Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,
Kalliel
kalliel

BB: Problems of form, structure, and renegade prose

I feel like my BB is out of character for me. It doesn't really seem like it's mine. I'm trying to be calm and open to that, because yay new and different writing experiments, but… I'm also not really sure it's generating a prose style I even like. XP It feels dressy and overindulgent in ways that are not what I want out of SPN. Or at least, this fic.

I've managed to rein in the high-strung woobie feel I mentioned in an earlier post, but there's still a lot of full regalia Emotion, capital E, flying around in ways I'm not sure work for me. And the prosodic decadence persists (she says, using the phrase prosodic decadence. /O\) WHY.

Like, in that vein, everything is a simile. Not always an "as red as a rose!!!" kind of simile, but the sort that hedges straightforward description and vacillates about what the reality of anything is. Or keeps it at a hazy remove from the reader. Which I guess makes some sense coming from Sam's POV at this point, because he's thinking a lot about Gadreel and his body/his actions/his memories mediated through Gadreel. And a lot of the similes cluster around Dean, since Sam wouldn't really know what Dean was doing even if shit weren't fucked up--he'd only be able to describe what it seemed like Dean was doing or feeling. But it could ALSO just be loose, imprecise prose. And that's gross.

This ridiculousness crops up at a more structural rather than sentential level, too. Structurally, the whole fic is just fucking weird, though its failure in that regard does make some sense. Like, I understand how it got that way. Basically, I let Sam narrate his morning and Sam's morning failed to follow traditional narrative convention and traditional human mornings because it got all fucked up by S9 fuckery, from Kevin's death to Gadreel to conversing with Dean to relating to Dean, and then the structure gets even more fucked up because Sam's best efforts to avoid disaster keep his chapter from being neatly…disastrous. And it's just worse. XD

Form follows content.

I feel like there's a way to flag that and make that a very productive means of storytelling, but right now it's at that point where it could equally as feasibly just come across as though I don't know what I'm doing. Which isn't untrue, mind you. But I need to find a way to own the weird and really accentuate how that's working (or meditatedly not working), because unless it's exactly, exactly right, no one's going to make it past the first 1k without closing out the window.

AND THEN. Once the POV switches over to Dean, the pacing/direction/emotional biorhythm JUST GETS WORSE. Transitioning from Sam's chatper(s) to Dean's, "whiplash" is a fairly literal descriptor. Right now Dean is all over the place because I don't know what I'm doing with him; but even apart from that dilemma, his and Sam's perceptions of what's going on have ended up so ridiculously disparate that it's like they're narrating two completely different fics. And while I feel like there's probably a really productive way to play that up and balance them against one another, that way is not presently the way of this fic… right now.

tl;dr WHAT A MESS. I keep telling myself, just write the scenes. Just write the scenes and don't look back and get them out and work on this big picture, structural stuff later, because first you JUST NEED WORDS ON PAGE, YES, GOOD. But I also feel like I need the structure stuff to sort itself out somehow so I know how to play the scenes.

The other day I asked spn_bunker for some pacing tips, re: my "what the fuck is this structure even" problems, and got some very nice advice from paperbackwriter and dreamsofspike, but I am too confused for life, and I am pretty sure I'm just going to need someone to straight-up walk me through it when I get to that point. XP
Tags: fandom: spn, writing
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