I Went to a Writing Group Today - June 12th, 2019

I was not feeling it today. I had a tense political meeting on Monday that I gave a speech at, and I sat in this uncomfortable plastic chair for the meeting holding a lot of tension in my body. That threw off my spine. I went in for an extra adjustment the next day and it wouldn't adjust properly. If my cervical spine is out of place for too long it causes issues with my brainstem, and will start effecting my ability to cognitively function, which is just starting to happen now (it doesn't take long). And, I've been too busy to properly rest like this particular body design needs. So, I wasn't feeling it today, but I went to the writing group and had fun anyway.


Analiese came up with a prompt that included an educational piece. Here's the beginning of it.

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Conflict

In every story, there has to be a problem. The main character has to be challenged in some way or the story will go nowhere. There are four basic conflicts to look for that may face the main character:

Man versus man
Man versus nature
Man versus himself
Man versus society

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Two clarifications: 1) there are sometimes more categories than this, these are the four most consistent and that's why she chose just these four, and 2) "man" in this case really means any sentient being, so it can be a woman, or an alien, or a monster. (She also had explanations of each category, but I'm not going to include those here.)

I wanted to do something a bit odd, that's kind of the point of the group for me, to experiment and have fun. I also wanted to do a piece with one character. I'm amazed by things like "Cast Away" where Tom Hanks is by himself for most of the movie and it's still dynamic. Notice that all of the most important things are still about relationships. Notice that, it's huge.

I messed up the spelling for the creature that I refer to here. My story is monster versus artificial nature/technology (and self). I intended to refer to golems, the creature from Jewish folklore, but I mixed the spelling with a completely different creature from "Lord of the Rings" by Tolkien. Alas, I shall keep the spelling (I did make two other minor spelling corrections though).

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The darn thing wouldn't budge, it wouldn't even wiggle. Human tools of all sorts had annoyed Golgama for the last 600 years, but keys were the worst.

Golums were originally designed as blunt instruments of labor. Golgama had carried stones during his first century of existence, there was always a stone wall that needed to be built. Perfect work for a golum, and for Golgama especially. He was made out of magical clay for Pete's sake, he was meant to be out of doors, doing stuff, not trying to turn a key to get into a building.

Golgama pulled the key out and looked at it. It looked the same as it had before. He put it back in the lock and pressed, but it didn't move. He pressed the other way, no movement. He tried to tilt it up and down a little bit. It had a little play in it, it was an old lock, and an old key.

Maybe if he tilted it up, kept the pressure on and turned. Nope.

Maybe if he tilted it down - and then it happened. Golgama had heard of it before, but he had never experienced it. He wasn't prepared for the shock of standing in front of a locked door that you need in and holding half of a key.

What do you even do in this situation?

Three steps in front of him there was a shovel, a shovel that he had been told to get. An order that he was compelled to follow by the commandments included in the scroll that had laid in his head from the time he had been baked.

Golgama reached out to the handle and grabbed hold. He hadn't been commanded to break into the shed, but in his last 10 years of employment on the grounds he had never been told not to either.

The commandments were supposed to eliminate this type of problem, but they had never really worked.

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So, one of the first things that starts to decline when my spine and brainstem are out of wack is my ability to orient in and organize larger structured ideas, like writing a story. That's why this didn't really come together. The ideas wouldn't generate in my brain like they normally would, so I just stumbled forward with my partially performing brain. The mind is the operation of the brain, it's important to remember that the ability to think is generated by an organ (yes, I already understand it's a lot more complex than that and involves significantly more).

I finished with just enough time to read through it once before the writing session ended. I had Golgama going into an office instead of a "building" at first. Then, somehow that morphed into a shed with a shovel. That's just bad selection on my part. I should have done something with an office, that would be better. Like sending the golum to collect legal papers off an office desk or something, that would work. Then there should be a time limit to apply pressure or something. Even now, after having hours to think about it, the idea just won't form in my mind. Hopefully I will sleep extra tonight and my adjustment will go well tomorrow. Then, I'll recover over the next few days and be charging forward again. The issue is that I have every day full, there is no time to take off, which is fine, I'll manage it.

One woman mentioned the golems from Terry Pratchett's "Discworld", which is also what I think of when I think of golems.

There were, of course, many interesting takes. I really liked one that was this guy mulling over his struggle about going to Catholic Mass because of a variety of issues. It was great. And there was this one about twins, where one might have been a vampire and one a werewolf. It was crazy, in the good way.

I'm not going to lie, something like this is a bit depressing. It's great that I still did it, and it's great that it's an okay idea, and it came out decent, but it's depressing because if my brain was functioning a bit better it would have been so significantly better. I can't not make that comparison.

(Other odd notes: the picture is of a kid that I teach online who's from China. That's a creature that he invented that eats dead people. Also, I used "effecting" in the first paragraph of this article where most people would use "affecting." I intend to do that because I disagree with how the ivory tower teaches that.)

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You can find more of what I'm doing at http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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