Do you "warm up" before writing?

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Watcher55
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Re: Do you "warm up" before writing?

Post by Watcher55 » May 20th, 2011, 1:26 pm

polymath wrote:
Watcher55 wrote:Yesterday I stole an idea from Moni, Premonitions: Can there be such a thing as Future Tense?, and I’ve been practicing.
Hmm. I don't see why future tense can't be a main tense with present and past tense auxilliaries. Temporal modal verbs like would, will, must, and the like would set the scene and then can smoothly transition between present and past auxilliaries. Probably work most best from a highly unreliable subjective viewpoint readers can take with a grain of salt.

Challenges I see are too easily lapsing into passive voice constructs, highly unreliable viewpoints are challenging to write for reader accessibility, and too easily lapsing into recital reporting (tell) when scene reporting (show) closes narrative distance and recital opens narrative distance.

Future tense works for closing narrative distance through accessing thoughts, especially prescient volitional thoughts. Not to be outdone, polymath would rue the day Watcher55 indirectly posed a future tense challenge. Watcher55 must pay. He will pay, if polymath has anything to say about it. The main aspect, though, would be staying in the meaning space time, place, situation, and personas of the dramatic conflict so narrative distance doesn't open so much it's an unbridgeable breach.
Well done :)

Credit where credit is due my friend. Shall we say I passed the challenge along?

Passive voice and meaning space (that term still geeks my brain), present a difficult dynamic so it seems to me any techniqueS must include a common solution for both or at least some binding principles. As you say, present and past tense auxiliaries are important tools, but if we examine the idea of a character arc within a larger work, context can also help mitigate the disadvantages of passive voice and meaning space.

Another challenge has to do with the lack of future tense suffixes. What you end up with is lots of “going to”s, “will”s, and “will be”s. Maybe we can get away with inventing suffixes (let me get my mad scientist glasses)

did/do/gon’na/will
laughed/laughs/laugh’na/laugh’ll

Naaah – wait, I know (back me up on this Moni) – laughed/laughs/laughoni.

Hey, I'm just warming up y'all.

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polymath
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Re: Do you "warm up" before writing?

Post by polymath » May 20th, 2011, 5:11 pm

Taking warm up exercises over the top, add second person reflexive to future tenses. Reflexive persons are addresses to the self. I say meaning space instead of semantic space because I think it's less likely to be confused with the more common meaning of semantics, as in You would say tomato is a fruit. I shall say tomato is a vegetable. It's a matter of semantics.

Yes, invariably, a story arc, or plot, is the guiding principle regardless of person or tense. Future tense expresses futurity, be it promise, prediction, conditional, supposition, hope, wish, or whatever. It is uniquely a human condition to span a wider time sense than immediate present timespan needs. The future is uncertain to a point.
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Re: Do you "warm up" before writing?

Post by Watcher55 » May 20th, 2011, 7:30 pm

I'm straining after this because it turns out that there's a character (actually a set of characters at this point), who belongs in the second or third planned book in a series and lives in the future tense. Who knew - right? This is a good way to figure out which whittlin' knives I need.
polymath wrote:The main aspect, though, would be staying in the meaning space time, place, situation, and personas of the dramatic conflict so narrative distance doesn't open so much it's an unbridgeable breach.
I can see how it would tend to make the reader wish for an anchor or just stop reading and take an "F" on the essay that's due tomorrow. Not sure I understand the difference between meaning space and semantic space - unless it's just the difference between what is meant and how it's said, ::shrug?? but since sustained reading in future tense will prove unsettling in the first place, it might be possible to take advantage of the unstable narrative distance.

Maybe a set of future tense chapters (character arc), with their opening and closing narrative spaces can be made to provide a disturbing sort of counterpoint. The character could be an errant thread in the weave of the meaning space who in the course of his/her meanderings, reveals the method to the madness and sets off an earthquake, or a volcano, or releases the kraken.

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Re: Do you "warm up" before writing?

Post by polymath » May 20th, 2011, 8:00 pm

Semantic space is the sphere of meaning from and through which sentient beings arrange their interactions with the external world on a pecking order based off individual perceptions, some consciously chosen, some imposed, some intuitive, some subconscious. Meaning space is just a different way of saying semantic space. They mean the same thing.

Yeah, a few intercession chapters or subchapters or brief passages in future tenses could inform a plot, provide context for readers, albeit a little disconcerting though if for good effect artful, strengthen a narrative's dramatic conflict, build complications and/or set up or deliver outcomes. One more challenge then would be prepositioning it so it doesn't come out of the blue late in the saga. I think the anachrony would need to be pivotal to the plot too, like a nexus point of antichronous timelines. Yep, the reason why they knew thousands of years ago the world will end tomorrow timely revealed before it's too late to repent. Sure. Or the kraken awakened, the earthquake, the volcanic eruption, the arrival of bug-eyed, horned monsters.
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