Arachnid Thoughts - The Ink Well Prompt #13

in The Ink Well2 years ago (edited)


Fiction. I don't write it. I write poetry. But if I did write fiction, I would start with a run-on sentence, one that makes itself unclear, one that makes the mind continue in a way it's not comfortable doing, leading towards questions, endless questions, about proposal and separation and whether purple has a sound.

Oxford says synaethesia is "the fact of experiencing some things in a different way from most other people, for example experiencing colours as sounds, experiencing shapes as tastes, or feeling something in one part of the body when a different part is stimulated." I say I'm Elvis. I've been in cryostasis. I know there is no life after death.

It's OK. I'm not the first. Joyce. Faulkner. Dylan. To have more punctuation than sense at times. You have to pan these words and wash away the fine tailings to find even a glimmer. But if they deserve a Nobel Prize, then so do I, don't I?

"Aretha/ crystal jukebox queen of hymn and him diffused in drunk transfusion" is how Tarantula starts, and I'm out there howling in the back yard about how "a pinch of old salt" only occurs once on the internet to the ghost of the great Irish author.

So, I feel like I should give you something to hold on to here. I'm told a good narrative has characterisation. This means I need to talk about someone other than myself. Famous writers don't count. So consider Julie. Julie has blonde hair and blue eyes. She was born in the late '80s, and grew up in Dayton, Ohio. Julie is married with three children.

One day, Julie was never heard from again. And that's the last I'll say on the subject, because I need a setting. I am in Antarctica, and it's cold, and it's white and lonely, and you don't believe me anyway, because who actually gets to go to Antarctica?

The cats do who rule the world. And Sally and her software are their domesticated caretakers. If you've understood a word I've said up until this point, then I'm doing something wrong.

The world is a tale told by an idiot, and that idiot is me. Scene five. Dunsinane Castle. Shakespeare enters. "Shall I introduce some dialogue at this point?" He asks. But Aretha's singing, "Who's zoomin' who?" And I'm grateful I don't have to answer. At least we know for certain we can take the tunnel from the South Pole to Scotland.

And the sound of sighing and crying within the walls is all in your head. And there 'you' are. You creep in here, asking questions about fragmentation. And you tell me this doesn't count as prose. There is no story arc. But what I say to you, and to the famous writers, and Sally, and what I would tell Julie if she were here is, "You don't need to hold on so tightly to reality all the time. Sometimes it pays to just let go."

(Image original work by AlmightyMelon.
Contains short quotations from the Oxford English Dictionary and from Bob Dylan's Tarantula.)


You offer us Joyce, Faulkner and Dylan. I offer you Robbe-Grillet, who believed

the time had passed for novels to be about characters and individuals. (The Guardian).

You are welcome to thrash against the strictures of conventional form, as long as you do it intelligently. And here you do.

While many people think of short stories and novels as timeless, they're not. They evolved from something else. That evolution was organic, and it was also conscious rebellion. So, have at it. You do a good job of rattling the cage of expectations.

Thank you for posting this adventurous piece in the Ink Well community.

Wonderful comment. I was overwhelmed by the list of suggestions, so I wrote something that was meant to be a bit overwhelming for the reader. And a bit of theory of writing woven into the meta. Again, I'm very grateful for the response. Thanks.

Thank you for the fun ride.


I just termed bruno kema's piece the best, and then i read this???

Omoooo! I have to hold my thoughts till I have read all the stories next time.

Because WHAT IS THIS??? Christ! I loved this! I loved it man!

And yes, you have done a lot wrong because as jayna and a whole lot of the others have said, we understood it... the nonsense that made the most f**king sense!

pardon my language, but damn bro (or sis, whichever lol)...


I very much appreciate your emphatic response, in particular that I provoked blasphemy. I literally chuckled. I will seek out the honorific of "best piece" in your opinion with my further contributions. :)

I found myself smiling all the way through this, @almightymelon. It's nonsense that actually seems to make sense, and moreover it gets me thinking again about what prose and fiction and story structure really are.

Whenever I write about writing rules (and I have written many many articles about writing rules), I try to be sure to make the point that rules really are made to be broken. The way I look at them is this:

  • They provide a track to run on. This is absolutely necessary for fledgling writers.
  • When a story feels fundamentally flawed, turning to the rules of writing can help untangle the problems and make the story more effective and compelling.
  • Learning the fundamentals of fiction writing is important so that when you break them and go off the rails, you do so consciously, not due to a lack of skill or knowledge.

Picasso did not develop his style because he could not draw well. No, he took all the classic training and was a highly accomplished artist in the traditional sense, and he made a conscious choice to veer off that path.

My thanks for the feedback. Being compared in any way to Picasso is fantastic. I'm a huge fan of Gertrude Stein's Picasso-like writing here:

He painted a portrait of her that you could find as well. Sadly, I'm not sure he treated all women with as much respect.

I hope I provided sufficient "track to run on". Writing about writing can so often end up sounding like "I hold this pen above this page" stuff. I think I'm concealing my actual lack of understanding of "the fundamentals of fiction writing" by half-heartedly mocking them.

I'm glad it made you smile.

I think I'm concealing my actual lack of understanding of "the fundamentals of fiction writing" by half-heartedly mocking them.

Ha ha. Love that.

This is a clever self-referential piece. Great stuff @almightymelon!

I appreciate the positive feedback very much, thank you.

What does it mean if I do understand it all?
Are you really doing it wrong? Or is it right that I'm wrong with you? Perhaps it's left. If anything is left, then we should eat it.

Watermelon is my second favorite fruit. I can't tell you my first favorite because it's also the password to my crypto wallet. I've already said too much.

I'm not sure if I really loved your work, or if you looked so delicious that I got distracted by thoughts of your juicy head. And let's be honest. Love is a strong word.

I've never seen a watermelon with teeth. That's disturbing, and unusual, but maybe they taste like marshmallows. If so, I might quite like it.

Because marshmallows are my second favorite confection. I can't tell you my first favorite because you won't be able to pronounce it anyway. But it's a big hit on Mars.

This is a perfectly appropriate comment for my piece. Thanks.

Your post has been voted as a part of Encouragement program. Keep up the good work!

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Really enjoyable to read through, didn't know where you were going from the first paragraph but started to warm up to it the more I read. Challenging traditional prose is a great fit for short-form writing as it doesn't get too tiring to keep up with it as some of the more mind-bending 'post-modern' novels do.
Great job!

It's really meaningful to me that you took the time to understand it. Thank you.