wordwhacker: (NaNo 2007)
[personal profile] wordwhacker
Written for Word #122 over at [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic.

Not terribly thrilled with this one, but hey - 15 minutes is 15 minutes, and I don't want to write quirky relationship goofiness EVERY time.

A Story for Readers (flash, 300 words)

It needs to have a certain look to it, even though it's only text. The rhythm of the words carries over from the sound and feel of it in your mouth to the shape of the letters, the words, the phrases. Is it natural, this harmony of symbols and sounds? Would it be the same if it was laid out in German, or Mandarin, or Russian? When the nuances change - when slippage occurrs between the meanings that each symbol, each sound reaches for - the rhythm of it changes as well. It is always moving.

So a long paragraph feels more comfortable if followed by something shorter. Something succinct, without so many commas.

There is something unfinished and halting about a short paragraph. Two sentences; it's like a breach of the rule of three. With three, it would feel complete, even if it wasn't much longer.

When I first set my eyes on a story, I know if I will like it from the shape. Chunky blocks of text feel heavy and impenetrable. They are usually filled with long sentences that roll on for line after line describing inane things in minute detail. They are strangely loving, these chunky stories. Every paragraph bursts with information, but there is no room between the lines. They are not for reading. They are a writer's story.

"Neither are the ones that are nearly scripts," he said.

"Every piece of information stands on its own," she sighed.

"They move too quickly!" he yelled.

"There is no distinction between the speakers!" she noted.

"They are indulgent," he laughed.

"Nothing is built within them," she yawned.

"They fly out of the author's head and feel witty at the time," he drawled.

She shook her head. "They are not meant for readers."

I know what a story for readers should be.

Now if only I could write it.
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March 2011

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