A seemingly strange choice I'll make as I set policy, will be in my failure to insist on fiction, but fail to make it, I will, quite deliberately. I am trying to get those who participate in this group to move away from the manneristic sort of style that can arise when art imitates art instead of life. If somebody posts a true story, turning his journaling into narrative that would be accepted as a good story by most of those who believed it to be fiction, then all I ask of him is that he be honest enough to acknowledge his debt to real life, and tell us that what we just read about did, indeed, happen.

Coming up with a good plot is a creative act, and those who've done that should not find the credit for their work diluted. I don't in any way want to undercut the incentive to make that kind of effort, by wiping away the distinction between active creation and the written equivalent of making found object art, thus discouraging something that we should certainly want to see people bothering to do. But observation is work, too, work that deserves credit as well, just a different kind of credit, and bringing that kind of work into our presence gives us a chance to freshen up our own styles a little more, by giving us a chance to see the world as it was, from another person's perspective.

What of stories that fall somewhere in between, observations distorted a little, to form something that falls in between fact and fiction? Those are welcome here, as well, with the same request applying - in broad terms, just tell us what you're up to, creatively. Are you smoothing out some of reality's rough edges, largely telling us about what really happened but with a little embellishment? Are you largely fabricating what we see, but weaving your observations into that fabrication? Have you decided that realism is nonsense, and dispensed with observation, altogether? Just tell us, in broad terms - no need to spell out exactly what was real and what was created, unless you're offering us something as reality, and inviting us to think about it. Ie. engaging in journalism, of some sort.

What you post to this group does have to function as prose. I have no objection to a few metaphors or a little alliteration or rhyming finding its way into your work, feeling that the sharp distinction between poetry and prose is one of our civilization's more questionable creations, but the narrative content has to be there. It has to feel like a story, not a rumination on how sunlight makes you feel as it glistens off the flowers. That can be beautiful, but it's not what we're on this group to do.

All stories posted to this group must take place inside of New York City, itself. Note the dated sounding ending I slapped on the name? That's deliberate. I want to leave no wiggle room. I don't want somebody telling me about his childhood in Yonkers, and say that he thought I meant "New York State", or Newark. "It's like, in the Metropolitan area, y'know" ... no. OK, I get the idea that Manhattan is only a few hundred feet from Jersey. I have an aunt who spends a lot of time trying not to think about that. But there's no way you're going to tell me that in going from talking about cities to talking about Metro areas, to talking about places one walks around or takes a subway under to talking about places one drives through, that there is no change in the quality of life. Quality, not in the sense of judgement of worth, though I'd maintain there really is, but quality in the sense of feel. The way of life has changed. The feel of that life is different. The same stories aren't there to be told, and we fool ourselves if we pretend otherwise.

Just the five boroughs, then, and including Staten was a stretch. Keep it as clean as a story about New York can be without us all falling over laughing when we hear it - unless you want us all falling over laughing, in which case go for it, I guess. Let's see what you've got ... would you rather continue on to DeviantArt or ... what was that other social network? It was focused on photography, name's on the tip of my tongue, but ever since they chose to foul up navigability on our pages, I've had the darnedest time remembering its name. Oh, well, you might as well just go to DeviantArt, I guess.














This page is located on New York Central, center of the pages I've written about New York. It is less than a month old as I write this, and I have a lot to do, so don't expect much, for a while.