Loose Associations and Artistic Affiliations

I have a refrain of music stuck in my head, as often happens with sleep deprivation. The gentle strains sway in lilting swaths across my mind. Runs surge and ebb on a sea of strings, the steady thrum holding aloft a melody, a dream. Dancing chords traipse up and down my spine, on the front side, a waltz within my soul. I’m in love. I’m in rapture. I’m reverent, swept away, and inspired.

The piece is Pachelbel’s Canon in D. I don’t know what a Canon is, unless you add another ‘n’. What the “in D” portion refers to utterly eludes me. All I know of Pachelbel is that he wrote this. Obviously, I am neither musician nor scholar, just touched by the art.

Why am I writing this here, on a writing site, a site with no audio component whatsoever? Most likely, it’s because I’m an idiot, you know, telling a tale.

The loose association is art. Music is an art, and so is writing. The power of each, of any art, really is in the ability to evoke emotion. Not all writing is artistic. We all do a lot of clunky, formulaic stuff for work or school or to dash off a quick email to a friend. Don’t even get me started on texting. Writing for the sake of writing, as an art, now that’s a thing of beauty, a craft.

To the veteran writers, bring it on. Make me feel, and take me to the depths. To the more novice writers, forgive our nit picking and hubris. The intent is just this, to help elevate your writing to an art, to where word selection, tone, flow, meter, and voice combine to convey not just the details of a series of events but a whole world of experience.

You can do it. We can do this, people.

Bring on the art, and happy ficlying!

3 comments Posted 2010-10-01 Author: THX 0477


  • John Perkins

    Fantastic bit of pondering and advice giving here.

    If we say that art, stripped to its most basic principle, is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination, very little of what I write is art. I’m mostly unconscious of what I put to screen. It often simply flows and I read it after it has been written, or typed. The editing is the art for me. It is where I take a vague idea and turn it into a slightly less vague idea with more accurately placed punctuation.

  • D.E DeWitt

    Haha! Quite entertaining.

    Writing really is an art. A friend of mine once ridiculed me for taking dance classes, saying “Dance is nothing but self-expression. You don’t need classes.” But those who have a firm image in their mind of what dance expresses themselves can’t get the coordination by just thinking about it!

    Writing is mind-language coordination. It takes practice to get the imagery and tone in your mind to the paper, and it takes tons of practice.

    Self-expression is 50% of being you, and 50% practice to be better at being you.

  • Tesseract

    Even before I encountered Ficly, I’d write single-scene snippets that I’d call ‘Word Paintings’. The reasoning was that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but well-chosen words can create a world.

    Another stirring piece that just melts me is the vocal version of Simon Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’. It’s one of those pieces that one has no choice but to play as loud as possible and let it wash over you.