Creation

This is a piece I wrote a while ago. It’s my take of what it might have been like if I were there at creation.

Enjoy!


I become aware that it is pitch black. Opening and closing my eyes makes no difference. I can’t feel anything under my feet; I am floating. My body is intangible; it is as if I am only here in spirit.

I quickly grow bored of just sitting there in complete darkness. However, just as I stretch out on my stomach to take a nap, for lack of better things to do, something happens. I hear something, not unlike someone gently blowing on coals to ignite them into flames. It’s coming from beside me, to my left. I turn, and stretch out my hand. Nothing there. I reach further, doing a sort of breaststroke to get to whatever is blowing in this dark, empty space.

I feel the moving air on my hands, my face. It smells of freshly cut grass, of buttercups in the spring, of lemonade, and another smell I recognize but cannot place. It smells like sunshine, but warmer and lighter; purer. It’s warm and refreshing, and I feel like I’ve known it all my life, and this is at the same time the first time I’ve felt it.

The blower goes on blowing, and I come closer. My hand touches something solid, but drifts through it like I was made of mist. A hand grips mine, and I become somewhat more solid. Compared to the being beside me, I am still about as solid as a dust devil, but I feel more steady, and even less in control. I’m perfectly fine with it. Peace and love radiates from the being beside me, and I feel perfectly safe despite having about as much mass as a breath of air. I hold onto the hand, not wanting to let go, not knowing how I could have lived without the strength that flows into me from this being I found in the infinite darkness of timelessness.

The blower stopped blowing. I now heard no noise. There was nothing to suggest anything was any different from before the blowing started, except for the hand holding tight to mine, fingers interlaced, not letting go.

I felt a deep rumbling come up from the one beside me. It was like a rumble that a dog would get just before it started to growl, only this came from a man, yet not a man. I was sure of this. The rumble grew in intensity, and I could now hear the rumbles as well as feel them. They echoed through me like a bass drum beat, my heart providing a complimentary beat. The rumblings grew, and grew, until they reached their peak. Then they shut off in an instant. And in their place was a voice. Deeper than the furthest reaches of deep space, older than any lengths of time could ever measure, and stronger than the roar of any and all lions. It both whispered and shouted at the same time. It was a chorus of one voice, one voice creating a chorus. It said “Let there be light.”

Instantly, there was light. It was coming from all around me, but the strongest light was coming from my left. I looked over at the Being. The first word that came to mind was radiant, for he was bright, brighter than the sun in all its glory, almost too bright to look at. But I could look at him. He was undoubtedly a king. He was king above all kings that ever existed and will ever exist. But he carried this not proudly, not boasting, but also not as a great burden. He carried it as just being there, as it always was and always would be. I could barely tear my eyes away from this face, this most beautiful face unlike any I had ever seen before, but he gestured around him at the light.

I could see now that we were floating above a planet, covered in an expanse of ocean, all perfectly still, not a ripple in the surface.

“It is Good!” he called out, his voice resounding throughout all of history and all of time. He gestured pointedly at one area of light, and called it “day”. It was as if all the light that did not emanate from the Being beside me, coagulated on that side of the planet, and darkness overtook the other half, which he called “night”.

He now turned to me, took my other hand in his other hand, for he had not yet let go of my left. He looked into my eyes, and I looked back into his. His eyes were warm, but his gaze was piercing. I knew he was looking at me and he saw all of me, open and bare before him, nothing to hide. He smiled at me. His love for me was written all over his face. How could he love me? He saw all I was and everything I had done, and he still loved me.

I just kept holding onto that gaze, not letting go. I have no idea how much time passed, locked in that gaze. When he finally blinked and looked away, letting go of one of my hands, I looked away with him, and saw that the darkness was now on the other side of the planet, and the light was now on the right as opposed to the left like it was before.

He spoke again, his voice as calm and powerful as he was. “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” And suddenly, we were no longer hanging in space, but we were hanging in the water. And from the left came what looked like a giant, invisible axe, the blade pushing water below and above it. Behind the axe came an expanse of fresh air, and above me I could see blue sky, so much bluer than any sky I’ve ever seen before. It was a richer, deeper blue, with more layers, it sparkled and moved, and it was like looking at an ocean from high up, upside down. There was also an ocean at our feet, and it still rippled gently from the axe blade. It was like watching liquid crystals move in a breeze.

He said once again “It is Good!”, and he called the expanse of air “sky”. I marvelled at it all. But most of all, I marvelled at him. He had the grace and power of a lion, but the gentleness of a dove.

The light had all shifted towards the left again, and the darkness was approaching. He took my hand once more, and was staring into his eyes again, unaware of anything but him. I could tell now he was not necessarily safe. But he was, most definitely, good.

Once again, he released me, and once again the light was on the right. This time, when he spoke, land formed beneath us, and we set down gently. The land was all very bare, just rocks and dirt in the shape of hills, valleys and rolling plains. He spoke again, his voice now rolling over the hills, down through the valleys, and barreling over the plains. Everywhere the sound of his voice came, green started popping up. Trees of all kinds and grasses and flowers grew higher and higher, until the place they were standing on was a shady grove of trees. I leaned up against a tall beech tree, its leaves bowing and tickling my face.

The being, for I still don’t know his name, though I have a guess as to what it could be, stood beside me, watching me enjoy all he had just created, a smile on his face, as if he was saying  I made this for you, it’s my gift to you. Watching you enjoy it is all the thanks I’ll ever need. He took my hand again, and we journeyed to the next time when the light was on the right once more.

This time however, we pulled up into space, and he spoke again. At his words, a ball of flame, shining like the sun, appeared in his hand. He lifted it up and placed it in its place, as if it were hanging by an invisible hook. And I realized it was the Sun. Meanwhile he hung a white and grey ball of rock much closer; the Moon. I looked around in the wonder of it all. The Sun and Moon hung in the sky where they didn’t hang before, and they shone light onto us and onto the newly formed earth.

The One beside me drew my attention once again. In his hand sat millions of stars, twinkling. I could even see a couple planets twirling around some stars, and some planets that had no stars at all, and were just drifting there. He raised his hand to level with his lips, and blew. The stars lifted off from his hand like the fluff of a dandelion when blown. They all lifted into the sky, and they all came to rest in their respective places. Stretched out before me was the Milky Way, along with uncountable stars drifting past. I looked at the being in wonder. He made, and continued making all these incredible things, and I could just stand and watch.

We went through another light moving to the right, only this time I understood. It was evening going to morning. We’d been going through days. If I was right, today we were on the fifth day. What would he create today?

We went back down to earth, and he offered me his arm for a walk. As we walked, he stopped by the beach and picked up a handful of water. “Let the water teem with living creatures”, he said. Then, right before my eyes, a micro-ecosystem formed in his hands, with fish swimming all about, a little jellyfish grabbed hold of his pinky, and a little crab crawling along his palm. He lowered his hands, and let the little animals slide into the water. Moving on, he made a bird with his hands, and flung it up into the air, where it caught the wind, and floated above us. “Fly,” he said, “Fly and increase your numbers.” The bird seemed to split and morph into two birds, then four, then eight, and so on until I could no longer count them all. They were all different colours and sizes, all beautiful and unique. I held out my hand, and one of the little birds flitted towards me. He didn’t land on my finger though, but he landed on the finger of my companion.

He stroked the bird’s head for a moment, and then let it fly again.

We went through another day, but were in the same place when we returned the next morning. He turned to the beach itself and gesturing towards the sand, raised his hand as if he were lifting something up. Out of the sand came all manner of creatures, great and small, with floppy ears or long necks, with reptilian scales or fur and hair, he made them all.

Then he brought me over to a patch of clay on the beach, where he sat down and formed a sculpture. It was a human, that was easy enough to see. He made the sculpture complete, and blew on the face. The face lost its claylike look, and started to look like real skin. The colour spread, and before me stood a perfect specimen of human features. The only better looking one was the Being beside me. He created a female to accompany him, and he said to them “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” Then the night approached again, and He left the humans playing happily in the orchard where he left them, and the two of us rocketed up into space again, and we looked down on all that he made. He took my hands again. This time, however, was different from the other times. He placed my hand on his shoulder, and pulled me close, his hand held protectively against the small of my back.

“Listen” he whispered. I closed my eyes and concentrated, from far away, and from all around us, came… music. It was a heavenly melody, a tune of celebration and birth; a song of new life. I stared at him, and he simply led me through a dance to the celestial music that resonated all around us. I simply followed him. I’m sure, that woven deep within that melody, I heard one line being repeated: Dance with me.

We kept dancing, for I don’t know how long, until finally my knees gave out from the exhaustion. He picked me up in his arms and carried me over to my bed. He lay me down and tucked me in. I asked him one question before he left.

“What is your name?”

“You know my name, dearest.”

“I do?”

“Yes. I am the Creator of the universe, the one and only God.” I smiled. He was right. I did know his name. It just took me a while to figure out I did.

BOREDOM

It’s summer, and I’m done school! (sorry to those of you still stuck in exams)

However, it’s sad to say, I’ve been done for about three days, and i’m already bored out of my mind.

I mean it’s supposed to be summer! You know, you sit around doing nothing, doing whatever you want. Yeah, uh, I don’t do very well with that. All throughout the school year, I had lots and lots of homework, and I  just never(or almost never) had the time to do something I wanted to do, especially the last couple of weeks with exams and summatives and other fun stuff like that. So now that I don’t have that to occupy my mind space, I have to find something else. My problem though, is that the stuff I would do during the year was really superficial, give-my-mind-a-break kind of stuff, whereas now my brain is being a couch potato and doing nothing. It’s sad.

So what to do when boredom threatens to drain your life of everything that is fun in life?

I like to write. I’ve expressed that before on this blog, and I’ll say it again: I like to write. I like writing what I read; fantasy/sci-fi, historical and Christian fiction. I’ll sometimes dabble in poetry but that really doesn’t work that well…

However, lately I haven’t been able to come up with stuff, and it has been easy to see me just staring at my computer with maybe one or two lines written, and a full empty page in front of me. So what do I do?

I really don’t know. I think the best thing to do is just pick something that’s going through your head and just start writing, even if it’s nonsense. If that doesn’t work, then just go do something else for a bit, but if you’re plagued with that boredom (like I was) that no matter what you do, nothing is fun, well, I’m not sure I can help you. The way I conquered it for today was I found something was fun to do, and then the rest of the things kind of work easier now. For the first thing, I’m writing my first blog post in like a month or more, and for the second, I’m actually having a lot of fun doing it.

So my recommendation, if you’re stuck with that soul-draining boredom that slowly eats away at any kind of pleasure you may or may not have, keep trying things, eventually you’ll find something that helps. If not, just go eat chocolate. It does seem to help.

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TCWT Blog Chain Post

This month’s TCWT blog chain post prompt was:

“How does music relate to your writing?” 

THANK YOU to John for picking a much easier topic this month than last month. This is going to be so much fun. Here we go!

I’ll start off with a quote by Victor Hugo:

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.”

In this way, are writers and music not alike? As writers, we come up (hopefully) with these amazing ideas and concepts that can’t be explained to anyone directly. They’re a mystery to everyone around us, but in our heads, they’re their own world. But don’t try keeping it shut up or locked away in a silent corner. Each time, it’ll burst out and yell “Pay attention to me! I’m important!” Most of the time, they’ll burst out at the oddest moments. Sometimes, it’ll be because you see something related, but other times it’ll come up out of nowhere, bursting in, dragging along ideas to add to it, make it better.

So if writers and music are so alike, there are two possible scenarios that happen when they’re combined. One, they become the best of friends and are inseparable. The writer soon has earbuds in about 24-7, and they often draw inspiration from their music. Two, they’re too alike and push each other away. The writer can’t concentrate with the music surrounding them constantly. They turn it down, turn it off, push it away.

There are both types of writers in this world, with a majority of the first type. Personally, I’m the first type. If I’m at my desk working or at school doing independent work, I’ll often have music on. I have music on right now. It helps me focus by drowning out the outside noise, and especially if it’s familiar music, it gives me something to do, whether it be humming/singing along/tapping my foot, while writing/working which actually helps me concentrate. However, if I’m doing things like studying for a test, or doing something that requires deep thinking, the music distracts me. However, I often have vocal music on, so maybe just having instrumental would not induce the need to shut it off. So maybe I’m a little in between types one and two.

As to what I listen to while writing, well, that’s another question. I haven’t really got a list of what I listen to specifically while writing, though there’s a great series of more instrumental writing music on YouTube (type writing music into the search bar, and it’ll be one of the first that comes up, it’s got a galaxy background). I’m not trying to promote anyone’s stuff, it’s just what I found to be amazing. It has different genres of music mixed in, with some almost haunting things, lots of movie soundtracks (I’ll talk more about those later) and other higher energy music. Apart from that, I listen to whatever I’ve got. I’m listening to a playlist of a bunch of music I have, and according to iTunes, it’s a mixture of rock, pop, alternative, inspirational, and religious. Yeah. It varies from time to time what exactly I’m listening to.

Currently, my favourite artist/band is Switchfoot. They have a very interesting range of songs that cross several genres. My favourite full album is Nothing is Sound, and I don’t have one favourite song. There are so many good ones. While they won’t attract all audiences due to the fact that they are a Christian band, but still appeal to many, because they appeal to things everyone faces: loneliness, hurt, betrayal, happiness, being yourself, not changing for others, etc. they say themselves that they are “Christian by faith, not by genre”.

Because of their diverse city in melodies and beats and all around tone and musicality, they fit for lots of different writing types. Some have a much more indie feel to them, others are more rock, others are bordering on pop. Their lyrics are some of the strangest I’ve heard, one line sometimes making no sense in the context of the last. But altogether each song is a masterpiece.

Some of my other favourite artists: TobyMac, Tenth Avenue North, and Group 1 Crew.

MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS have got to be writer’s best friends. They have such differing sounds, yet are recognizable. One time, I was listening to a mix of soundtracks for writing, and one came up, and I knew that it was from the Narnia movies just from listening to it. And while this may be because I’ve seen the movies too much, which I doubt, it was immediately recognizable. In short. I LOVE MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS. I love listening to them for writing.

To all you writers out there, keep at your task of showing others the amazing worlds hidden inside your heads, and enjoy music from time to time. Try something new you haven’t heard before.

(Kudos to all those who found the reference to TobyMac in this post)

Enjoy the rest of these posts on music

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6thhttp://jasperlindell.blogspot.com/ and http://vergeofexisting.wordpress.com/

7thhttp://novelexemplar.wordpress.com/

8thhttp://www.juliathewritergirl.com/

9thhttp://www.freeasagirlwithwings.wordpress.com/

10thhttps://ramblingsofaravis.wordpress.com/ (you’re here)

11thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/ andhttp://www.pamelanicolewrites.com/

12thhttp://randommorbidinsanity.blogspot.com/

13thhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/ andhttp://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

14thhttp://kirabudge.weebly.com/

15thhttp://lillianmwoodall.wordpress.com/ andhttp://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

16thhttp://theedfiles.blogspot.com/ andhttp://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/

17thhttp://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/ andhttp://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

18thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/ and http://from-stacy.blogspot.com/

19thhttp://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/

20thhttps://clockworkdesires.wordpress.com/

21sthttps://stayandwatchthestars.wordpress.com/ andhttp://arielkalati.blogspot.com/

22ndhttp://loonyliterate.com/ andhttps://www.mirrormadeofwords.wordpress.com/

23rdhttp://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

24thhttp://themagicviolinist.blogspot.com/ andhttp://allisonthewriter.wordpress.com/

25thhttp://missalexandrinabrant.wordpress.com/

26thhttp://awritersfaith.blogspot.com/ andhttp://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/

27thhttp://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/ andhttp://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

28th – https://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ 

TCWT Blog Chain Post

This month’s TCWT blog chain prompt was:

“What is something you feel is generally written well in fiction?What is something you feel is generally written poorly?”

I’m going to focus on just the first part, what I feel is generally written well.

Warning: Spoilers will be given for Light of Eidon and Lord of the Flies

So when I was first given the 9th as my date, I was confident that it would be quite simple to write about. However, as the days passed and I started to truly think on the topic of what I was supposed to write, I was a little scared. This kind of post was outside my comfort zone; I didn’t get to pick the topic myself, and I didn’t know what to write.

Then I asked myself Is there anything in a few books you’ve read recently that you really enjoyed? Didn’t like?

I thought about this a while. I was grasping at straws. I was coming up with nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I was kinda starting to panic, because I had two days to write it and edit and I still had no idea whatsoever what I wanted to write, and I knew I’d be getting homework assigned soon, so i wouldn’t have much time.

Then I thought back to one of my favourite books of all time (see description here), Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock. It’s pretty much centered around this huge battle between good and evil or light and dark if you will. All of a sudden, all these examples popped into my head of books wherein take place good and evil. Most, if not all fiction is centered around one thing: conflict. And what is conflict? Here is Dictionary.com’s definition: a fight, battle, or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle; strife.  Light and dark, good and evil, are in a constant battle. It is mostly the protagonist’s role to battle the evil and overcome it.

This conflict is found everywhere, not just in literature. From The Creation of Adam to The Hunger Games to Julius Caesar,  it is visible in any aspect of our society. But today, I’m going to look at the aforementioned Light of Eidon. 


In this book, the battle is fought against good and evil on both the physical and spiritual planes. The main character, Abramm Kalladorne, a prince who has given up his titles and inheritance to join a religious order, is sold into slavery by his power-hungry brothers. He is put into the Games, gladiator-like fights, and is forced to fight for his life. He escapes, and goes to a canyon-ous landscape, where he is instrumental in delaying the dark forces, and he fights the emperor of the dark country.

Abramm, representing the force of good, has to fight against physical and spiritual manifestations of evil throughout the entire book, from a false religion that seeks to ensnare him in its clutches and demonic possession, as well as “shadowspawn” physical manifestations of evil spawned by the evil desires of man who inject people with spore that can make them sick.

Abramm’s entire journey and character arc is based on his transition from the false religion, which served the same god in name only, truly it was something altogether different, to the true one, and overcoming his preconceived notions about said religion. He warms to it, then jerks back, horrified with himself for what he’s doing, because he’d been taught all his life that the followers of that religion were heretics, and they tortured people like nobody’s business.

Both the forces of light and dark are grappling to pull him over to their side, as he is to play a very important role in the future of all the countries surrounding them.


Another, more well-known example of the struggle between light and dark, good and evil is William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s about a group of English schoolboys who are sent away from England because it wasn’t safe anymore, as they were experiencing Golding’s WWIII. Their plane crashes on an idyllic island, and it all seems like a great adventure. But they soon struggle to fight against the “beast”, later named the Lord of the Flies, which is the evil and savagery that is inside each and every person.

The beast is, in this book, the dark side. The boys all fight it at first, following Ralph and Piggy, the last remainders of civilization on the island. When Jack and his hunters drift off, however, they give themselves over slowly to the beast, to the dark and savage impulses that lie in each and every one of us. What Ralph and Piggy, represent, civilization and rational thought, suppresses the beast. But when the boys are freed from the civilization, the beast is unchained, and out comes the savagery.

Ralph stays the “good guy” throughout the entire book, pretty much just sticking to laws and common sense and rationality. The beginning of the book sees him calling the other boys out from the jungle to the beach, pulling them out of the shadows into the daylight. The end of the book finds him running for his life, the boys who have given into their savage impulses are chasing him, smoking him out of the jungle to the beach where they can kill him and stick his head on a stick like they did with the sow’s head.

So to overview, in this book the dark side (savagery(beast), Jack) clashes with the light side (civilization/rational thought, Ralph). And, considering it’s a classic, it has achieved more than a superficial fight between two groups of boys; it has shown us what human nature can do when let loose of all constraints.

*Lord of the Flies analysis based on the analysis from Litcharts.com

Though these are just two examples and I’m not the best explainer ever, I hope you understand what I mean. Light and dark or good and evil are very prevalent forces in almost any story you can find, whether it’s written or drawn or painted or told. It is a deciding element wherever it is present.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. Don’t forget to read the other posts of this month’s TCWT blog chain.

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TCWT: teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com

Blog posts in January:

5 http://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/
6 http://jasperlindell.blogspot.com.au/
7 http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/ and http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/
8 http://www.miriamjoywrites.com/
9 https://ramblingsofaravis.wordpress.com/ (You are here)
10 http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/
11 http://kirabudge.weebly.com/
12 http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/
13 http://maralaurey.wordpress.com/
14 http://dynamicramblings.wordpress.com/
15 http://theedfiles.blogspot.com.au/
16 http://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/
17 http://juliathewritergirl.com/
18 http://butterfliesoftheimaginationa.wordpress.com/
19 http://gallopingfree.wordpress.com/
20 http://alwaysopinionatedgirl.wordpress.com/
21 http://deorahcocheleau.wordpress.com/
22 http://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/
23 http://clockworkdesires.wordpress.com/
24 http://introspectioncreative.wordpress.com/
25 http://wanderinginablur.blogspot.com/
26 http://anotefromthenerd.wordpress.com/
27 http://randommorbidinsanity.wordpress.com/
28 http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

Acronym vs. Initialism

SCUBA, FBI, CIA, LASER, AA, NHL, KFC.
There are a multitude of these short forms all over the place. They’re all acronyms right?
Nope, sorry. They’re not. Most of them are actually initialisms. They are quite similar, but they are still different.

Initialism

Initialisms, if you didn’t guess already, are when you pronounce each single letter of the short forms. For FBI, no one says “febie” and no one says for CIA “sia”. One thing I’ve noticed is that Americans are very good at coming up with initialisms: I can think of at least 30. (If you don’t believe me; government agencies, universities, sports leagues, they all have them)

Acronyms

Acronyms are much more well known by the general public than initialisms. SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) and LASER (Light amplification by the stimulation of emitted radiation) are acronyms, cause we say them all as complete words, and not as their individual letters. I find scientists are quite fond of these.

Hopefully you won’t mix them up anymore. To be honest, I don’t mix the two up, I mix up acronyms and anachronisms (an object or expression in the wrong time and/or place). It’s really quite annoying, because most people know what an acronym is, but not many people know what an anachronism is. So I’m talking to someone, and we get into a conversation like the above post, and it goes a little like this:

“So did you know that FBI is actually an Initialism and not an anachronism?” Cue the strange glances and questions of my sanity. I meanwhile thought I said acronym, and so I don’t have a clue as to why they’re looking at me so strangely.
“Uh okay, but what’s an anachronism?”
“What?”
“You said that FBI was actually an initialism and not an anachronism.”
“Ugh. I’ve done it again. Sorry, anachronism isn’t the word I want. What do you call words like SCUBA or LASER?”
“Acronyms?”
“Yeah that’s it. Thanks.”
So yeah, that’s kinda annoying.

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Pantsing: Pros and Cons

The first thing that pops into my head when I hear the word pantsing makes me think of standing in a middle school cafeteria lunch line, waiting for my turn, and someone coming and yanking my pants down. In an instant, without preparation.
This is what pantsing is in the literary world too: not stopping to plan out an idea, but just going for it and writing it out. Some people like this method, others don’t. There have been books published on both pantsing and plotting, praising one and denouncing another. for example, one of my favourite authors, Steven James, much prefers the pantsing method, but other authors prefer the plotting method. Today’s post is going to focus on the pantsing method, and its pros and cons, and later this week I’ll do one on the plotting method.

Pros

Instant writing gratification: start writing right away, you don’t have to slog through all the planning steps that make your story seem so much less attractive than it did at the beginning.

Freer writing: no constraints to a script, so when a better idea comes along, just go with it and fix it later.

Cons

Many drafts: If you want to change something (e.g. a character or points in a plot, you often have to rewrite the entire draft to fit these changes. If 300 pages into your book you look back and realize your character has no motivation, you’re much more likely to shrug it off and keep writing than rewrite the entire 300 pages.

Plot tangles: Often, as mentioned before, a better idea comes along than the current one, and then you start off on that tangent, and you find that your first half of the novel is totally wrong for the second, better half.

I know there are only two points for each, and there are plenty more, but I didn’t want to make this one too long.

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Montreal: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

So this past week I got the privilege of spending some time in Montreal. After being in Paris for a couple days this past summer, I can see why they call Montreal the Paris of the North. The narrow cobbled streets, the apartment buildings with many windows, and even the Notre-Dame Cathedral are much the same as in Paris. Of course, they are different, with Montreal being at least 1000 years younger than Paris, but walking through the cramped streets of Old Montreal, you felt like you were transported to Europe. It was interesting to make a comparison between the two cities.

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Above: Buildings in Paris (left) and Montreal (right)

Below: Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris (left) and Montreal (right)

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In writing, we have special expressions to describe these comparisons. Most people will know them, of course, but I figured I’d explain about them and about a couple others.

Simile: a comparison between two things using the word like or as. These are possibly the most used yet most unrecognized expression in the English language.

Examples:
He roared like a lion.
My heart beat as fast as a gazelle

Metaphor: A comparison between two objects, similar to a simile, except there is no use of like or as. A metaphor can be stated outright “He is a rock” or it can be subtly implied. A famous metaphor is created by John Green in his bestselling YA book, the Fault in our Stars. Augustus Waters, the secondary character and love interest of the protagonist, has a very interesting metaphor: put a cigarette in your mouth, but don’t light it. You put the thing that kills you between your teeth but you don’t give it the power to kill you. Read more about this book here.

Analogy: a comparison between the features of two or more things. (e.g. school is a prison, the students are the prisoners and the teachers the wardens.) Related to a metaphor, but not quite the same. This is comparing parts, where a metaphor looks more at a whole.

These are all called literary devices, and are used greatly in the English world, a lot of the time without people realizing it. They are often used in essay and commentary writing, and high school teachers love it when you can identify them.

They are used in all kinds of works, and there are even several in this post. I wrote them in by accident, and they’re rather deceptive. They sneak in when you least expect it.

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