July 2nd, 2012


Monday Update 7-2-12

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Ebooks and Information Loops
Plunge in Progress
Sword and Soul
Overtly Feminine Scientists (28 comments)
Poem: "A Gift of Time"
Read the Day 5 Poem
Muse Fusion is open!
Torn Tongue: Verbs Beginning with "B"
Authors as Role Models
Read "Is Crowdfunding Right for Your Project?"
20 Things Fantasy Characters Should Do More Often

The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, July 3 with a theme of "alternate history."  Please mark your calendar so you can join in the fun.

Poetry in Microfunding:
"An Amazing Carriage of Amber and Jade" belongs to the Steamsmith series.  Maryam experiments with combining two important alchemical materials.  "Behind the Red Robe" in the Hart's Farm series is now complete!  Auduna and Rowen have a conflict over bathroom use.

Torn World writing update:
Approved as canon: "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal," "Dusting Off the Green Speech," (fiction).  Back to me for edits: "Breaking the Ice," (fiction), "Patterns in the Grass" "The Colors of the Rainbow," (poetry), "Half-Leg," "Dolls in the Empire" (nonfiction). Currently in front of the canon board: "Imalye Fotolyi" "The Girl Who Wanted Too Much" (poetry), "Ghost Bat" "A Dryland Ecosystem" "An Avian Ecosystem" (nonfiction).  Drafted: "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands," "Like Ash Before the Wind," "From Dark to Bright," "Beached Fish," "The Inappropriate But Useful Disposal of Lettuce" "A Thin Red Trail" "The Museum of Mortality" "Nomess Mithoirarv" (fiction), "Packing for the Long Haul" "Birds of War" "A Gift of Time" "Changes in the Wind" (poetry).  In revision at home: "Water Dance," "When the Wind's Teeth Sing," "The Bones of Need" "Raining Kittens," (fiction), "Breeding the Perfect Fighter," "The Smallest Invaders" (poetry).  Currently writing: "Catch of the Day," "Reaching for the Moons" "Winterheart" "A Cold Clear Night" (fiction).

The weather here has been broiling, hot and dry with no relief.  Temperatures hovering around 100F.  I'm putting out water in a pan for the birds, who are actually using it; they must be desperate because they usually ignore water that I provide.  I'm also pouring water in the driveway so the butterflies can puddle.

Most Popular Topics 7-2-12

According to the "Manage Tags" feature, the topics most often appearing in this journal are:

Networking -- 2942 posts
Reading -- 2790
Writing -- 2685
Cyberfunded creativity -- 2332
Poetry -- 1935
News -- 1452
Fishbowl -- 1330
Fantasy -- 1206
Science fiction -- 1166
Art -- 898

No changes since last post.

Plot With Or Without Conflict

Here's a fascinating article about plot without conflict.  

Literature needs interest.  Not all literature necessarily has a plot, and not all plots have conflict.  However, there is usually some kind of tension.  In kishotenketsu, the interest is created by suspense and surprise, when the divergence appears and then resolves itself.  It basically works the way a riddle works.  I think the four-part format would make a terrific poetic form, although it's different enough from what I usually write that I'm having difficulty thinking of ideas for that format.  I'll just let this simmer in my brain for a while.

There are some other examples of low-conflict or no-conflict literature.

"Gentle fiction" has no violence, sex, or vulgar language.  Some people just don't enjoy those things and want something else.  These stories may feature characters dealing with everyday challenges, which can be large or small.  But they can also be purely positive  stories -- for instance, about the development of a friendship or a personal project.

The vignette or "slice of life" story is a kind of short-short fiction that also frequently deals with everyday matters.  We have a lot of this in Torn World, for instance.  Think of it as a quick vacation to another world, where you can see how different people deal with ordinary things in ways that are probably different from your own.  A terrific example is the batch of stories gathered under "Oromaal's Death."  An old woman dies of advanced age.  It's not a conflict, just a sad thing that's a natural part of life.  The stories explore how other villagers cope with the loss.

Can you think of other literary formats that have little or no conflict?  How do they generate interest?