Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Structure Redux

Water stagnates. That's why it must be refreshed by an incoming source, and often, relieved through an outlet. Check out your local mud puddle or pond or size-challenged lake. Scum floats, slimy clogs of muck grow up from the bottom, and the water is clouded, full of silt and algae and general yuck.

By contrast, add movement or a brisk water source, and you are rewarded with fresh, clear water, good for drinking or irrigating or fishing or meditating.

I'm not sure how far I can carry this analogy, but my point is this: the writing community -- the writer's mind -- must continually be renewed. There are many ways, all of which have undoubtedly been discussed a million different times by various bloggers far more talented than I. My favorite renewal is via discussion and contemplation of those topics nearest and dearest a writer's heart.

So I just want to reach out to Lady Glamis and thank her for stirring the waters a bit in her latest post. My writerly self has succumbed to summer temptations and obligations, but this post on structure started me thinking things through again...reminded me why I was thinking the things I was thinking and where I wanted to go with those thoughts. If you haven't checked out her blog or this particular post, trot on over. It's well worth your time.

Special Bonus: I am excited and delighted to say that Brian McDonald dropped by her blog and commented a couple of times on the post! You'll have to mull over his additional insight and examples; he really is a master at this whole storytelling thing.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Thanks, Alex, for sending me over to Lady Glamis' site. I made myself a follower. I already follow Adventures in Writing and the Literary Lab and have gleaned much from them.
I love the way these discussions deepen my work. Your armature post and her string of pearls are good analogies. I realized awhile ago that plot and theme are two different things. Plot drives the action but theme is what it's all about and if theme isn't present or clear, there is no real substance.

Lady Glamis said...

Wow! Thanks for the shout out, Alex. And that means a lot to me to hear that my post made that much of a difference to you. Really, that's what I aim to do with my blog, and to hear it being successful is very, very rewarding.

But I must also thank you SO MUCH for that post on armature. I remember reading that and marking it on my list of things to blog about. And I kept thinking of it over and over the whole month until I couldn't stand it anymore!

This particular post I did on the pearls has really struck me because it has taught me a lot just by the discussion that happened over there. THIS is why blog!

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, and Tricia, thanks for stopping by and especially following me!!! I'll have to check out your blog as well. :D

inlandempiregirl said...

Wise words and I am off to visit the other site. See you soon.

Anonymous said...

Alex - nice to see you blogging here again. I'm on my way over to check out the Lady Glamis posts. I've almost completed the revisions on my WIP. The ideas I got while listening to Brian McDonald were invaluable and made the book so much better.

James Oh said...

Thanks, Alex, I too agree that Lady Glamis is great and creative writer. I never regret signing as one of her followers.

I am learning from her since the day one I visited her blog.

Hello lady Glamis.

Peter said...

Thanks for this post, and the link! I needed it. My waters have been stagnating for about three months now.. ever since my move to CA, and then.. all of sudden, last night they burst forth againg. I wrote until 1 AM.. and i felt good.. :)

A Daily Pinch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You are right. Renewal must be a constant that we not avoid. I am in a growth period and renewing myself after a bad half of the year. It completely threw my groove.

Thank you for sending me to Lady Glamis and this post. It made me take a lot into perspective

Diane Gallant said...

I realie I'm late to your post, Alex, but hang in there. I'm certain that all writers (and all creative types, I'll bet) go through these stagnant periods. It shall pass.

James Oh said...

I have an award for you. Please come to my blog to claim it.

Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

James Oh

Mariana Soffer said...

IT is clear you should just let your mind flow, let the analogy go where it must, or just let it stop.

Alex Moore said...

@Tricia: you're welcome, for sure. I've thoroughly enjoyed your input and insight wherever I've encountered you. These discussions certainly deepen my own undertanding.

@Lady Glamis: there seems to be something in the act of writing that deepens understanding. Good writing = good thinking. critical writing = critical thinking. Thank you, LG, for all you do to nurture all of the above in self & others :)

@inlandempiregirl: it's been awesome working with you this past month. Thw Writing Project is *lucky* to have you.

@uppington: well, i wouldn't call it blogging again. i've taken the month of July off since I've been blogging/writing/twittering in my professional capacity. I just finished a delightful class entitled "Teaching Writing in a Digital Age." Fun stuff :) best of luck w/ your writing.

@James Oh: great minds think alike

@Peter: I must say that I've missed you. I really had hoped that we could meet up at PNWA this year -- but I am, alas, working. And, I think you are as well? Glad to hear you're writing again...

@lisaframe: growth is struggle. struggle is uncomfortable. but growth is vital to our well-being as humans. (the opposite being not only stagnation, apathy, atrophy, but death.) i commiserate with you -- but also feel encouraged by your determination to view your experiences as a place for growth, introspection, and perspective.

@James Oh: many thanks

@Mariana Soffer: fortunately, i'm experiencing a renewal in the course i'm co-facilitating this summer. it's exhausting but affirming: i AM a writer :)

Dave said...

It's been awhile since that post, but it certainly was exciting. So many comments.

It's cool when bloggers can bounce off of each other's ideas. I wish that I, and everybody else, did that more.

Thanks for dropping a comment in your last adventures in writing blog about my conference and trends. That gave me an idea that I used for my blog today.