From the WordPress publishers today: Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation by Erica on September 10, 2012 (or imitating the style of an iconic writer without losing your own voice):
“ xxx Better yet, you can tell us about your favorite writer’s tone, or you can take it a step further — after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Highlight a particular element of your favorite writer’s style, and incorporate it into a post of your own. xxx If you go this route, try writing about what you’d normally discuss on in your blog: personal musings, your favorite artist, your sports team’s wondrous victory. The only catch is that you’ll need to discard your own style temporarily in honor of the wordsmiths who’ve inspired you.”
xxx xxx xxx
Based on those, here is the blog post for the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation.
The iconic writer i chose is: J.D. Salinger. The style is: stream of consciousness. It’s been described as a “disjointed form of internal monologue” “characterized by associative leaps in syntax and punctuation that may sometimes make the prose difficult to follow”.
When i first wrote the post below, it didn’t have any punctuation marks, but i thought i should aid the readers by putting some commas. What do you think? Unwieldy? i should have done a traditional narrative? (Yes! stop experimenting — we like structured!)
A large part of J.D. Sallinger’s narratives rely on this. Alas, i don’t have it, maybe I’m just rambling on in this post below with no sense or coherence.
While we were driving on a newly paved road, the senior law office partner mentioned that when he was a law student, these balmy acacia trees were just sapling. i was once told that the roots of a fully grown acacia tree were wider than a 200-square-meter house, its vast network underground was a labyrinthine of a city spread farther than its canopy of branches and leaves above. Years ago, in a meeting i had to babysit as legal counsel, there was a debate on what to do with the trees that have been uprooted by the typhoon, now just lying around, not breathing, in the expanse of the grounds, some of the trees were half-a-century old, and the botanist-consultants said there was a procedure to reconstruct them and bring them back to life, but it was a laborious and expensive procedure; the engineer-consultants said this was not cost-effective, and so, therefore, the board gave way to the chainsaw workers, carpenters and utility staff, the felled giants were sawed off and sold as lumber, the money earned was reported as profits, and therefore in the balance sheet of things it was shown that we did not lose anything. i watched them saw off the trunks, you could see the rings inside them, each ring equivalent to a year or two, the ridges equivalent to generations. Once we took a street inside a residential area and my colleagues at the backseat tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hala, ba’t ka dito dumaan, magagalit si Sir” (“Hey watch out why did you take this road, Sir will get angry.”) “Sir” being the senior partner, he was seated in front. And “Sir” of course said no, it was alright. i said it was a short cut – why, what’s wrong. And my colleagues said that when martial law was declared, “Sir” who then had a thriving law career in a prestigious law office and who had unprecedentedly won in a local election, one of the youngest, was going to get arrested by Marcos. He had to go on self-exile abroad, had to sell his house and all his properties, had to start from scratch all over again, study again, take the bar exams again in that foreign land and pass, eke out a living while helping in the anti-dictatorship movement in the Philippines. He bought this house because there were many trees, it was in the middle of the city, he and his family lived here and he had planned on raising his children on that porch, on this road that my colleagues have been avoiding as a route. i asked if this was true, and “Sir” said, well, yes, but it was a long, long time ago no sweat it was alright i didn’t do anything wrong, and my impertinent colleagues said, see – pretty soon tears would well up his eyes, they were ribbing him, and he was of course alright and he just said softly that he was sad that he never got back that same house because he liked living here. Before i learned to drive, i used to ride home with friends, and the usual designated driver, the executive director, always made the mistake of making a right turn at a certain crossroad when we were supposed to go left, everytime, he never corrected, he always turned there. We had to maneuver a U-turn in the middle of that road to go to the other side. Finally, i asked why are you always making a right-turn here, this is the hundredth time. And my friends, the other passengers, said maybe, maybe it was an old habit, see that bend, it led to a building where his ex-wife worked decades ago, he was detained when martial law was declared, they never got back together after that, even after he was released when the dictatorship fell, a new government took over. We think we know someone just because we work with them everyday. Everybody has an anthology of stories, in their trunk, at their core. Just like these trees.