Friday, June 23, 2006

To Those Continuing to Contribute (I mean YOU, Mr. Thmazing), a Challenge

The Seven Deadly Sins of Tolkien Boy's Writing

1. Excessive adverb use.
She was interested in the way he carefully held his fork - was interested madly, avidly, bemusedly, brokenheartedly. He was fondling it expressively, his fingers crooked archaically around the thin silver handle.
2. Vague, amorphous plots.
Carruthers was a man of infinite patience, a construction worker from Merrie Olde England who drank his tea atop a steel girder and swore in clipped, ringing tones at the swallows which built their nests in the eaves of the I-beams. Despite being a character so round that it would make Dickens drool with envy, he never actually does anything but drink tea and castigate birds.
3. Overuse of dialogue tags.
"I sincerely doubt I'd be happy dating a buzzard," said Sally seriously. "I mean, one can imagine a dinner date," Sally said.

"Will it be carry-out or carrion?" quipped Roger. "And may I suggest duck under tire tread?" queried Roger.

"Cute," affirmed Valerie. "And, speaking of bestiality..." continued Valerie.
4. A tendency toward combining words for clever effect.

And you and I, togetherturning,
under milkmoon and fingerclasped
will silversigh a lonesomelonging,
allalone and loveaghast.

5. Brilliant beginnings and flat endings.
Once upon a time there was a rich, redheaded queen who spent her mornings embroidering heavy brocade and her evenings divining the secrets of the universe in a deep, blue pool until one day she was overheard by her husband's meddling minister, a thin, envy-eaten man who used his newfound knowledge to turn her seven sons against her and soon the country fell into civil war and anarchy, all while the the queen attempted to learn the one secret that would stop all suffering and bring peace and love to her kingdom again.

And then, everyone caught the plauge, and died.
6. The propensity to fill my writing with inside jokes.
Algathor, minor demigod of a world with barbaric Nordic tendencies, was arguing with his wife Algathora over their breakfast grapefruit.

"What I am saying, dearest, is that it should have gone to committee." Algathor was a great believer in committees. "You can't just up and decide to give humans free will without consulting someone, you know."

Algathora was a major goddess in the pantheon, and she often had occasion to regret marrying a beaurocrat so obviously beneath her. "I can do what I like, Algathor," she said, tossing a flaming curl of auburn hair out of her eyes. "The council would have batted the question around for centuries. Besides, the humans are so - pathetic. You've seen them, mucking about in the primordial soup. They touched my heart."

"I touched your divine mother's heart last night," muttered Algathor viciously, stabbing his spoon into the pink fleshy heart of his grapefruit.
7. The prediliction to halt the writing of a story's middle in favor of another story's start.
Devon could not have been happier with his television set - the fact that it was haunted only added to its appeal and gave it a sort of old-world charm so sadly lacking in the sleekly chromed appliances he normally filled his house with. "Besides, it's not as if it were a malicious spirit," he said to his mother consolingly when she called at great expense from Florida to see if he were quite sure about inviting a soul of uncertain religious affiliations into his household. "I know it's beneficient because it likes Karen Carpenter," he continued when his mother registered faint disbelief that any piece of inhabited technology could be anything but malicious. But -

When Benny left to the post office, she surprised herself by building a fort out of couch cushions and blankets in the living room. She hadn't done that since she was almost eleven, and the intervening twenty-seven years had wreaked havoc on her creative ability.
She kept getting the blankets confused with the cushions, because she couldn't quite remember if the cushions provided the walls or if they made the roofs and the draped blankets sealed it shut. In the end she had to enlist the help of the mailman, an unnaturally thin man with four girls at home with minds still clear of the clutter of twenty years of domestic bliss. He looked at her strangely when she made her request, and when she brought him into the living room to help correct her creation he looked downright alarmed, but in five minutes he had rectified the situation and the fort was ready. Then -

The rain started at just after the darkest part of night. The bells of old Kethedras had rung the midnight prayers when the clouds that had been building in dirty round billows all day rumbled back, the gutteral growl of an angry god. For a moment the earth stopped its breathing, the chicking night birds stopped their incessant clacking, even the throttled thrum of the insects in the trees quieted under the irritated grumbling of the clouds that sat like sluggish living entities on the horizon. In the quiet, brooding air, somewhere a dragon squirmed in its cave, woke with a sudden unshuttering of near-metallic eyelids. However -
All right, there's my seven. What are yours?


Blogger Tolkien Boy said...

Just because I referenced Th. in the subject heading does not mean that other people cannot participate, however.

6/25/2006 10:20 AM  
Blogger Th. said...


Ah! I will certainly do this! Thank you for the invite, Tolkers!

6/26/2006 6:33 PM  
Blogger Muse said...

ooh, I liked the one about the cushion fort. I'm intreigued, if you come up with an ending, will you tell me? I don't mind if it's flat.

6/26/2006 10:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home