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Old 07-14-2016, 01:20 PM
wrc (Offline)
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Originally Posted by copenhagen_dipz View Post

Kerouac certainly wrote with a plan in mind. It was to take Benzedrine and stay up for a week straight and see where his drug-addled and sleep deprived mind took him. The result was 'on the road.' I'm sorry to say, but your posts couldn't be any more off the mark. I mean the beats alone disprove your notion that all professional writers write with a plan in place. Have you never heard of surrealism? Automated writing? Dadaism?

As I said, way off the mark. Which is okay, but you shouldn't go around telling people they must write with a plan if they want to have any hope getting published, when such a statement is just demonstrably false.
Howdy copenhagen.

I've already been through a meat grinder on this topic with another WB member and it's boring to restate what I already said. If you haven't viewed my POV it's here in this thread.

Let me try this another way. If a writer doesn't know what he's writing how will he be understood when read. Knowing the story to be told is a plan. Knowing that's there's a desire to explore an invented character functions as a plan. Written down or not. Without a plan there will be no reader comprehension. They will be as lost as the writer when he told the story.

You mentioned On the Road. You should have mentioned that K. bought a roll of newsprint and had it cut to fit his typewriter so he wouldn't rewrite or have to feed paper. Anyway, that's what they claimed when published, implying that he wrote it without changes and it was published without one edit. Personally, I call this publishing bullshit to hype sales. Not only did he have a plan but he followed it.

Now, surrealism. The only time you find it today is in dreams, drug-induced hallucinations, or insane characters. I tried my hand at surrealism and what I realized was that readers, because they use language, expect the built-in logic of the language. They know when things don't make sense. They innately understand cause and effect. Naked Lunch is often cited as surrealistic, ie, the typewriter becomes a fearful being and other events. Naked Lunch had moments of surrealism but it was told with reference to the reality we all share. I suggest that the writer was in a Heroin-induced state of nonreality. But when a junkie writes they still refer to the reality as their jumping off point. They always know where the next fix comes from. I would say they tapped into their subconsciousness to get their thoughts and from there were guided in good storytelling techniques. That is to say, a plan was presented in the thought process.

Dadaism is an art style. We're talking about words here. Seeing something which doesn't make sense may seem acceptable. But when we read, reading something which doesn't make sense and is gibberish gets thrown against the wall.

I don't mind having a discussion with you on this topic and look forward to it.

I've spent years teaching writing. And I know how vulnerable the beginning writer can be. I feel it's a real disservice to them to tell them they don't need to plan the work if they desire to be taken seriously. For the advanced writer who already learned storytelling (and, educated the subconscious) the planning will be there inside the thoughts of the telling.

Have a nice thinking day.


You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.

Last edited by wrc; 07-14-2016 at 01:43 PM..
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