So I went to this writing workshop today. We did this silly writing exercise. It was supposed to be just a conversation between two people without any action or scenery or whatever, just to see what we put down on paper. This is what I wrote:
Writing is easy really. It’s translating that’s hard.
That’s vague, I guess. Translating is the process that comes before and after writing. Translating an idea into a narrative structure emobied by characters and scenery and then translating that back into meaning. The thing is, once you start putting effort into either you have basically failed. Words will never be enough to describe a state of being. MATH is actually much better at abstraction than language. For example, with math I can just give you two equations, the equivalent of two sentences, and you could go on for decades trying to infer their meaning, creating tons of new insights along the way. Think about how many sentences you have to use to say anything with language, and it still won’t be half as meaningful.
You really believe that?
Oh, yes. Give me two sentences that you think will put me to work, thinking-wise, for an hour or more. I dare you.
Um. Okay. Two sentences. A subject verbs an object. Your wife loves another man.
You are pretending to be someone different than you really feel you are inside.
Okay. Okay. That’s actually not too bad. What about something more abstract? Something that doesn’t directly involve my personal feelings?
AND THEN TIME WAS UP.
Okay, whatever. Since I’m posting this on here, I must think it has something to do with science, or science writing, or science & writing. Or something. But you can make of that what you will.