writing about God strengthens my philosophical connection with God. Being forced to articulate your feelings for God strengthens your thinking on such challenging issues.

In writing, I was told by a teacher today that my writing was wordy, and that "wordy is bad" (A Journalism Teacher, but she applied that rule to all writing). It caused me a little bit of depression today as I doubted my writing ability, and I wonder what you honestly think about my writing.

Esther said...

You're a better writer by far than I was at your age. I am often very impressed by your writing. It is well thought out for the most part. Sometimes it is a bit wordy. Wordiness, I think, is more forgiveable in an essay than in a newspaper article. However, I had one professor who taught me the value of conciseness. Utilize verbs, the English language is chock full of dynamic verbs just waiting to be put to use.

Of course, I don't do that all the time myself. I believe reading poetry is helpful to the art of writing because poets articulate through the use of vivid verbs. Helps your vocabulary and it helps with imagery.

I guess that's my advice for the moment. I've been so busy lately that I have done a poor job keeping up on your and anyone else's blogs that I normally read. I apologize.

little-cicero said...

In truth my vocabulary is nothing amazing, but my classmates can't understand what I'm saying half the time, so it gets confusing.

Esther said...

I had the same problem in highschool. My friends always told me to "speak English!" Personally, I think I have a poor vocabulary. People these days, all they know how to do is swear and say "like!"

little-cicero said...

Vocabulary-rich English is about is marginal today as Snoop-Dog language

Fo-Shizzle Esthizzle!