- Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
- Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
- Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
- Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.
- Start as close to the end as possible.
- Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
- Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
All posts for the month April, 2012
Posted by Jeremiah Walton on April 30, 2012
This past month my poetry has changed. I believe I have improved past my latest book project, Nostrovia!, which is about to be published. I am excited to begin working on my second collection and share my new found style and just general writing. I’ve been reading a lot of Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace which has definitively shifted my writing from older qualities of stereotypical youth poetry. I no longer am trying to match up to anyone, but my past writing, and become better. This has helped me a lot. Instead of pitting my writing with comparison to Ginsberg and Walt Whitman, I compare it to my older writing, I look to where I have improved and where still needs work. This exercise is something everyone could benefit from. We can only better ourselves, and the only way to match your literary idols, who ever they may be, would be to copy THEIR unique style (which many people do). You want to develop your own style, your own unique qualities that separate you from the pack. I used to howl to be like Ginsberg, but within the past month, I subconsciously shifted my style to my own. Under certain events and other changes in my life, my ideals changed, what I wrote about change, everything about my writing shifted with the changes in my life. And of course, practice, practice, and more practice occurred during these changes. Everyone’s writing develops as they develop, and as we develop, our writing develops.
Here’s a new poem.
No one quite knows what to make of this season anymore
The ice refuses to thaw along warm-brown thistles and a yellow bud raised to the pink-blue sun in a gesture of what giddy romantics, with thick, full lips, declare as “true love” as snow falls on the dazed yellow bud, unsure weather to bloom or remain sealed in this calsh of seasons, so it parts long the middle, openly undecided, level headed, though just and lovely all the same
With no other thoughts than fingerspit fucking the partially open mouth, the spring snow falls as a wet splash on heat-mirage hearts pumping blood for love that is not above love, as the watchful romantics have yet to prescribe it to venn diagrams and diagnose it as thesis worthy within the terms required to be deemed “true love” by lost Shakesperian plays and medieval texts on the chivalerous relations of that maniacally angelic “true love” that seems to have evolved against its roots, vomiting kerosene upon new age romantic’s ethics, as all modern relationships that are good do, and for all things that are good, the yellow bud crys
These lovers of true love preach how mankind is not good to one another by nature, the dangers of rationalizing the higher beings through intellectual interchange and industrial growth, the dangers of being human in this progression of free thought, their whip-like tongues lash, curved by scarred purple hands with stubby fingers, flicked by the bones and forced contractions of muscles belonging to some Christ-like wanna be claiming the second foot of God will fall soon to lay all opposition flat, leaving room for the romantics to ascend tand percieve their aesthetic, brotherly origins in full Enlightenment
Their voices coo from their heart-shaped novellas, praising the connection of two coupling souls in their most lucid form and the purity of the connection between angels and monsters in constant torment of each other, their hands can’t scrape any deeper into themselves without the other’s nails
The coupling souls have hit frozen bedrock, and neither have the tools, beyond the other’s nails, nor the knowledge, on how to excavate this obstruction of their connection, that is eroding their fingertips to bone kisses, so they sit together, they sit and cry, bashing each other as a shovel into the bedrock with all the violence they could bear to muster
The snow fall thickens
The spring wind whistles
The Sun is dead, and Earth is beckoning the cold
For eight and half minutes there is still light, and as the ninth minute dawns the world ends and time begins, spring makes peace with the universe understanding it is no longer neccesary, and winter settles its nails beneath the bedrock, curling behind the yellow bud’s lips, coaxing out its tongue and all that was good
by Jeremiah Walton of Nostrovia! Poetry
Posted by Jeremiah Walton on April 14, 2012
Recent research on Aharip, one of the typologically remarkable languages of the Mt. Iso area of Papua New Guinea, has revealed striking evidence in support of recent proposals that a people's culture can significantly affect the grammar of the language spoken by that people (Everett 2005). In particular, the culture of the Aharip, who live between the 300 and 400 meter isoclines of Mt.
Posted by Jeremiah Walton on April 9, 2012
“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.”
-Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
“In the long days of fall they went like dreamers. Watching the sky for rain. When it came it rained for days. They sat in groups and watched the rain fall over the deserted fairgrounds. Pools of mud and dark sawdust and wet trodden papers. The painted canvas funhouse walls and the stark skeletons of amusement rides against a gray and barren sky.
A sad and bitter season. Barrenness of heart and gothic loneliness. Suttree dreamed old dreams of fairgrounds where young girls with flowered hair and wide child’s eyes watched by flarelight sequined aerialists aloft. Visions of unspeakable loveliness from a world lost. To make you ache with want.”
-Sutree by Cormac McCarthy
”Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?”
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
“‘Father,’ he asked, ‘are the rich people stronger than anyone else on Earth?’ ‘Yes, Ilusha,’ I said. ‘there are no people on Earth stronger than the rich.’ ‘Father,’ he said. ‘I will get rich, I will become an officer and conquer everybody. The Tsar will reward me, I will come back here and then no one will dare…’ Then he was silent and his lips still kept trembling. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘what a horrid town this is.” -Dostoevski The Brothers Karamazov
“‘Father,’ he asked, ‘are the rich people stronger than anyone else on Earth?’ ‘Yes, Ilusha,’ I said. ‘there are no people on Earth stronger than the rich.’ ‘Father,’ he said. ‘I will get rich, I will become an officer and conquer everybody. The Tsar will reward me, I will come back here and then no one will dare…’ Then he was silent and his lips still kept trembling. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘what a horrid town this is.”
-Dostoevski The Brothers Karamazov
“The night mist fell. From the moon it rolled, clustered about the spires and towers, and then settled below them, so that the dreaming peaks were still in lofty aspiration toward the sky. Figures that dotted the day like ants now brushed along as shadowy ghosts, in and out of the foreground. The Gothic halls and clusters were infinitely more mysterious as they loomed suddenly out of the darkness, outlined each by myriad faint squares of yellow light. Indefinitely from somewhere a bell boomed the quarter-hour, and Amory, pausing by the sun-dial, stretched himself out full length on the damp grass. The cool bathed his eyes and slowed the flight of time — time that had crept so insidiously through the lazy April afternoons, seemed so intangible in the long spring twilights. Evening after evening the senior singing had drifted over the campus in melancholy beauty, and through the shell of his undergraduate consciousness had broken a deep and reverent devotion to the gray walls and Gothic peaks and all they symbolized as warehouses of dead ages.”
-This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Posted by Jeremiah Walton on April 8, 2012
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
Posted by Jeremiah Walton on April 2, 2012