8/16/2008

Eli Jones and the Onion Clock

I recently realized that the stuff I've been writing lately has really been more like poetry than narratives, and I decided I wanted to get back to real storytelling. So here we have my first full-length short story since "Loud Neighbors", damn near 8 months ago! Wow.
As a memoir written in southern dialect by a man who creates diseases for a living, it's not exactly a "return to form", but I had a great time writing it.

Enjoy...



7 comments:

  1. You know, I really don't like the thought of diseases. The Plague by Albert Camus was probably the most disturbing thing I've ever read. Yet somehow you make manufacturing disease seem so humane and necessary and.... transcendent, even. Haha.

    The different dialect worked out really well for you. It flowed very naturally. The only question I really have is, is it necessary for you to use so many swearwords? I mean, I'm not saying it really bothers me, but you are a talented writer and I truly believe you could communicate your point just as effectively without them. Just a little food for thought.

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  2. Callipse, thanks for the thoughts. Since I get a lot of Christian kids coming through here via the Relient K connection, I get this complaint about the language pretty frequently, and it always kind of bothers me because it suggests that "swear" words are innately undesirable in writing and should be avoided if possible. To me, swear words are just language, and there are times when a sentence just calls for a fucking swear word. (That usage there is called an "intensifier", read the sentence without it and hear how different it sounds in your head) I generally don't use swears in narration, unless the narration is directly addressing the character's thoughts, but if I'm writing in first person, or I'm writing dialogue, I'm going to use whatever words I think that character would use. If I was writing a screenplay and wanted to make sure the movie could get a PG rating, THEN I would do awkward verbal acrobatics to avoid swears, but I'm not, so I'm going to use whatever words sound most natural to the rhythm and emotion of the sentence. That being said, I DO recognize that EXCESSIVE swearing--as in, swearing that doesn't really add anything to the sentence in terms of meaning or emphasis--makes things sound dumber. For instance, I just listened to the director's commentary on Boogie Nights and P.T Anderson throws in so many empty f-bombs in his mellow commentary that it makes him sound like kindof a douchebag. But I feel like most of my "strong language" is purposeful.

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  3. many people use swear words, lots of. so, why not?

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  4. If the swearing is part of the caracter personallity, the text must hav swearing to capture the essence... besides, i think it was a nice different touch, since u almost never swear.

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  5. I wasn't complaining... for the record. I can totally see where you're coming from. And I did even believe that you had put thought into that. I just wondered. And now I know. I am content.

    And yeah, many a year ago I did navigate my way here from the Relient K forums..... what of it? =P

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  6. wow that story somehow turned from hilarious and random to pretty bleak. love it! i'll re-visit for sure.

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  7. I suppose that Jones studied medicine and practiced for more than five years before deciding that the medicine of the day was rather harmful

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