Monday, September 24, 2012

Meta: Purpose

This was written for the semi-final round of Adam's contest. This was the prompt:

Object Perspective
Your assignment for this round is to write a story or poem from the perspective of a kitchen sponge, broom, towel or fork. Yup, that's what I said. Have fun. 

I hated this prompt. I hated it so much. I don't particularly like writing anthropomorphism, and I've grown to dislike reading it, too. I read Silverwing and loved it and thought it was amazing, and I watched parts of the Redwall series as a kid. I read Animorphs and The Ship Who Sang and more werewolf stories than you can shake a stick at, so I was familiar with the more direct way of applying human characteristics to non-human things, too. But at some point I stopped liking it when human characteristics are applied to inhuman things. I like when the alien is alien and written as such. I like well-done xenobiology and earnest tries at xenopsychology and machine intelligences that are machine and uninterested in becoming human.

A lot of times, anthropomorphic objects are presented that way in children's literature. In children's literature, it can be a way to raise awareness of consideration for objects or the environment, or a way to present values in a way that is stripped of a lot of other societal constructs (the Little Engine That Could didn't have to deal with systemic oppression or privilege, just trying his hardest).

But part of all writing is writing to your audience, and Adam is the audience for this contest, and he is not a child. Writing it as a children's story wouldn't have worked, either for him as the audience or for me as a writer.

Honestly I think I spent nearly as much time complaining about this as writing it.

That is not to imply that it was rushed, but that I complained a lot and have several people I should apologize to.

What I hate most about the prompt is that I really like the story and have no real problems with it or areas I think definitely need improvement.

In a piece of irony, I put a silver plate in the dishwasher very late one night after working on this.

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