Friday, April 4, 2014

Turning Point, Part VI: Why Writers Write

Continued from:
Turning Point,
Turning Point, Part II
Turning Point, Part III
Turning Point, Part IV
Turning Point, Part V

Fairy Tales

When I said that I wished to rewrite fairy tales or create fanciful tales of my own making, I wasn't talking about 'bourgeois' or 'refined' culture, but about popular culture. What counts is the transitional character of works: I mean the fact that our characters act as moral, emotional and intellectual guides for our inner child. It is this inclination which has been present since the emergence of my own journey into writing. 

Writing requires meditation or quiet contemplation, and needs transitional elements within the work on the basis of which our emotional and intellectual selves might grow. We can write and write to our hearts desire, but there seems to be a natural requirement of sorts where we need to articulate a concrete growth in our writing, be it in the development of our skills or in the maturation of our ideas. Fairy tales and myths are brilliant from the literary, psychological and metaphysical points of view because they provide this type of growth as the adventurous story unfolds. 

Castles in the Sky
Greg Olsen

In many modern day stories and writings, there is a type of puritan prohibition and censorship occurring. We water things down so as not to dual with our sense of morality. While not everyone, myself included, must write as did the Brothers Grimm, there does seem to be a need for a type of writing that is not so euphemized to the point that the story line cannot develop in a way that frees the mind to explore that which lies within and to seek in fiction ways of answering our most secret ponderings. 

This style of literary freedom, in my opinion, is often times best suited for a traditional book writing and thus reading experience whereby we can cuddle up with a book (hardbound or ebook) on the couch or lie reposed, placing the Reader in a restful state where the mind is not competing with outside stimuli and can fully immerse itself in the reading experience. 

This is exactly what occurs when stories offer us that transitional experience on the basis of which our mental life can be varied, become more particular and concrete. We can't spend all of our time writing nonsense in a blog, as some call it ... we need to 'articulate' concepts. 

I've chosen fairy tales and myths, not out of any 'bourgeois' mindset, not so I can show off a 'refined' classical culture - even though there's nothing so wrong with that! -  but above all because fairy tales and myths enable us to have with ourselves, if not adult conversations, at least conversations on adult subjects with fewer inhibitions than is often times the case in modern literary works shared on virtual platforms. In all reality, it is difficult to do justice to character development in an online blog story as Reader attention spans are shorter than they are, typically, for printed material. 

Heir to the Kingdom
Greg Olsen

Without taking the Reader through the transitional exercises in a developmental fashion, it is only the writer that is growing from the writing experience, rather than the Reader and writer both. While there are some occasions in which blogs develop a following, allowing Readers to naturally grow and transition along with the writer, this is not the norm, and thus not the platform for this type of growth or experience. 

In blogs, the writer grows more than the Reader. This is, in part, a differentiating aspect of the virtual vs. traditional writing experience. In a traditional writing experience, both the author and their Readers progress with the development or transitional phases of the writing. In a blog or virtual platform, it is primarily the writer that succeeds as most of the time Readers arrive to an Internet address by means of a 'Search' for something specific. The Reader rarely, if ever, then goes back to the first blog entry post and continues reading forward in a consecutive fashion. In fact, this is one of the reasons that I have taken this series of posts 'On Writing' and placed them in their own page: making the reading experience more natural and fluid, rather than requiring readers to continually click forward and backward, reading in a yoyo-like motion. 

The fact remains that there are different types of platforms for different types of writing. It is my opinion that transitional aspects or developmental aspects of writing are best conveyed utilizing the traditional publishing paradigms as Readers tend to bring to the experience a longer attention span than they make time for in the virtual world. 

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