I’ve been writing a lot of nonsensical stories recently, ones that don’t make sense to me until long after I’ve finished them, formless stories that take the shape of the emotional digestion on part of the reader and not the written words entirely themselves. This is a form of reflective writing, meaningful nonsense. The same actions can be taken with most applied arts- I will first talk of how to do so in my own words believing I’ve had some sort of success conveying it recently, and finding the formula somewhat easy to replicate from week to week.
First one must imagine a conflict, simple or great- two figures or twenty; as long as you can imagine that conflict playing out in your head the premise for the formless story may exist. This will most likely manifest itself in two forms, keeping two things in mind, emotion- and movement. The movement often comes from the feeling or emotion, making the feeling one of the most important things for your basis. Easy ones could be incompetence, starvation, longing, insanity, pure happiness. These feelings don’t have to make sense to you at first, the piece is meant to play off of these feelings and make the reader reflect them in themselves. The movement will come from the emotion applied to the number of figures you have, and in assigning the figures two simple roles, those who attack- and those who defend. Obviously they can have more actions than this for symbolism’s sake, but in the name of simplicity let’s assume two figures- one of attack and one of defense in the emotion of incompetence.
With the base built I now would like to speak upon the nature of style, or more accurately- that which not to tell the reader in order for them to fill in the blanks with something better than what you could have placed there intentionally. This is most easily done by giving characters strong descriptions whilst leaving room for many indescribable things, major elements of their body- movements- or words should remain formless and silent in part to allow wild imagination to fill the gaps. Wonderful examples of insanity filling formless gaps are a plenty by writers like H.P Lovecraft- whom has undoubtedly been of great influence to me lately. Allow me now an example to clarify the muddy nature of what I wish to convey. As a reminder, my two figures are of attack and of defense in the emotion of incompetence. Spoken from an omniscient first person.
Ex. – Finding oneself in control is a rarity; my mindlessness came to me so rapidly as to deflate my spirit before I could lift a finger. The door remained ever closed in front of me that day, fumbling with locks- the cold so sharp, fingers numb. I slammed my head against it, a futile attempt to open it. I could hear something softly with my head pressed against it, hand upon the cold metal of its frame. It was whispering something; I tried my best to hear it- my heart sank as the words crept into my head and danced about as drunken epitaphs indicative of my doom. Oh frail flesh failing to carry me more, let me die hear with these words stabbing my head- my bones lay to rest symbolic of my failure.
Somewhat depressing, not my best word by far- but it is only an example. A man failing to open the lock to his house in frigid temperatures gives up out of his incompetence and allows himself to freeze to death after he thinks he hears the door mocking him. The door being his attacker, him failing to defend. It is a simple scenario that leaves out an important detail. What the door was saying, the only description gave it a grave feeling. That it was speaking his doom, but not how it did it. This is the important detail left out. But it still didn’t really feel like it was missing something, because the whispering was filled in automatically when it was given no words to it. This is in essence the nature of creating meaningful nonsense; it is nonsense in that it abstractly makes no sense- and is not readily able to be made sense of, but meaningful in the depiction of emotion and room allowed for reflection of that failure inside of the hearts of the reader.
I give myself too much credit, far too often- but I just found these few steps helpful whenever I go to write something new- and thought I would share that process in my blog spot for this week. Enjoy if you are able- C*MAR loves you.
See you next week. –