Dig it, y’all!
This is a re-blog of a guest post on writing that I did for writing guru Ari Meghlen’s blog ‘Eternal Scribbler’.
To Speak with Temperance
“Eek! Dig it, Miss Plumtartt! We are guest hosts on Ari Meghlen’s highly touted writing blog, ‘Eternal Scribbler’!
“Quite so, Mr. Temperance. Miss Meghlen is very kind. Is there a purpose for our being here?”
“Oh, yes Ma’am! Miss Ari wants me to share some writing advice!”
“ . . .
I beg your pardon, sir, but did you say that you were consulted for writing wisdom? Tell me, why did you not explain your lack of understanding on the subject and make your apologies, eh hem?”
“I started to, what with my being so nearly illiterate and uneducated, but then I thought, ah, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot.”
“One sees. Tell us, of what on Earth will you speak?”
“A problem I saw in my own writing, and one that I see in others, is allowing the action to slip into the past tense. I like it better when things are in the present, but keeping it there ain’t easy.”
“Indeed, Mr. Temperance, and what is your solution to this ‘tense’ situation?”
“I found that whenever I wrote in exposition, the action and descriptions would come out in a past tense, but when the action happened through dialogue, it would pull the reader into the moment. My first few books were not that way, but my style quickly turned in that direction. Now, I write in complete dialogue! There ain’t even no identifiers nor nothing!”
“You can’t be serious.”
“Oh yes, Ma’am, I surely am.”
“Your books are filled with action and gore-free monster fighting. You are often engaged in battles, brawls, and bruising ballyhoo. Surely, you must indulge in a momentary exposition, whilst immersed in combat, eh hem?”
“Oh, you know how it is, Ma’am. If there is a fight going on, there is always someone around egging it on, or commentating and whatnot. It is a ridiculous way to write, but as my books are silly…”
“Eh hem, let us use the term, ‘whimsical’.”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am. So, since my books are ‘whimsical’ in nature, I reckon I can get away with it well enough. Most reviewers say it takes a minute to get used to, but then you hardly notice at all.”
“Much as one is struck by the unfortunate smell when one first visits the primate house at the zoo, but after a few moments, one hardly takes notice at all.”
“Yes, Ma’am! Just like that!”
“I am sure Miss Meghlen will be thrilled to share this sordid little literary observation and assistance on her otherwise beneficial blog.”
“Gee, I sure do hope so, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am.”
“Oh yes, One is compelled to share another warning, er, that is, another, feature, of your scribbling attempts. This would be your habit of bringing rhythm and song into the novels. Your first five only have traces of music here and there, but with the sixth book and through the tenth, there is singing throughout. Perhaps you would share a bit of song for Miss Meghlen’s audience.”
“Um, the last novel was a mash up of two Robert Louis Stevenson books; ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ and ‘Treasure Island’. Here’s a little something:
My pirates get to sing!
I let their voices ring!
It might be wrong, to write in song,
but I don’t give a ring-a-ding!
“Very good, Mr. Temperance, now say thank you to Miss Meghlen and let us take our leave.”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am. Thank you for allowing us to be guests on your lovely blog, Miss Meghlen, Ma’am! I hope I have not given out any bad advice! Happy Writing everybody! Your pals, Icky and Persephone.”
See the original post: