On SuperMegaNodeFestQuest 2013. Shazam!'s progress

Oh boy, a Quest only a bit after a month after I created my e2 account. It's fun, it's exciting, it's interesting. I know it's not the same as the writing contest that a fellow noder won a few weeks ago (A Bram Stoker Award, IIRC), but I like it.

Before I continue, I must confess something: I actually don't know how to write.

I know the mechanical process of dragging a piece of graphite over a sheet of paper to create recognizable, standard squiggles, I've known this technology since at least 1993. I know how to move my fingers to push certain keys on a keyboard in a specific succession (I learned that one thanks to a Commodore 64 more than a few years ago).

But the actual process of planning and figuring out things like passive voice and active voice, knowing when to use a first person perspective over a third person perspective, setting up grand themes and planting their seeds along the road of a novel or short story, creating characters and all those things that writers' schools seem to teach, all of those I don't know.

This is pretty much how I write.

          | Start |
 | Invent some stuff        |
 |                          |
 | or figure out something  |
 |     to say               |
 |                          |
 | or think about something |
 |     I want to say        |
      | Write it down |<---------------------------------+
      +---------------+                                  |
              +                                          |
              |                                          |
              |                                          |
              |                                          |
              v                                          |
     +-----------------+                                 |
     | Is it complete? |       +-------------+           |
     +-----------------+       |             |           |
              +--------------->|Add as needed|---------->|
         Yes  |        No      |             |           |
              |                +-------------+           |
              v                                          |
     +-----------------------+                           |
     | Does it have fluff or |                           |
     |   unnecessary stuff?  |                           |
     +-----------------------+ +----------------+        |
              +                |                |        |
              +----------------|Delete as needed|------->|
         No   |        Yes     |                |        |
              v                +----------------+        |
      +---------------------+                            |
      | Does it sound good  |                            |
      |    when read aloud? |                            |
      +---------------------+  +-------+                 |
              +                |       |                 |
         Yes  +----------------|Rewrite|---------------->|
              |         No     |       |                 |
              v                +-------+                 |
       +---------------------------+                     |
       | Have you cooled yourself  |                     |
       |     and re-read it later? |                     |
       +---------------------------+                     |
              +                +----------------+        |
         Yes  +----------------|Wait and re-read|+------>|
              |         No     +----------------+        |
              v                                          |
        +-----------------------+             +----------+
        | Do you still like it? |+----------->| Fuck off |
        +-----------------------+ No          +----------+
              +                              +-----------+
         Yes  |                              | Go for it |

I've never been in writing schools, I've only had my Spanish lessons and a "Writing and Literature" compulsory class in 11th. The last one was taught by a try-hard MILF that spoke like she masturbated by humping a Benedetti book. So much for spreading love to the written expression to high schoolers.

Some people have said they like what I write. I've been on the school gazette once or twice, but nobody could judge it accurately, as the school's editors were all economist wannabes and I mostly wrote 300 word articles about science, nothing really fancy. My friends told me they like what I write, but almost none of them write (only a few have the habit of reading more than the headlines on soccer newspapers).

I've never been in a writing contest, e2 is the closest I've been to a writing group and the Quest is the closest I've been to a real writing contest.

Still, I'm excited by it.

On poetry and the English Language

The first item in this Quest's challenge is a poem. I've never been a good poet, not even in Spanish. I know and respect good poets because a good poem means painstakingly picking the right word to fit in the stanza and the verse and the whole poem.

I know I can be a great poet. I also can be a great basketball player and a great basket weaver, I just need practice, lots and lots of practice. Right now I'm a mediocre poet at best because I don't write poems and therefore have no practice.

I've submitted two poems to e2 right now (Suits and Hold your head up) and at the moment of writing this, they both sit at -1 rep. That means they aren't that bad, but a simple majority of voters think it's bad, which is a message to me.

I'm not hurt about it. I know I'm not a good poet and I know those aren't good poems, but I like them. I like that this place has a simple and concise way of giving anonymous, objective feedback. I like those poems and I like what their rep is telling about me:

I must do better

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