Friday, August 3, 2012

Book 1, "Feel of the Gun"

Right now I'm trying to work through what is important to include in a story and what is good to leave out. Working on where I want to land in regards to Hemingway's theory of omission, or Iceberg Theory.

"If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing."
—Ernest Hemingway in Death in the Afternoon

I've been told that I write like Dickens, obviously not as good as Dickens, but within his style. I provide an overwhelming amount of description of things, and while it may be beautiful, it is not always necessary. I know I have a long ways to go before I'm at all publishable, and on that path of learning and preparation I'm trying to figure out who I am as a writer. What is important in a story? Is it the details? I imagine it would be if the goal was to place the audience in the universe, almost physically. Is it the dialogue? If so, it would be to portray the way humans interact with each other. In this case I imagine actions shared between characters would be also vastly important. The plot? The setting? The choices the characters make? I feel like all of these things are relevant some level, and it is up to the author to emphasis what he or she feels to be the most important, or the most useful tool to convey his or her purpose.

Here I have a description of one of the light guns that I had been planning to include in my story of liquid light. It's not great and I'm not sure if it would have been relevant. In Science Fiction I think elaborate descriptions of unique technologies is welcome, however I'm not sure this depth would have been at all necessary. Especially the way Past Justin went about doing it.


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Cold, hard, metal. Your hand strokes the figure on the (wooden table) table. The room is dark with only a little light shining through a window close by. The light bounces off the object on the table, glinting, It is silver. You pick up the item and hold It in the dim light in attempts to grasp the visualization of the piece. It is a gun. It has a long barrel with a sight on the tip. On the opposite side of the barrel lies the a gem in it. The gem connects to the energy chamber. You aim the glass bulb into the dim dull light shining through the window. The gem begins to faintly glow.

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I'm going to have to say I would not put anything like that in a story I wrote today. There wasn't too much description, but the description was bad, and unnecessary. Explaining vaguely what a light gun is and what it looks like would probably work better in any sort of story that I end up writing. I'm not at all knowledgeable about science and could not right hard science fiction, but I feel with a proper application of the Iceberg Theory I could entertain my audience without them questioning my credibility or feeling robbed of a description.