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I don’t do titles. I’m sorry. I mean, you try taking hundreds, sometimes thousands of words and stringing together three or four that would sum up the entire thing. It’s possible for some writing, like that seventh grade report on your favorite president that you wrote on a bus. But for most pieces, titles are just little tags hanging off the side. Don’t blame writers or artists who give their work abstract names. In a better world, they wouldn’t need to assign titles at all.

I don’t do indents, either. I don’t care what’s easy on the eyes and what isn’t. I’m no artist; I don’t worry about the visual appeal of my stories. I’m not here to please the ears or the eye. This paragraph is meant to connect with your brain, not your sense of design or spacing.

I don’t do 12-point font. In fact, I’m more inclined to do 7-point font. There’s too much double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman text in this world already. Forgive me if I want to try something new.

I don’t do subordinate clauses. As they cause too much confusion, I don’t use dangling modifiers. Perhaps I do without knowing it. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t understand what makes a clause subordinate, ordinate or coordinate with another. Some people get a kick out of categorizing and comparing different sentence structures and parts of speech. Personally, I get more of a kick out of writing, though I warmly invite you to dig through this paragraph for grammatical themes. Or, you know, you could read on.

I do drink root beer from time to time.

I don’t do bylines. I think I own too much already in this world to seek ownership of this little piece. It doesn’t seem sensible to attach my name to this story. Are these words mine because I arranged them in a way that nobody has before? That’s a ridiculous idea. If I go into your house, take your light bulbs and put each one in a different socket, do I get to keep them? If I take your books and stack them in a new pattern, are they mine forever until someone switches The Odyssey with David Copperfield? You might forever wonder who wrote this piece; personally, I don’t care. It’s not about rearranging words; it’s about making new words. Like Spleenjex. Ned Burchfiel claims full possession of Spleenjex and its alternate tenses.

I don’t do initiating action, or rising action, or climax, or resolution. I don’t do allegory, antithesis or allusion. I don’t sit down at my computer and think to myself, “Today, I plan to introduce the recurrent theme of guilt as it pertains to the minor protagonist in my story.” English is an obsessively self-conscious language, a dialect that gets a kick out of defining and categorizing itself. Sometimes, what I write does meet the definition of some obscure literary term. If so, all for the better; it doesn’t hurt to look well-learned from time to time. Writing doesn’t take that kind of knowledge, though. It requires a little imagination, a pinch of experience and a time slot, often between one and three in the morning. It’s hard to think of many other ingredients.

I don’t do conclusions.


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