Friday, February 08, 2008

first person, limited

(or, I am such a one trick pony, kids...)

In what jargon do you talk? What are your buzz words?

Do you confuse the narrator with the character or with the author? Do you think that you don't need to figure out who is narrating a third person piece? What is at stake for that omniscience? Do you thrive on voice, the slow seduction of one person's confessions(I want to say that I met the apple farmer, Dan, in a cute way)? What do you know of pacing and rhythm, sentence structure? (As luck would have it, I knew the girl who showed up to interview me for the new SF food magazine--as if our tiny city really needed another--and she in turn knew that I was a dyke.)What do you know of beginnings?(Occasionally, something happens in a kitchen, good or bad--so you save the day by covering three stations and cooking for some hotshot food critic, or else you get caught drinking champagne and doing lines of coke in the wine room and your coworkers lock you in overnight just for kicks--and you ascend right into legend) Do you conceive or do you write blindly on? Do you seek to place metaphor, stories, do you make use of dreams or gimmicks (Six months ago I flew to Anchorage to watch my father die and last month he returned the favor)

tense. backstory. scene. exposition. reliability, in narrators. trust. stakes. beginning middle end. protagonist. syntax. prose. word choice. intention. description. dialogue. believability. first person limited/omniscient second person third.

If you know me by now, you know I need to know all the details

There are so many rules, strategies, modes and things to say but all it really takes is my left hand moving. To keep a million things in mind, and still perform the task at hand which is informed by those millions of things, born from them as surely as anything is created. To hold all of the necessary knowledge, and go forth quietly down one path willing to wait for what needs to happen to happen, to get there in the necessary manner, which is different every time, though similar.

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