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JWREmmett
June 3rd, 2005, 10:57 PM
The ability to write perfect first drafts has been demonstrated in music by Mozart. And I'm sure many authors of poems and novels had access to the same source of inspiration. I've done it a couple times... and you can judge my own example yourself.

Below is the link to the first draft. (Grammer may be lacking, but content isn't.) I was 19 at the time.

http://www.sffworld.com/community/poem/451.html


My point is simply this:
A lifetime of data is stored within your subconscious. The data of humanity is known as the collective unconscious--having access to this you can be the Mozart of novel writing (EDIT: more or less); or, really, a Tolkien. For me, this explains a lot.

I believe Brian Tracy has an audio book title called The Psychology of Achievement with information on this topic. One of the better comments is that the harder you try, the less easy it is to create.

michaelS0620
June 4th, 2005, 08:49 AM
As a first draft it is ok. As a perfect first draft, though, I am not so sure? First of all, drop the ellipses. I am not sure why this is happening lately, but on another writong board, people are ending their lines with ellipses. I am not if this is to try and give a trailing-off effect or what. Dropping them will make your poem cleaner.

Your rhyming scheme changes through the poem. You have some aabb, then aa bb, followed by some ab-b followed by no rhymes at all and back again. I think the poem would be strong if you either stuck to one rhyme pattern, or made the transitions more structured.

I would have to disagree with your premise in your message (not the poem). Sure, there is a "collective unconscious" of stored beliefs and images (Joseph Campbell was another proponent of this in myth). And we do carry a lot of subconscious information around. If we can connect with the collective unconscious and thereby allowing the reader to connect deeply with the story, then that's great. If we are able to expose our subconscious to the reader, thereby allowing them to see a small piece of their normally buried subconscious, then that is also great. However neither, has anything to do with writing a perfect first draft. It may help you write a better first draft, but not a perfect one.

Even with Mozart's music which he wrote without revision, who's to say it wouldn't even have been better if he had re-vised it? I'm not sure if I want to be the Mozart of the written word anyways. Didn't he die penniless and alone? :)

Ward
June 4th, 2005, 12:43 PM
well, Tolkien's access to the collective unconcious allowed him to just dash off a perfect draft of Lord of the Rings...after 15 years of painful revision, peer review, and multiple drafts (didn't he rewrite the first chapter 10 times or something?).

Emmett, you strike me as someone who believes what they are saying is being helpful, maybe if you could show me a first draft of a professional short story or novel that was 'perfect' you could back your statement, as it is the poem just strikes me as the sort of thing any bright teenager might dash off in homeroom: probably drawing less inspiration from the collective unconcious then a looming due date.

"One of the better comments is that the harder you try, the less easy it is to create." that comment is such harmful nonesense I would hope anyone who wants to be a successful writer would know better than to even for a second entertain the notion. successful writers, successful people for that matter, work hard, damn hard, and that's the only way anything of lasting value is created. Mozart was a genius who could hold an entire opera in his head before he wrote it down, it had nothing to do with technique or attitude and everything to do with genes. for us mere mortals, hard work and patience is the only way to succeed in life; and all this mystical nonesense about opening yourself up to a collective unconcious might be nice for someone learning meditation, but writing isn't the opening of some magical conduit from another world: true, manic inspiration and off-the-cuff improvisation play a part in it, and yes there is some truth the the idea that trying to 'force' creativity won't work as much as allowing yourself to relax and let your subconcious work for you (a personal subconcious, not some imaginary world soul), but then the hard work, the discipline, and the rewrites take that little kernel of spontaneity and give it a proper shape. There isn't such a thing as a perfect first draft in writing.

you want the real secret to successful writing? work hard and practice, but have fun doing it-- and don't look for faerie potions to help you on your way.

TheEarCollector
June 4th, 2005, 01:25 PM
I don't understand if you are trying to tell us that this is a perfect first draft, but if that is the case, then you are sadly mistaken.

As has already been mentioned, your rhyme scheme is all over the place, it never even attempts to make a coherent transition into the next one.

Alright, a guy killed someone else to profit from his death. That's not "collective subconcious," that's a social commentary.

And though Mozart may have been a musical genius, the fact that he didn't work his music in multiple drafts on paper doesn't mean he didn't have to think about it. If endless streams of music were constantly pouring out of him without thought, we would have a lot more.

Saying that trying harder makes things more difficult is a loaded statement as well. Nothing about trying harder makes your work harder, it's when you begin to complicate it with details that the work becomes harder. People tend not to trust their intuition, and maybe this is what you are trying to say, but the fact still stands that your statement is flawed.

This first draft is just that, a first draft. It is by no means perfect, but maybe I am just failing to understand your point. Are you even telling me that it is perfect?

JWREmmett
June 4th, 2005, 03:23 PM
Poems don't have to rhyme.


Nothing about trying harder makes your work harder...

Effort isn't trying. Try as hard as you want, it won't improve your situation. There is a subtle difference.


There isn't such a thing as a perfect first draft in writing.

I still think Mozart tapped a "world soul" --and I like your term much better. Sometimes though, revision is the opposite of beneficial.

Regarding novels, a connection to a world soul can aid the process. Consider the Bible's claim of inspiration from God.
See this as mystical if you want, but I don't think a mystic sees what he can do as "mystical" at all... it simply is.

Perfection is ultimately an illusion, but is a subjective reality still.

Finally, if it took 11 years for a first draft, I wouldn't say this wasn't aided by something else.

Jacquin
June 4th, 2005, 03:51 PM
There seem to be a number of cynics here. Have you submitted any of your "unrevised" work for publication? How is it generally received?

J

michaelS0620
June 4th, 2005, 04:04 PM
Poems don't have to rhyme.


Of coure poems don't have to rhyme. Poems can have any combination of rhyming and non-rhyming lines that anyone would care to put to paper. However, what makes a poem good is that the choices make sense. While this is admittedly a subjective call, it usually means that the rhyming scheme presents some unity to the poem and ties it together.




Effort isn't trying. Try as hard as you want, it won't improve your situation. There is a subtle difference.


I don't quite understand what you are trying to say here. There is a difference between putting effort into something and succeding and putting effort into something and not succeding.

Writing is a craft as much as an art. Practice (trying hard) makes a huge difference. Even if the piece that results is subpar, or nothing more than a short section designed to explore a technique.



I still think Mozart tapped a "world soul" --and I like your term much better. Sometimes though, revision is the opposite of beneficial.


I happen not to believe in a literal "world soul", but that's ok, there are lots of things I don't believe in. Regardless, how do you know how Mozart derived his inspiration? Did he ever state that he received his inspiration by tapping into a world soul of some sort. Now I do happen to believe there is a global subconscious (shared hopes, desires, expectations) in a more metaphoracal sense, as I outlined above.

I do agree that revision can be negative, if you spend too much time second guessing yourself. The result can end up being worse than where you began. But I hardly think that is strong enough of a critique of revision to think it isn't necessary.



Perfection is ultimately an illusion, but is a subjective reality still.


Certainly in something as subjective as novel writing, perfection is, at best, a slippery, ill-defined concept. We can certainly still judge specific works, and even compare works to



Finally, if it took 11 years for a first draft, I wouldn't say this wasn't aided by something else.

Are you saying the linked poem took 11 years? Or are you giving a more general case.

Jacquin
June 4th, 2005, 04:14 PM
Mozart tapping into a "world soul" would only explain his phenomenal gift for composing music. It wouldn't explain how he was able to hear a piece of complicated choral music in the Systene (?sp) chapel, then later at home, transpose it completely from memory. The piece was Allegri's Miserere and it had been written for the exclusive use of the choir of the aforementioned chapel. In doing so Mozart commited the first recorded instance of musical piracy to bring it into the world.

If however he was extraordinarily gifted musically to the extent of an Autistic Sauvant then it would explain it.

J

TheEarCollector
June 4th, 2005, 04:15 PM
I really don't know if he is trying to yank our chains or if he is serious about how perfect his writing is.

As mentioned, poems DON'T have to rhyme. They usually have some kind of structure though. It looks like you are trying to make it rhyme, but then you stop and change it to a non-rhyming poem because you couldn't find another word in the thesaurus that worked well. I am well aware that they don't have to rhyme, but that doesn't mean you wander in and out of various rhyme schemes. It sounds awful, no offense, but it doesn't flow in any way, and fluidity is usually found in poetry (even when it doesn't rhyme).

Effort actually is trying. To try harder is to exert more effort, and yes, trying actually can improve your situation. Sometimes, trying (exerting effort) is ALL that matters, as is the case in many drills we do in the military, PE in high school, and various other aspects of life. But of course you could always just pray for everything to work...

You still never answered whether you feel that this is a perfect work, and you never addressed the fact that what you are calling a "collective subconcious" (the subject of this poem) could in fact be part of common thought because it happens so often. It could very well be a social commentary and nothing more unless you can somehow prove that two men living in a box completely secluded from the world will try to kill each other for profit (and when we dumb it down that far, it's a matter of survival). I find nothing here that is special, extraordinary, or in any way above average.

Please explain it to me, but don't try to hard.

Expendable
June 4th, 2005, 04:36 PM
Effort isn't trying. Try as hard as you want, it won't improve your situation. There is a subtle difference. I don't agree. To try is to make an effort to do something. You have to show me the subtle difference.

Perfection takes effort. You have to try and try again. Even talent requires effort.