Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Mutinous Crew: Chapter 7

Chapter seven is a great exercise -- one not quite as contentious as the previous about tense -- and I'm puzzled why. Perhaps it's our binary nature. Tense has only two options: past (inclusive narrative tense) and present (focused narrative tense). With only two sides there must be for any situation a right and a wrong, and so sides are chosen.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Stone That Sings, Chapter 1 Revision

Chapter 1, Rev 2

The Stone That Sings isn't exactly in first draft, though parts of it are. I tend to write in waves, where I write Chapter 1, then write Chapter 2, then revise Chapter 1 -- This is the process that got the first five chapters on Scribophile.

But now that I've created the first draft, I'm on the second full draft. Things I learned in the first draft by completing it all the way to the end can now be added.

So what did I learn?

I learned that P'nem, Danek, and Lorot are members of a Syrrannite enclave on Vulcan. This makes them different from Vulcan standards, but also held in high regard -- they tend to be the moral conscience of the Vulcan people -- whether they are wanted or not. If it sounds like that might make them scolds, you are right. All this technology and such causing 'deviations' in the Way of Kolinahr, which is why they remain in the desert, even if the desert plays havoc with higher technologies.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Past Speaks of the Present

In Chapter 6, Subject Pronoun and Verb, Ms. Le Guin mentions references Lynne Sharon Schwartz, whose essay, Remembrance of Tense Past is an insightful analysis of influenza, miniskirts, and of course verb tense with many thoughtful examples of both success and failures of using the present tense (also called focused narrative tense, by Le Guin). In Steering the Craft, Le Guin analyzes the fallacy of 'immediacy' as a reason to use the focused narrative tense. In this post, I'll examine some of the other points Schwartz makes in her essay.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Mutinous Crew: Chapter 6

I found writing this post really helped me contemplate and understand Chapter Six. Each chapter, I skip ahead to the exercise to get a sense of what the chapter will teach me and focus on those items. Chapter Six was the first chapter I've run into where that strategy was not helpful.  The opinion piece, more a cautionary tale about passive voice -- made me believe I was still going over familiar ground. After all, I knew what past and present tense meant and it was just a matter of using one or the other. So much for that.

I appreciate the fact that Le Guin pointed out that both present and past tense are fictive -- the moment we are reading the story is the only real 'present'. As much as I'd like to adopt the terms "inclusive narrative tense" and "focused narrative tense", it will confuse Scribophilians, and I'll wind up explaining myself repeatedly, even, as I write this article, the terms grow on me with just a few examples: