Schumann(ed.) – „Grundlagen und Techniken der Schreibkunst“ – chapter on poetry
I am by far not done digesting, practising and reading up more on the previous chapters of this fantastic book. Yet I must keep reading, as the act of getting to know the craft of writing alone has opened so many new doors for me already.
I was a bit hesitant about the chapter on poetry. It seems so alien to anything that’s in my typical media diet. I have read and admired poetry before, school made me and in latest years I just came to appreciate the beauty of it just for itself, but that was it. Enjoying it from a distance. When I read about how to make, not just analyze, poetry from Schumann’s perspective today, the result was different than anything I had expected. Everything laid out reminded me of a programming language. Everything makes sense, but you will need some time and quite some practise to really memorize and understand the language ruleset you are given and the effects it will cause. I did not expect language to have such a mathematical level. Your recipient is a human being, not a machine, so you have more room for willful ambiguity and vagueness. But if you want to go to the extreme, you can break language down to the very noises you make and what you can say within a breath, utilizing language to it’s fullest like probably no other form of literature can.
I can see why it is absolutely worth it practising poetry, even if you have no aspirations to ever become a poet. I want to get to know both German and English that intimate, and possibly other languages later if I get to get to know them to a sensible level. We are using language every day utilizing only a fraction of what language can do. Imagine all the fun to be had just by knowing more about it!
So in a day the third week of my journey is over. And what a journey it was so far! I started at nothing and worked my way through anxiety, insecurity, and now into a new area, environment art. I‘m only starting out there, so be patient with me. But I‘m sure, in a couple of weeks I‘ll be at an acceptable level where comicmaking is actually possible. I had no idea that this held me back all the time.
Getting better at drawing is a task of it‘s own and unavoidable. I feel that it‘s my duty to do everything to get good at it. Otherwise nothing I‘ll ever create will be truly good in craft.
On a different note, life has a weird sense of humor sometimes. I was dealt some interesting strengths and weaknesses that make it hard for me to say what I could and should be doing best. I tried to narrow it down myself and force myself to specialize. But every time I‘m trying to do that it seems to have disasterous effects.
So knowing that one of my biggest fear for this 100 days of making comics challenge was that some sort of big distraction, especially making videogames, would weasel it‘s way into my daily schedule again. It happened. But it did not stop me from working on the challenge, on the contrary. It actually made me more productive. Do I …did I need a bit more of pressure all the time? The way I‘m thinking and working actually fits well with the field of videogames. We will see how this will work out throughout the 100 days. I have rediscovered or allowed my passion for working on „Your Land“. Maybe I should continue with a 100 days of game making after this challenge is over, then. Then I‘ll have a direct comparison how both behaves as a main and as a side thing.
As for „A Pattern Language“ today – did I really need an architect to explain to me how poetry works as opposed to prose? Apparently I did! With much surprise and a lot of amusement after I understood what had happened I grasped a piece of wisdom that I can‘t even touch or fully put back into words. It just makes me think of how many different vessels there are to tell a story and how art can be poetic or practical, too. I think I understand the beauty of small, well crafted things now. I don‘t have to have a comic of pompous length and most spelled out details to make it right. If it works in a small space, condensed, it is not lesser. I don‘t have to have the most detailed painting. It can work on a small scale. Why I couldn‘t understand this was that I was imagining small scale differently up to now. I thought small is empty and shallow because you can‘t go into depth with anything like showing the world in a beautiful way or giving the characters the space they deserve. Well, poetry begs to differ. Also do I even have to know that much? The eye needs shadow areas to rest, too, after all.
And what does this mean? I thought I had to learn how to be shallow, instead I have to learn how to condense. I can have my grand vision and still give it a digestible form. But this could all be just a trick to make me give up Corvus in the middle. I won‘t. If it‘s necessary I‘ll pick single scenes and treat them as mini comics. But Corvus isn‘t getting away anytime soon. And no, it is not my magnum opus, what do you think how I would treat a magnum opus candidate (apart from the fact that you don‘t get to choose what work that is but your audience)? I have thoughts and ideas. And I‘ll continue fighting to evolve. My lines were so wonky all day, but I still worked and worked and worked.
See you tomorrow!
About the artist
Styxcolor creates freelance concept art and illustrations. She blogs about storytelling and art since 2020.