Thursday, October 18, 2007

Language Sponge

Last night, I was determined to get out another 800 words on my novel. However, I have internet ADD. Things didn't go quite the way I'd hoped.

I'd started reading a new webcomic, Ctrl-Alt-Del, the other day. I've had a lot of people recommend it to me, and I finally decided to take a little time and page through the archives. And I loved it! It's a gaming comic like Penny Arcade, except it doesn't make me feel like a noob!

So last night, I decided to read a few strips. And then just a few more. And maybe just another story arc, until boom. I caught up to the current strips. Five years worth of comics, and I powered right through it.

Once I realized I'd caught up to the present and blown most of my evening, I decided to stay up a little later and do some writing anyway. But after all that comic reading, all I could do... was write witty banter.

I was trying to write this tense, suspenseful scene, but I kept turning out these horribly corny Schwarzenegger-esque puns and action-movie style bravado! It was totally wrong for the scene. Finally I deleted my sad, sad attempt and called it a night.

The problem with me is I am a language sponge. The longer I spend around someone, the more I pick up their talking habits. For instance, my friend Lola is forever telling people and things that they need to calm down! And now, a year into our friendship, I'm doing it too. My friend Julie tends to maow at people to get their attention; I catch myself doing it too.

It's the same with movies and books. After watching the Pirates movies, I talk in an up-and-down Jack Sparrow sort of way; after watching Wizard People, I drag aaaall my seeentences ouuut like Brad Neely. After reading the Dark Tower books, I keep catching myself wanting to use the High Speech; thee-ing and thou-ing and thankee, sai and all that.

I think it may be a throwback to my drama days ... when we did Steel Magnolias, I spent two months with a drawl so thick I was nigh incomprehensible at times. It's not even a conscious decision to affect these different speaking styles; it just sort of creeps in sometimes.

I guess this means I need to better choose my media while I'm writing this novel. No sense in getting my genres all screwed around.


Allie said...

I understand. Every time I re-read Bridget Jones's Diary, I stop using pronouns.

Katie said...

I always get pulled into the net when I should be writing. I just tell myself I'm going to check my e-mail and the next thing I know it's two hours later and I'm reading savage chickens or watching music videos.