Thursday, 13 December 2012

Fictionary

I rose out of bed this morning, with the lingering remnants of a dream that I wished I had not dreamed. A dream of lost love and regret. I could still taste Nisha's name on my lips as I finally got out of bed. It was still much too early.
I sneak into the kitchen and brew myself a tall cup of ice-cold coffee. Sipping my wake potion [+3 Reflexes], I return to my desk. Upon it sat my word processor, with the latest form of typewriter, keys awaiting my fingers. I sit in my chair and . . . Nothing.  "Dictionary," I say, turning to the ancient book, "I need some inspiration. Give me a 'Word of the day'."
  "Word," it says, " /werd/ n. 1. a sound, or combination of sounds, used in language to represent an idea, or the written or printed letters-"
  "Word?" I interject, "No, that's a bit lazy for my second post. Besides, I've got something bigger for that in the works. What else have you got?"
  "Utterance /'utərəns/ n. 1. the act of uttering. 2. manner of speaking. 3. something uttered, such as a word, cry, call etc."
  "What? You're just getting lazy, Dictionary. That's just another word for 'Word', what are you, a thesaurus?"
  "Thesaurus /thə'sawrəs/ n. an asshole."
  "Hey! behave yourself, Dictionary," I say, but the old tome sits there, acting like it did nothing wrong. Cheeky tome.
I sit back in my chair, looking at the yet still stubbornly blank canvas before me.
  "I could write a little story, I guess . . ." I say, talking out loud for plot-significant reasons, "it'd be rough to come up with a whole self-contained story. But at least I'd have a post."
  "Blognovel /'blognovəl/ n."
  "Dictionary I don't know what that means . . . "
Dictionary stares at me blankly for a moment before I realize what I said. I take a long swig of my coffee, hopping to kick the lazy bastard back into gear.
"Right . . . you're a dictionary. So, Dick, what is a blognovel?"
  "A work of fiction created from, or written in the style of, a blog. Often employing a fictionalized account of the writer's own day-to-day life."
  "Huh . . . that sounds pretty funky."
  "Funky /'fungkee/ Colloquial adj. An outdated idiom, used by outdated idiots."
  "If you don't behave, I will put you on the shelf." I say sternly. The Dictionary doesn't respond, so I sit back and look at what I haven't written so far.
  "I like the idea . . . but I can't do that for every entry. It'd be more work than the stories I'm already doing . . ." I say out loud, again in an uncharacteristically expository way.
  "Infrequently /in'freekwəntlee/ adj. Happening at long intervals without regularity, or not often."
  "Huh . . . I like that. Maybe you're not so bad at this."
  "You're not so bad at this interj. What your mother said last night."
  "Okay, that's it, you're going on the shelf."
I slam the old tome shut and put it in its place. It's literal place, between the cookbooks and the reference material.
"The word of the day is Dictionary, Noun: A useless book that you can't read, because there's no story. And while the descriptions are top-notch, the characters are unoriginal."
  "Mm-phmf! mm-hmm. Hmm-muh-gurph!"
  "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear that. You'll have to speak up." Dictionary falls silent. Defeated.
I sit down at my desk again. This time, however, I don't stare into space. My fingers are alight with the fire of inspiration . . . I've got my blog post:

>> Good Morning, Internet. Today, I was wondering about the word 'Blognovel'. Is it the word of the day? Well, actually no. Because, although it is an interesting concept, I am not going to dive right in and explore it. Because, y'see, although I love it as an idea, and at one point thought this blog would become one, I decided I am not going to write one. The reason why is simple:>>It's too spaced out.
>>Y'see, novel writing (to me) is about coming up with your whole idea before writing it. Spending a good long time devising your concept, and finally setting down to it, writing it, developing it and getting it done. And while you may work out smaller issues as you put it to paper, the story itself isn't something that you make up as you go along.>>And sure, even with a blognovel you could come up with the whole idea first, and then post it incrementally. But, I figure "If you already know what's going to happen next, why don't you write it now? Why does it have to be a blog" It just seems wrong to me.>>Not that you CAN'T write like that. Hell, a blognovel harks back to the days of magazine serials. And serialized fiction is the medium of famous folks like H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle and a whole bunch of other authors (that I haven't read, but I've heard GREAT things about). And if you can write like that, I will tip my hat to you, friend. But I will also secretly be flipping you the bird, because I can't write like that. Not a whole story anyway.>>And on the wayside I have attempted to read blognovels before, and both examples were disappointing. Not because they were poorly written. On the contrary, the two good examples I found [on this occasion, the word 'good' should be read as 'free'] were "plan b": a stream-of-consciousness style office drama with hints of a grand conspiracy; and "The Dark Net", which I am still reading, about a criminal conspiracy utilizing the unsupervised portions of the internet for their nefarious schemes.
>>(No, I don't know why conspiracies are so popular for blognovels)
>>So, to prevent me getting bored and abandoning this project, and preventing readers from getting bored of reading so many words (since the internet is a fickle mistress) I figured I would only include short stints of fictionalized blogging.
>>An idea inspired by the blognovel concept, but bite-sized. 
>>This is the first example of, hopefully, more to come. Next post however, I plan to have a lot more 'Word of the day', and a lot less meta.

Having finished my second-tier embedded blog post, I returned to the framing device, leaned back in my chair and looked at my work.
  "Something's missing . . ." I mutter to myself, but I am distracted by the thump thump of something rattling around in my bookshelf. I look up to see Dictionary, trying to fall off the shelf. I reach up and pull the book down, and open it in my arms.
  "What do you want?"
  "Sorry /'soree/ adj. Feeling sadness at having done something wrong; regretful: I'm sorry I insulted your mother."
  "It's okay, Dictionary, I probably overreacted," I say, putting it back on the desk, next to my empty coffee cup. "You know I can't stay mad at you."
The ancient book stares up at me, with an appreciative flutter in the corner of its pages.
  "The thing is . . . I still feel like something is missing. Something isn't right." The pages suddenly flip back, going through S, R, Q  . . . all the way back to D.
  "Dictionary /'dikshənairree/ n. a book with an alphabetical collection of the words of a language, with their meanings, pronunciations, etc."
  "Huh? Dictionary. But I already know the meaning of dictonary, Dictionary."
Dictionary flips back to the Ws
  "Word . . ." it says.
  "Word . . . the word of the day? I was kind of, joking, Dick." I say, my mind wandering somewhat.
"Although, I've always thought it was a little weird that you have the definition for 'dictionary' in your pages. A dictionary defining dictionary . . . that's second-level weird, when you get right down to it. Kind of like having a story within a story. Or a fictional blog post that posts blogfiction, although I have no idea what that has to do with anything."
  I turn the pages back to the definition of dictionary.
  "Huh . . . you know what, I like that. The word of Today is 'DICTIONARY'. Because you can look it up in your dictionary."
Dictionary chuckles to itself about the number of times I had to write the word dictionary. And finally, having found my Word of the Day, I stop all this fictional nonsense and finally publish my blog post.

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