Wordspace: An Innovative System of Writer Training (Part 2)
by Paul Pierog

[Wordspace, a unique writer training, debuted in the March issue of the magazine. Appearing in April, this is Part Two. Eds.]

Wordspace is especially strong at creating writers out of people at or in any stage or state of development. With developed writers, it can serve to renew and expand ongoing work. Wordspace puts the participant directly into a writer's position, so the creation comes naturally and freshly.

Wordspace Analyses tools are fundamental skills of the writing mind. In prose, they are presented as concepts. In a workshop, they are dramatized in a participatory staging format. These Analyses tools are remarkably universal in prose, fundamental movements of the writing and reading imagination. They position minds into creative and analytic gears for productivity. I use them as a training, through material from the full range of writers; from those who describe and understand events in various formats (journalism, opinion, non-fiction) to creators of new and revealing worlds (stories, novels).

The skills displayed are fundamental and universal, underlying all accomplishment in prose, from daily thinking to popular thought to the creation of masterpieces. The Analyses demonstrate skills in action, attuning their reader or writer through the sharing of attention and consciousness. They attune the reader with their own creativity as well as with the unique phenomenon of another's specific achievement through the continuity and collaboration of writer and reader.

A Wordspace Analysis

Salman Rushdie, Fury
(Random House: New York, 2001)

First Paragraph:

Professor Malik Solanka, retired historian of ideas, irascible dollmaker, and since her recent fifty-fifth birthday celibate and solitary by his own (much criticized) choice, in his silvered years found himself living in a golden age. Outside his window a long, humid summer, the first hot season of the third millennium, baked and perspired. The city boiled with money. Rents and property values had never been higher, and in the garment industry it was widely held that fashion had never been so fashionable. New restaurants opened every hour. Stores, dealerships, galleries struggled to satisfy the skyrocketing demand for ever more recherché produce: limited-edition olive oils, three-hundred-dollar corkscrews, customized Humvees, the latest anti-virus software, outsider art, featherlight shawls made from the chin-fluff of extinct mountain goats. So many people were doing up their apartments that supplies of high-grade fixtures and fittings were at a premium. There were waiting lists for baths, doorknobs, imported hardwoods, antiqued fireplaces, bidets, marble slabs. In spite of the recent falls in the value of the Nasdaq index and the value of Amazon stock, the new technology had the city by the ears: the talk was still of start-ups, IPOs, interactivity, the unimaginable future that had just begun to begin. The future was a casino, and everyone was gambling, and everyone expected to win.

Professor Malik Solanka is created by two overlaps, historian, dollmaker. He has a time space, since his recent fifty-fifth birthday. Celibacy and solitary are overlaps and transactions. He has the three transactions of choice, found and living. Living is an activated object based on himself: found himself living. Choice has an observer, responding to criticism. The space shifts with, in a golden age. Four time phases and a space are overlapped: golden age, outside his window, summer, first hot season, third millennium.

Summer is a point of focus, with the transactions of baked and perspired. City is a point of focus as well as a space. City has the transaction boiled. This has, however, the limiting connection, money.

In Wordspace, the paragraph continues as an exploration with a specialized focus, manifestations of money. In an exploration, the space is unlimited, but the perception is limited to a particular.deduction or conclusion. Professor Malik Solanka is the observer. He experiences this extensive view.

There are multiple plural points of focus: rents, values, restaurants, stores, dealerships, galleries, people, waiting lists, falls in value, new technology, talk. Positives and external references apply: values has never been higher, fashion never so fashionable. Restaurants has a transaction, open, and time spaces: every hour. Three points of focus, stores, dealerships and galleries, have the act on act transaction of struggled to satisfy demand. Demand is connected to a limited space: recherché produce. This is given an extensive overlap: oils, corkscrews, Humvees, software, services, installations, art, shawls.

Services has a transaction: featuring; shawls have that of made. People have the transaction were doing up, connected to apartments. Doing up overlaps with supplies, fixtures, fittings and premium. The point of focus lists is connected to baths, doorknobs, hardwoods, fireplaces, bidets, marble. Technology is connected to the space of city by its parts, ears.

A further space is overlapped in: the beginning of the future. Beginning is a transaction. Future is overlapped with casino. Point of focus in the future is the pluralization, everyone, with the multiple transactions of gambling, expecting and winning.

Wordspace analyses tools are specific perceptual tools of reading and writing, developing keen and wise consciousness. Wordspace basic training gets everyone into gear. The first stage of training was presented in the March issue. The first step, Being, creates the initial consciousness of writing and reading. The second step, Sight, attaches and maintains attention with an entity in space. Both of these steps are major and fundamental skills. Wordspace training makes them natural and individual sources of understanding and power. All Wordspace Training skills and tools are interlinked in the complex and dynamic act of writing.

Basic Training, Second Process

     1. Choose something. It can be anything. It might be something you could not imagine it could be. Choose. It could be something impossible. Make it an object of attention. Make it an object of sight.
     2. Describe it. Make it. Elaborate on it. Create it as much as you possibly can. Add to it. Realize it. Fill it out. This may include its thoughts or emotions.
     3. It can move. It has total freedom of movement. Let it move forward on an open and free path of unlimited movement. Follow it in this movement.
      4. It can go anywhere. To any location, and any number of locations. Write where it goes. Endless possibilities. Follow it anywhere.
      5. It can encounter anything. Anything. Any number of things. Endless possibilities. Watch and write them.

This second step in Wordspace Basic Training involves picking and working with an entity of focus. The first step, Being, involves creating a place of consciousness. Together, they are powerful and fundamental tools in the creation of the writing mind.

(Paul Pierog is a veteran New York City director of modern and classical theatre, and an alumnus of the Yale Drama School's MFA program.)