Robert Carnegie <***@excite.com> wrote:
> On Monday, 26 February 2018 15:08:07 UTC, D B Davis wrote:
>> Jack Bohn <***@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Niven's "Transfer of Power".
>> > He says he wrote it after reading Dunsany tales set at the edge of the
>> > world, but, unless there's a set I'm uninformed about, that edge isn't
>> > a cliff, but where it borders the Other World.
>> Good job Jack. ITYM neighboring countries that share the vista of the
>> edge of the world. "Transfer of Power" opens with a vignette that reads:
>> Alfred, Lord Dunsany had a seminal influence on fantasy fiction
>> in America. More: he wrote good. Crime fiction devotees will
>> remember his "Two Bottles of Relish" whether they want to or
>> not. He was superb at writing vignettes: 1,000 to 2,000 word
>> stories. It's difficult to fit the elements of a story into so
>> short a length. I only recently got the hang of it myself.
>> After a long night reading Dunsany stories set "at the edge
>> of the world," I finally broke down and wrote one.
>> Vignette also means a shorter story? That's a new for me.
>> "Shorter story" seems like a plausible nomenclature because it's two
>> characters longer that "short story." As we know, story taxonomy labels
>> grow longer as stories become shorter: novel, novella, novelette, short
>> story, and now shorter story, if you will.
>> Niven labels "Transfer of Power" a vignette. So, what do you call
>> the intro excerpted above? A vignette of a vignette? Vignette^2?
>> The late Stuart Wilde was a prolific author who wrote metaphysical
>> guidebooks. Before he passed away he talked about one way to hone your
>> writer's discipline. You pick a low number, one hundred twenty nine
>> for instance. Then you write something, it doesn't have to be a story
>> per se, that has exactly that many words in it. As odd as it seems at
>> first blush, it was relatively easy for me to do that. You just kind of
>> fiddle, mostly with the last couple of sentences, until you reach your
>> word count.
> That sounds like a way to not care what words you use, but how many!
> It doesn't do to be sentimental about words, they're just bricks...
> and the length game sounds like a good way to exercise the ability
> to say the same thing in a different way... so that you don't speak
> in one way all the time. As children we learn that using a different
> word each time you refer to the same object keeps the text lively.
It's good of you to reply because your followup enables me to correct an
earlier error on my part. Jack's phrase "Other World" is actually spot
on. The edge of the world doesn't terminate with a void. There's
actually an Other World out there, or rather down there.
That's good advice about using different words. It also pays to
echo other people's words and phrases back at them to aid communication.
You need a creative impulse to write one hundred and twenty-nine
words. A cathartic catalyst that tickles your fancy is necessary to make
your thoughts and attendant words literally spill out of you.
This followup contains precisely one hundred and twenty-nine words.
The count excludes the closing that appears next.