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The Prose Narrative Enhancer - Peeling for Details

You are a writer.

Among other things, it is your task to faithfully explore and conjure your fictional world. You have below the perfect means for initiating this process. When it comes to creatively writing descriptive narrative, or simply generating conceptual thought regarding a specific object/ person/ place/ event/ condition in the novel, the question prompts below are indispensable. They prod you, the writer, into peeling the layers, into going deeper than you would have imagined possible.

REMEMBER, EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS HAS VARIED DIMENSION AND FORM DEPENDING ON THE OBSERVER. Things exist in the mind as hazy memory, and in reality as measurable matter; they also exist in a place and time, betwixt and between, in dark and light. They affect us in varying ways. Imagine the difference between an object foreign to you and one familiar and sentimental - a child's toy, for example.

Keep in mind the results below were derived from pages of notes. The method here is to use the questions to brainstorm every aspect and nuance that comes to mind, jotting down all results without hesitation. Once done, your answers and tangents can later be tweaked, rearranged, and rewritten into usable form, and quite often so much product develops that you'll never have need for every bit (as you'll see below). Even an object simple as a woman's dress (viewed in a natural setting) possesses angles and facets you might never have imagined or thought to notice. Let's take a look.

The first five questions are foundation. The balance of question prompts serve to peel and enhance the subject even further.


The Dress

Q: What of appearance? How to describe?
A: at a distance, a small cloud, one that the sun will soon dissolve; like a shadow of leaf on the bottom of a pond; like striking a match in a night-black and windowless room, the flame thereof made nervous by breath; a soft attraction with feet to carry it, arms to straighten it; sometimes a bell or a letter of alphabet between the trees, only for a moment.

Q: Where does it occur?
A: Between the peaks of the Blue Ridge; on the banks of the Ohio; in your eyes; on a lake at night, between a short pine and a high moon; inside us; between A-berg and B-ville.

Q: What is the origin?
A: the timid, nervous, and forgotten fashion designer who graduated from Hell's Kitchen onto Broadway; the spume and spray of ancient silk worm; the weaving by furrowed hands, brown hands, who as they toil dream of magazines and the privileged godling women who live there in pink-sherbert worlds of beach and sea.

Q: What does it do? What is the effect?
A: it yields to wind, colors her with youth, bestows her with a vivacity she could never have had otherwise, sheathes her in confidence, sprays outward, blooms, effloresces, bell-shaped; fuses a memory just long enough to be harbinger of a long regret, an enduring bitterness and despair later - whenever it resurfaces.

Q: Who does it affect?
A: Emile and the gang couldn‘t stop talking about it. They made undulating, downward motions with their hands, as if tracing a fall of water over stones. Ms. Eliza, well, you could only say that she was shocked by it. Margie Tillman searched through every store from Santa Maria to San Luis Obispo to find one just like it. The entire town quaked and thrilled and blustered to the shape of the dress, to the song of the dress.


Even More Dress - Secondary Level

Q: Does it have an edge, a geometry, a form?
A: amorphous, fluid flutter, as if wash on the line, three hours of cloud at once…

Q: A mass, texture? What is the composition?
A: light as light, as breath, whitesoft; woven angel hair, etc.

Q: What does it stand in contrast too? How?
A: to the shadows of the valley, to the sky, to my gloom, to her discouragement, to the scowls and dark thoughts of those who envy it.

Q: How does it bend and warp and effect the space about it?
A: it obscures/hides the space, quiets it, as a giant step of dawn that dissolves the grey, pushes other space to the corner of the eye where it is quickly forgotten, blurring, dilution; or an energizing of the environs instead …

Q: What is the poetic purpose of it?
A: to be flowed upon by shadows of leaves, a crumble of brown and sun-yellow moving across it; to create loss where no loss existed, to create a yearn for youth where it was once forgotten, to recall a time of happiness once unable to be recalled.

Q: What are it's advantages and disadvantages, psychological and physical?
A: It foster illusions which take hold and germinate, expand to become mythos, assure a future tragedy of realization of a truth of age and life more mundane and mean than could ever have been thought possible.

Q: What is the ripple effect, i.e., what causal chain does it set into motion?
A: The envy sets in motion a long term resentment which later manifests itself in pettiness or hatred. The wonder and symbolism causes an elation that soon finds the owner, on that particular day, lifting face to the sun and sky, giving thanks for life.

Q: It evolves to become? What is the climax/denouement? What condition, form will it assume at this time?
A: snagged a bit at a time on dried winter, scattered in wasted lots like cold paper, scrubbed in black grease and squeezed by painful hands to a tiny knot; frayed to a hundred threads and snagging knots, to litter, to confetti, to jaundiced shreds like dying leaves, earthbound; singular and perspiring as memory from the skin, evaporating to the steam of dumbed beings, loosed to the wind, the memory breaking apart bit by bit or else dislodged into the blood, released as energy, a radioactive half-life decay of dress...

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