Shooting From The Hip
April 11, 2013
The best way to understand the varieties of writing styles is through the use of fire-arms. This doesn’t mean that if someone doesn’t like something you’ve written you shoot them in the face. It means that firearms; or more specifically the ones who use them, bear a strong metaphorical resemblance to the use of the written word. Let me show you-
The Hunter- some writers wait patiently for ideas to come. They are very specific and know exactly what they’re looking for. When an idea comes along (much like a deer stepping into a clearing) they zero in on it, get it in their sights and won’t type (pull the trigger) till they have the best shot. Hunters also have no problem chasing an idea down once the initial shot has been fired. If they wait however, the idea may escape them and crawl off to die.
The Assassin- Similar to the hunter, the assassin knows their prey, and will wait for the right thought or concept to come along before they even shoulder their weapon. The downside is they usually only get one shot. If they miss, the critics will provide the return fire.
The Soldier- Cutting lose with an M-16 on the battlefield is like rapidly firing ideas at the readers. They put a lot of material out there but may find they’ve missed their target audience. The trick here is to always have an extra clip ready.
The Terrorist- A rocket launcher is an excellent way to get a lot of people’s attention. Their idea is big, loud and shocking and will leave shrapnel for later discussion. The downside is they risk being a one-hit-wonder if the ideas that follow aren’t equally explosive.
The Lady with a Gun in her Handbag- Their ideas seem quite grand (much like that .357 next to their change purse) as long as they are tucked away out of sight. It is when the need to use it arrives that they discover, they should have spent less time worrying about how shiny it was and more time at the firing range.
The Gangsta- Holding that 9mm sideways may look really cool on TV, but it turns your aim to s***. If they don’t understand how to use the sights on their own weapon, how intelligent can their ideas be? They know what they want to say and often get their point across, but lose part of their audience due to poor presentation.
The Suicide- Their ideas only appeal to an audience of one. They create concepts that only they understand. When they pull the trigger, others may be affected; but only they truly know what they were trying to say.
The Knife Thrower- These poor fools aren’t bad writers; they just put their written material in the wrong places. Kinda like bringing a knife to a gun-fight.
The Gun Slinger- Much like a holstered .44 on a gun belt, they are always armed with ideas. The concept here is to draw and fire from the hip as smoothly and quickly as possible; getting their ideas out there while the thought is still fresh on their minds.
I see myself as a literary gunslinger; always at the ready to toss out my thoughts and ideas to whom-ever cares to take the time to listen. Shooting from the hip allows me to know that you are exposed to the things presented in this article the same way they came to me. There is no deep analysis or soul-searching; the gun is drawn the trigger is pulled it’s that simple. Quite often I may miss, or graze you a little; but if my draw is swift and my aim is true, I can blow yer brains out…metaphorically speaking of course.
Note: This week’s column is a Chainsaw Classic. Next week, Saw ‘revisits’ The Evil Dead with his take on 2013’s Evil Dead.
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