Sunday, August 27, 2006

This Has Gone Too Far

The topic sums up exactly what I thought I would talk about today. Going too far, stepping over the line, overdoing things, and just generally blowing away the boundaries. Of course I'm talking about it from a writing perspective, rather than other ways that might get a person into infinitely more trouble. So, to this driven end, I thought I would talk about it in three distinct ways.

First up we have what I think of as the first style of over-writing. In this case I am talking about taking a bit of story at a time, either during the first writing of it, or even after, and pumping as much detail into it as possible, pacing not withstanding. Or maybe pacing withstanding. Depends on what you are going for I guess. Detail is something that can be always be added. The question though, as you can see just from where I had to qualify myself, is when, where, and how much. This isn't just a matter of getting all flowery with your prose, but more about slipping in the immersive bits whenever and wherever possible. Sometimes it seems like you may be going to far, but I think that may be where you've gone just far enough. This of course doesn't not mean you should spend pages talking about doilies in a room, or the benefits of certain ingredients in your rabbit stew. Which leads us to the other over-writing.

This second style of over-writing is all about writing more for the story than you are going to need when you're done. This works best for longer works like novellas and novels. This was an idea that ultimately came to me from watching movie making of featurettes and commentary tracks. This can be about going too far in how much you write for a scene and eventually distilling it down, as opposed to stripping it out, which for this purpose might just be pointless. It can also be about writing something pointless, such as whole scenes, that you know will not be a part of the final work, but can be used to taint other scenes as well as in general give you more insight into the character(s) that is focus of the scene, or the idea that you are trying to expand on for yourself and not for the final audience.

Lastly we have the third and most obvious way of going too far. That would be too gross, too sick, too demented. In other words, what, if done right, can be the fun stuff. Or if it is done wrong is just a waste of everybody's time, particularly if its tied in with the previous two ways of going too far. You don't want to desensitise, and you don't want to send people running for the bathroom or have them just set you aside because you actually have... gone too far.

Mood: fragmented.
Music: Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) by Iron Maiden and The Day The World Went Away by Nine Inch Nails.

Iron Maiden: Powerslave
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Nine Inch Nails: The Fragile

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