Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Saturday January 17, 2004. "'Two days wrong!' sighed the hatter. 'I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added angrily at the March Hare.

"'It was the best butter,' the March Hare meekly replied."

(Tom Clancy, _Voyage of the Dawn Treader_)

I woke up knowing I needed to chop something big out of "The Caterpillar on the Leaf." It was the wrong kind of political change: too complicated, too impersonal unless it was made the focus of the story.

***In an electronic forum, a regular contributor has now identified himself as a Communist. He expressed annoyance at various unflattering things said about "socialism".

I responded by pointing out that the term "socialism" is also used by other flavors of Marxism-Leninism, non-Leninist Marxism, and non-Marxist socialism. Out of politeness, I didn't mention my own feelings and opinions about Communism. They're less flattering than those held by many American conservatives.

Feelings: My maternal grandparents were Communists, and my mother was raised in that denomination. She was a teenager when the Hitler-Stalin Pact was announced, and she lost her faith.

Opinions: Because the US was more socially advanced than Europe, no Marxist party had a chance here. Workers' parties had come and gone before _Das Capital_ was published.

And any organization run from abroad, in the interests of executives in another country, taking orders from leaders who don't know the territory, is likely to have crippling problems.

***Mnstf meeting at Laura Jean Fish's and David Schroth's. I enjoyed it.

Nitpick: the meeting notice said "One small cat." The cat didn't look all that small to me.
Towards a Unified Field Theory of Writing

The story idea lives in my head in a very different form to what I'll eventually write. It's far more nebulous, and personal, and probably more akin to a dream/nightmare than something objectively coherent. It also doesn't tend to have a straight-line narrative structure, more like a tangle of thread, where I can see parts of the line and know they're all connected as one without needing to see that they are. Writing is not simply an act of copying what's in my head. Those stories are full of subtext, with subtext to the subtext -- which is fine when it's being expressed as thoughts but doesn't work as words

I have to translate it from thoughts to words.

Adapt the story from the medium which is thought, to that of written words.

And, like making a film from a book, it can't ever be exactly the same. A second act of creation is required, and a whole lot of writing skills, to make the thoughts a book.

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