Certainty is the cage that keeps us safe from curiosity. I've been released from the cage. I am the songbird and I am flying for the window. I know it's closed but I plan on breaking through. – Charlie Coté, Jr. (1987-2005)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How To Write Like David Foster Wallace



Here's how I wrote like David Foster Wallace following the directions at http://www.kottke.org/09/03/growing-sentences-with-david-foster-wallace:

Charlie wanted to play ball, but he sat on the couch.

It was a typical Monday night, Charlie wanted to play ball, but his knee was busted and he needed to sit on the couch.

It was a typical Monday night, Charlie wanted, more than ever, to play ball, but his knee was busted and he needed to sit on the couch.

It was a typical Monday night, Charlie wanted, more than ever, to play ball — his wife and children exclude him from the couch on Monday night to watch Heroes — but his knee was busted and he needed to sit on the couch.

It was a typical Monday night, Charlie wanted, more than ever, to play ball — his wife and children exclude him from the couch on Monday night to watch Heroes — but his knee was busted and he needed to sit on the couch, the kids still playing video games in the other room, his wife surfing the Internet.

It was a typical Monday night, Charlie wanted, more than ever, to play ball — his wife and children exclude him from the couch and each other on Monday night to watch Heroes — but his knee was busted and he needed to sit on the couch, the kids still playing video games and listening to music in the other room, his wife surfing the Internet.

It was a typical wintry Monday night, Charlie wanted, more than ever, to play pick-up ball — his beautiful wife and teenage children exclude him from the slip covered hand-me-down couch and each other on Monday night to watch another inane episode of Heroes — but his middle-aged, worn-out knee was busted and he needed to sit on the undersized couch, the kids still playing video games and listening to classic rock music in the other room, his wife surfing the Internet.

It was a typical wintry Monday night, Charlie desperately wanted, more than ever, to play pick-up ball — his beautiful wife and teenage children maliciously exclude him from the slip covered hand-me-down couch and each other on Monday night to watch another inane episode of Heroes — but his middle-aged, worn-out knee was busted and he needed to sit on the undersized couch, the kids still absent-mindedly playing video games and listening to classic rock music in the other room, his wife surfing the Internet.

It was a typical wintry Monday night in mid-February, Charlie desperately wanted, more than ever, to play pick-up ball at Salem Church with his buddies — his beautiful wife and teenage children maliciously exclude him from the slip covered hand-me-down couch, one that used to belong to his father-in-law, and each other on Monday night to watch another inane episode of Heroes, the show about perky twenty somethings with freakish powers — but his middle-aged, worn-out knee was busted after dislocating it two weeks ago while running the fast break and he needed to sit on the diminutive couch, the kids still absent-mindedly playing video games and listening to classic rock music on Pandora.com in the other room, the one Charlie renovated four years ago, and his wife surfing for the best air fare to Spain on the Internet.

One typical wintry Monday eve, mid-February, Carlos in desperation, more than ever, wished to disport a game of pick-up ball with his melior amicus at Salem Ecclesia — his pulcher uxom and teenage filius usually exclude him, malevolently, from the Dacron-covered hand-me-down Broyhill, one that used to belong to his socer, and congregate with each other against him on Monday night to watch another inane episode of this generation’s cult hit, Heroes, a show about perky twenty something’s and their freakish powers — but his middle-aged, worn-out articulatio genu, busted after traumatic bifurcation of the femur and tibia two weeks ago while running the shirt’s fast break, wanted to sit on the family’s diminutive Broyhill, since the kids, absent-mindedly playing Nintendo’s Super Mario Cart, listened to Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love on Pandora.com in the den familia, the place Carlos deconstructed four years ago, and his uxor surfed mindlessly for USAir’s best air fare to Barcelona on the Internet, to celebrate 25 years of marriage.

Having done this exercise, I can safely say I still write nothing like David Foster Wallace.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Part 2 of that interview, right at the very beginning is where Charlie Rose says the blatantly obvious:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDIVX7pNwGE