Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Elaborate Fictions

I've written before about what I call the "Missing Fact", which is the way I describe the process of recognizing untold backstory, and some cases supplying that backstory material by inference, as part of the listening process. When I read a LiveJournal, I'm always intrigued not only by what the journal tells me, but by the scads of questions I have, some of which I ask, but many of which I cannot in good courtesy burden the journalist with answering.

One thing I like about LiveJournals is their novel-like quality--that sense that the writer is mining his or her life's experiences to create a loose, informal elaborate set of fictions. I like reading an extremely diverse set of journals, which range from very day to day to very literary (and in one or two cases, almost frighteningly literary, in both senses of the word).

For me, the writing process involves a great deal of focus on both absolute truth and yet upon the literary fictions that can arise from truth. I am also intrigued, though, by what fictions and thoughts give rise to which comments from the kind people who weigh in on this modest journal.

I like the way that different posts give rise to different comments. If I write a post about a nature hike, then one set of my friends' list is much more apt to comment than another. If I write about my personal life, and teen and young adult romance (not that there was any great abundance of that in my little life), then I am apt to get a different set of commenters. My essays, which tend to be peoples' favorites and least favorites among my posts, draw the most comments. My slice of life posts, in which I describe what I actually do each day, are topped only by my poetry for the least comments. This rather confirms my notion that the world of ideas in which I play with purpose are far more interesting than the actual life in which I wander aimlessly. Among my poems, the ones that I like best often draw no comments, while the ones I find workmanlike sometimes draw the most. Of course, topical posts draw more comments, and esoteric, prolix "inner reflection" posts do not draw many at all. But now that I'm some 13 months into my journal, I must admit that I like the way that a journal, instead of a novel, allows one to literally keep a scrapbook of notions, bio, hopes and agonies. It's fun to jump from idea to idea, and it's fun to write a serious attempt at personal exploration in one post, and something airy light in the very next post. In my case, I even have the side journal, gurdondark, for posts which I consider too self-abnegating to bother with in the lighter main journal.

This LiveJournal habit is a curious drug to ingest, and a strange psychedelic to experience. But I like to be able to play with the colors in the kaleidoscope as I experience them, and the journal is wonderful for that.
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