Breaking the Rules Blogfest – WTF?
Thanks to Elizabeth Mueller for hosting the Breaking The Rules Blogfest! The idea is to highlight your crappiest writing from your past, showing how you used to break the “rules” of writing.
Well, I searched around for some crappy writing but it’s really hard to find docs I wrote some 20+ years ago, but then I remember I had written a small prologue (ding!) that is quite purple (ding!) with a strange typo (ding!) and makes little sense (ding!). At the time, I thought it was some of my best writing. I’ll let you judge. I believe this dates back to December 1988 although I might have edited more in the following years.
The blasted desolation of the North American Glacier crouched frozen in time, mute testimony to the psychotic destruction of dead ages past. A torrent of years swept across the huddled land, thrusting great glaciers skyward, a massive enematic[SIC] force. Pitiful, hopeless in comparison was the microscopic infestation which presumed to multiply in and upon the surface of the barren wasteland. The lethal climate beat upon this infection mercilessly, expending all its efforts upon destruction. Yet the miserable particles survived.
Deep below the layers of ice and dirt and bitter remains, a whispery, elusive force lay dormant, its forgotten glory like battered rags on its slumped shoulders. The infestation had danced and sang to its almighty song until it thrilled with ecstasy, never hearing the black dirge of death and destruction the tiny motes chorused. Not until now, when the only song brought to its withering consciousness was the fearsome wind, screaming across the barren wasteland in a fit of mockery. But it watched, and waited, while the hated radiation beat upon its infertile soil, while the last remnants of its finest achievement pleaded to survive one more day, one more hour, in a desperate struggle for life. The force waited, steeped in sorrow and shame, for the day when Spring would return, to try a new experiment in creation, correct the horrid errors of its past. But its last experiment still survived, and had no intention of being hurled back into creation's bleak mixing pot.
I have no idea what the heck all that means.
Oh my gosh, that typo is CLASSIC. Dying of laughter here.... Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Okay the typo is great. The fact that you probably read this going.. WTF? is even greater! Love it.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed this blogfest but um like you I was not thrilled to write something from the past...great entry!
Visit My Kingdom Anytime
Jack London would be proud. I feel frozen already. It amazes me how much fury and movement you put into describing such a barren and still landscape. I actually think its pretty interesting.ReplyDelete
I'm with Raquel - so much energy to describe such barrenness! But it's certainly very detailed imagery! And I have no idea what it means, either. (Enematic..hehe)ReplyDelete
I don't think this is bad, a bit grandiloquent maybe. The typo is so funny. But I actually feel the setting and want to know the story being introduced.ReplyDelete
Great description...but yes, fairly purple and out of context. And the typo IS classic.ReplyDelete
I guess it's good we know better now...we do know better, right? ; P
awww, I love your alliteration of D's there: "dirge of death and destruction" ;) It's cool how you personified the anxiety of the great force!ReplyDelete
Thanks for participating and for being oh so brave! :D Have a fantastical weekend!
Noce typo. :D I found one in an old story..."Claustrafic"...was supposed to be claustrophobic. The funny part? I was so excited because I'd actually, recently learned how to spell the word...then screwed it ALL the way up. lol Very "purple". I liked it, though, I'd like to know what the "Pitiful, hopeless in comparison was the microscopic infestation which presumed to multiply in and upon the surface of the barren wasteland," is.ReplyDelete
Interesting...compelling despite "purple" prose. But, yes, at points confusing :( (Thanks for the type-o, very amused) :DReplyDelete
Whatever this is, its darkly intense. I hope you didn't write it and then go to bed. Think of the nightmares! This thing felt alive with evil. I kept expecting it to jump out of the screen and slap me, or something.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you choose this one. I’ve mentioned to you before I think narrative description is your strongest writing skill, and unless you spent some time polishing this excerpt, it reinforces my belief that talent is innate. Not something you’ve had to learn or work at. From your recent writing, you’ve learned to tone down the intensity and dramatic prose to fit the setting, but the skill itself comes to you naturally.
I have to disagree that this is “purple prose” however; or that using it as a prologue would be breaking rules. The depth of your description and the use of emotive verbs for imagery, is vivid enough to allow the Glacier to be a Character, not just setting. (Hmm, why do I always have trouble “saying” what I’m thinking to you Andrew.) Some lines that bring this terrain to life are:
- The lethal climate beat upon this infection mercilessly, expending all its efforts upon destruction.
- Deep below the layers of ice and dirt and bitter remains, a whispery, elusive force lay dormant, its forgotten glory like battered rags on its slumped shoulders.
- Not until now, when the only song brought to its withering consciousness was the fearsome wind, screaming across the barren wasteland in a fit of mockery. But it watched, and waited,
- The force waited, steeped in sorrow and shame,
See what I’m getting at? If you were using this setting in a horror novel, or a ghost story, the malevolent feel to surroundings would intensify the terror the denizens that “infest” the tundra. This prologue would set up the area as haunted, and need never be explained again in later chapters. Yes, sometimes I believe this so called purple prose has its place in novels. Think of the haunted caves where only the dead may pass in The Two Towers, or the desolation Frodo and Sam passed through to get to Mount Doom. These are just two examples of places that are practically characters themselves, and as such, dramatic descriptions are necessary.
Well, I have gone on too long; one reason why it took me so long to stop by today. Your writings always set me to thinking about the craft of writing, and I knew I’d want to spend some time here. (And I still had to get up and leave for a while during this comment.)
I hope posting this here inspires you to do something with it. The concept is way too haunting to keep tucked away in a drawer.
You're right. Very purple and rather incomprehensible. Isn't nice to look back and see how far you've come?ReplyDelete
Yeah. I have no idea what's going on and basically what any of it means. There are lines that I like the sound of and could become intrigued by the idea.ReplyDelete
The details made me feel young. lol I was like, 4 when you wrote it. hehehe
My favorite phrase in this..."its forgotten glory like battered rags on its slumped shoulders". I am not sure what 'it' is (the planet itself maybe) but it is both frightening and pitiable.ReplyDelete
If you were to give the "whispery, elusive force" a concrete identity now what would you say it is?
This was fun to see.
Your writing has come a very long way, Andy.
I'm not sure what I read but I enjoyed you putting it up here! You put a lot of energy into it... :DReplyDelete
Fabulous, fabulous typo! Thanks for sharing this, Andrew!ReplyDelete
Somehow it makes my heart good for this snippet to see the light of day. It's only taken me 20 years to get it out there!
The gist of it is that after mankind nearly destroys the planet, mother nature is trying to destroy the remnants of mankind and start anew, but mankind still survives and is making a comeback.