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Now, to Deal With Your Invincible Defeat

N.B.—On waking up this morning, the sentence stuck in my head long enough to survive the surfacing from the abyssal plain:

The truth, if found, will be changing


Which is a kind of Satori in itself.

But this is a blog and I must do bloggery things. To wit: I saw this first on pjthompson's blog. It had the ring of truth. To see what would come of it and what it could suggest. The idea is to take your prose and break it into lines and stanzas resembling free-verse poetry. The rough edges will show, and may suggest changes that polish, and do good where before no light could reach.

So... The opening of Sisters of the Sundering

It was the silence that woke her.
Mother had been awake
all night,
muttering again.

Ashiya stared into the blackness
and listened for the voice
that had been so hard to sleep through
and now woke her with its absence.

Despite the thick tufa walls between them,
Ashiya could always hear her mother's voice.

It scratched and scrambled its way
through the heavy cloth doors
that separated chambers
in the warren-like household.

Outside, it chased her heels,
made her hurry through the tunnels
of underground Crêche,
insulted her from the seagulls
reeling above the shore,
bit into her when she was alone
and vulnerable.

And tired.

Tired like she was now.


Which makes me think I need some Edits:

Silence woke her.
Mother had been awake
and muttering
all night.
Again.

Ashiya stared into the blackness
listening for that voice—
So hard to sleep through,
but waking her now
with its absence.

Despite the thick tufa walls between them,
Ashiya could always hear her mother's voice.

It scratched and scrambled its way
through heavy cloth doors
between separate chambers
in their warren-like household.

Outside, it chased her heels,
made her hurry through the tunnels
of underground Crêche,
insulted her from the seagulls
reeling above the shore,
bit into her when she was alone
and vulnerable.

And tired.

Tired as she was now.


So that makes this:

It was the silence that woke her. Mother had been awake all night, muttering again. Ashiya stared into the blackness and listened for the voice that had been so hard to sleep through and now woke her with its absence. Despite the thick tufa walls between them, Ashiya could always hear her mother's voice. It scratched and scrambled its way through the heavy cloth doors that separated chambers in the warren-like household. Outside, it chased her heels, made her hurry through the tunnels of underground Crêche, insulted her from the seagulls reeling above the shore, bit into her when she was alone and vulnerable. And tired. Tired like she was now.


into this:

Silence woke her. Mother had been awake and muttering all night. Again. Ashiya stared into the blackness listening for that voice— So hard to sleep through, but waking her now with its absence. Despite the thick tufa walls between them, Ashiya could always hear her mother's voice. It scratched and scrambled its way through heavy cloth doors between separate chambers in their warren-like household. Outside, it chased her heels, made her hurry through the tunnels of underground Crêche, insulted her from the seagulls reeling above the shore, bit into her when she was alone and vulnerable. And tired. Tired as she was now.


Is that an improvement? Definitely. Are they improvements I would have made without the poetic form? Definitely not. Interesting. I think I will keep the para as it now stands.

And maybe this season of revision means a revision of Ashiya's tale as well. Why not turn the worm inside out?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
arwensouth
Oct. 13th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
I saw this on author jimvanpelt's blog. It looked like an interesting exercise, though I'm on the fence as to whether or not it would work for me (the anti-poet). I'm thinking about giving it a shot anyway, though. At the very least, I ought to be able to get a blog entry out of it, right?

I like the changes you made. It's tighter, sharper. Nice!
barry_king
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )