Friday, January 02, 2009

Honesty and a good opening sentence

I have not been writing drabbles, because I have been playing Final Fantasy VII and revising my November's novel. This has taken up all of my time. Or at least, close to it. The rest has been taken up with wondering why I bother revising if I'm just writing for myself, and in fact why I bother posting anything online if I'm just writing for myself, and with the question of whether anyone can truly "just write for themselves" or if the very act of writing something down implies an audience. None of it matters, not really, but it's an interesting question and has got me thinking. Because the fact of the matter is that if I am posting things online, I must want people to read them. But I am too averse to self-promotion to advertise to my friends "Go here! Read this! I wrote it in November and I am proud!" and as such I feel like what I really want out of the internet is not simply a place where people will read, but where people will read anonymously. My acquaintances will not judge me for writing fluff if they never see the fluff that I write. Meanwhile someone, at least, is reading it. Hopefully. And my friends, well, my friends know me well enough to forgive my tendency to revel in fluff. Hopefully.

Also, a carton of schoolbooks finally found its way here from Chicago, so I am reunited with my Durkheim. Let the collective effervescence begin? (Weber was in the first batch, and I think I gave Marx away. I could make some comment here about the importance of the Protestant Ethic in getting through graduate school, and the importance of free sharing in Communism, but I won't. So there.)

And a drabble, because, well, I wrote one. Inspired by the word "Xanthous".

Suzie was not a coward. It wasn’t cowardly to know which battles could be won and which couldn’t. It wasn’t cowardly to choose your fights.

It wasn’t even cowardly, her mother had told her, to be frightened, and to scream, when the threat warranted. And Suzie was not frightened, and she hadn’t screamed.

“This isn’t something I’ll fight.”

“You’d rather just give up?”

“I’d rather move on. I’m leaving.”

“You can’t just leave because she said some nasty things!”

“I can’t just listen to her either!”

“She’d back down if you stood your ground.”

“I can’t,” Suzie said, and left.


Alex said...

I would make the argument, then, that one man's fluff is another man's treasure. Now, I haven't started reading your novel yet, and inasmuch can't truly qualify that statement, though I would make a pretty good bet in your favor.

Also, the idea of self-promotion among friends seems a little bit silly. I don't think that any of us would feel like your trying to sell anything by saying, "hey, read my stuff!" Much more likely, we'll read it just like any other novel, like Hemingway or Shakespeare or Asimov, and have just as much fun reading it.

ayn said...

If not more fun, because we actually know the author which will add extra meaning--whether you want it to or not. =p

BTW, the captcha for this comment says "thoses," which is an awesome word.