Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Matrix

Have you seen The Matrix movies? Remember the Operators? They are the folks who sit in front of monitors watching the matrix computer code flutter down the monitors. But they don't see code. They see the rendering itself. Code becomes streets, becomes skyscrapers, becomes hot dogs sizzling on a vendor's cart. The Operators look past the code to see their teams in the virtual world.

I see writing that way.

When it's right, I don't see the words, the letters, the punctuation. I see a world shining through, melting the harsh typing away. When it's not right, I see sentences in front of me. Bars of text locking me outside.

In order for my words to disappear, they have to be arranged just so. Their beat must synchronize with the virtual word. Their melody must play the same overture. Their shape must build the shadows and highlights.

Writing is a lulling song to the brain. A dream with our eyes wide open.

That is my number one goal.

How do you weave your written dreams?


Mayur said...

Uh, the post itself is a written dream!

This is so good...

I think I'm gonna post something following up on your line of thought later in the day!

Thanks, this is food for thought :)

Tabitha Bird said...

So true Jason. when the writing is good you don't see words you see images and hear the voices. The world moves. the breeze blowing touches you. When your stuck... that's when you see the words and the punctuation! Love that.

I weave by seeing the images first and then marrying them with the right words. I know when the marriage isn't working... Don't we all!

Karen said...

My writing seems to flow from some place deep within, rushing out in a quick stream at first. Later, I go back and dam it up in places, working and playing with sounds and breaks and pauses to make it pool just right. (hopefully)

Inspiration seems to come in a rush or not at all.

Four Dinners said...

I write better when I'm drunk

Shadow said...

i love how you describe how you write. i love writing when words fall freely, not a hitch, not a struggle or a strain. ideas are words that place themselves on the page, without hinderance or hesitation.

the walking man said...

I am not that whimsical of a writer. I park my ass in the chair and write words, develop syllabification and flow and then edit until satisfied for the moment.

I never needed writing to be a mystical experience for me, the writer. The entirety of my existence is my mystic. If occasionally I can strike a chord within an audience then I find the pleasure you refer to Jason.

Laurel said...

What you describe is exactly what a first draft feels like for me. When I already see the scene completely, setting, characters, mood, the words go away. Those pieces don't get much editing.

When I'm trying to patch together two parts of the story, not so much. I have to stop, visualize it, really give it life. I cannot get away with a transition that "didn't really happen" just to get from point a to point b.

In my real life things like smell and temperature overlay everything. They might not get written into whatever I'm working on but I need to know what it smells like and hear the glasses clink or zippers go "wzzzzt." Otherwise it's just words.

Charles Gramlich said...

Very well put. I haven't really thought of it that way but I will from now on. An excellent analogy with the Matrix. Really gets the point across.

rohan said...

great analogy..

reading this post at a point when i have just begun to understand the nuances of writing makes it all the more interesting.

staceyjwarner said...

This is wonderful...and a great way to describe great writing. It's a fine line, you want people to disappear into the story and not hear "you" as a writer.


jason evans said...

Mayur, I'm very humbled. Thank you! I'm interested to see where your inspiration takes you.

Tabitha, I like the marriage analogy. :) Yes, when the words are fighting the images, it all falls apart.

Karen, mmmm, I hear the rushing stream in your words. :) It's an amazing ride to put a canoe on that water and head for the rapids!

Four Dinners, I suddenly understand the spike in your alcohol bills. ;)

Shadow, that flow, when it happens, is really magical.

Walking Man, in strikes me that in a way, we're opposites. The world you write about is the one I live in. The world that I write about is the one you live in.

Laurel, painting the scenes with sounds...I like how we all have a special palette that is dear to us. Here's to all of your first draft being the final ones too!

Charles, thank you! This analogy just smacked me one day on the train, and I stopped what I was doing to jot down this post.

Rohan, I wish you well exploring those depths. :)

Stacey, that's a great point. Each of our worlds come alive in a slightly different way. Just like our real days have different moods and atmosphere that color much of our perceptions.

Mona said...

I sit with empty mind but a strong overflow of feeling, which automatically get translated into words. The words just fall through space & fit in . I just get this overpowering feeling & I don't know what I am going to say . It gets said on its own!

Attempted a prose myself! :)

Nevine said...

I think we all have our rituals, if you can call them that. I like to just sit and write, with pen and paper first. That seems to be how I do my best soul to pen to paper writing. And I don't bother with flow or anything like that. I just freewrite and allow it to go where it wants, and then I fix it up later. "A dream with our eyes wide open." That's exactly what writing is!!!


Midnight Whisperer said...

Great Post! I certainly "feel" your words when I read them ; )

Jean said...

My best writing transports me into the image. Clarity allows the flow.
Feels like no thinking is involved.
'Course, the editing that might follow can be sluggish and painful.

Amias said...

My writing flow is based on my mood, and when it comes out, it's raw ... I don't know where it's going until it ends ... I clean it up for the most part, but most of it is published as it comes up and out.

As for my more metaphysical pieces, they are done in my sleep -- yes, I sleep write, and I am sure some of you might know what I mean. I have a bad sleep disorder, and there are times I sleep hard, and sometimes I awaken to surprises in my computer. Some of my sleep writing use to scare me, but I am use to it now.

Although I have read writing the way you describe it Jason, but not much, even well known authors can have not archive this type of flow. However, a few poets I have met online recently does, and I am always amazed.

This was a good thought provoking post .. gives me something to push for in my writing. Thank you.

jason evans said...

Mona, direct channeling of the feelings is an even more mystical experience.

Nevine, all rituals are fine so long as in the end, the reader reads, and the words fall away.

Midnight Whisperer, thank you!! Music to my ears. :)

Jean, amen about the editing and revisions. But I do like polishing, though. It's like tuning music. A little adjustment here, and there, and then WHAM! It lights up.

Amias, I once knew someone who experienced sleep eating. She would wake up and there would be spilled food on the bed with her. Or even some still in her mouth. I can see how disconcerting it must have been for you at first, but on the bright side, some part of your brain is doing some good work for you. Sleep eating isn't helpful at all.

PixieDust said...

I was nodding my head as I read this. I can't write if I'm too aware of actually "writing". I save that for when I'm editing, and even then it has to disappear into the background.

I'm merely taking dictation when THAT world opens up, when THEY (otherwise known as "the players") follow me, sit across from me and pull back the veil. I only know what happens next because I follow THEM, the good and bad ones, the ones who want me there and the ones who don't.

It is an odd calling at times, yes?



::She Poet:: said...

A fantastic, very creative analogy...the Matrix v. your writing! I'm always lost in my world when I write. Many times I get carried away and the typing becomes frantic, words extravagant. I edit until my gut is settled. My emotional writes are the best because they are stronger. Unfortunately my writing is cyclical, not writer's block, just a lull period. I guess for rejuvenation even though my brain churns 24/7. I envy those who write constantly. Anyways, a good one Jason :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

B. Nagel said...

How do you weave your written dreams?

Not well.

But I'm working on it.

Nothingman said...

I write my dreams as the voices tell me to. I am always dreaming. Awake or asleep. Got bits of paper all around with words written on them. On weekend I compile and make an idea notebook.

I like the idea of seeing through code. Typography also matters :) Make your font tinny and white space less, people would dump even Shakespeare.


Aniket said...

I still have to hone my skills to look past the code. Right now I write much like the Rat cooks in Ratatouille.
I don't measure it in any way. In the end it should just feel right.

jason evans said...

PixieDust, yes, it transports us in unique ways.

She Poet, being in the grip of emotion is definitely a potent inspiration for writing!

B. Nagel, you'll vanquish the enemy.

Nothingman, an idea notebook is perfect! I've definitely filed ideas away in my head only to forget them.

Aniket, the best cooks don't use recipes. :)

Mayur said...

Here it is :)


Terri said...

Your Matrix analagy is one good way to put it.
When my creativity is really flowing, when I can barely type fast enough to keep up with myself, is when the scene is playing out like a movie and I am merely putting down what I see unfolding in my head. I'm not thinking about it, I'm merely doing.

I like your description better though :-)

Diwakar Sinha said...

i write like i drink wine...the writing takes a long time to form what it wants to form into.