Sunday, November 1, 2009

Boring! Nov. 01, 09

Granted, 'Boring' much like Beauty, is in the eye and mind of the beholder. There is a fine line between repetition and exposition to further a cause or a description. Reiteration is used for many purposes: to set a scene, to reinforce a mood, for impact, but when does it go from 'Wow!" to the, 'theatre is empty except for the sound of crickets'?

Phrases such as: 'In other words' and 'to restate' signal the reader that yes, same ol' same ol', but is this necessary for the reader--or because the writer didn't put down the previous words with enough clarity and focus that a reorganization of the words and thoughts are worth doing again?

Ex: "Jaqui sat with her chair tilted against the wall, a toothpick in the corner of her mouth. Eyes shut, she ignored the sultry still air. By the window, a fly droned in its desultory effort to slip through the torn screen. Nothing to work on, no one to see, she had an open schedule for the next decade. She was bored. She had nothing to do."

The above works just as well without the last two sentences. Jaqui could also be trying to nap, be stunned from an injury and quietly bleeding to death listening to the fly.

"Chesapeake", "Iberia", "Alaska", "Hawaii", et al, written by James Michener were exciting one by one, but as I continued reading more of his long novels I realized Michener used the same formula: big bang theory, tectonic plates shifting to form continents and rivers, primitive peoples migrating, stages of occupation with a bit of human interest here and there with a flint-napper, and we're up to the modern day family saga. That bored me. I dropped any interest in Michener's novels by my early twenties.

A simple theme can be reworked: the tragedy of Pyramis and Thisbe becomes Romeo and Juliet then it transforms into West Side Story.

Even if we know the ending--the journey can still captivate.

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