Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quiddity - the abcedaria of a writer

 
 Quiddity - oh what a lovely word this is! I was going to use the word Queen, as in 'I'm the Queen of this or that but I just couldn't. Perhaps I could say I'm the Queen of Quiddity! Yes I could. I did. 

Now for those of you who don't know quite what the quizzical word means - it means 'unique essence; eccentricity.'  This causes me (and I hope you, as well) to wonder at what eccentricity means. Actually I lie. I know what it means. It means 'not of the centre'. Not at the fat white male centre. If that's the world we're talking about and it is, dear ones, it is. Or it could mean - not at the centre of the accepted norm (see O for outlaw on what I think of that). For a writer it is imperative to live in eccentricity or quiddity. It is. Even for those of us who APPEAR to have a normal life and all that that looks like. But we can't be IN THE CENTRE, NORMAL, AVERAGE, EVERY_DAY TYPES and be creative writers. We just can't. We have to at least understand a range of being so that we can populate our worlds with those that at least have the versimultude of reality and that means we must exercise our quiddity. Because, while an eccentric type can create a world with conventional people in it - a convential type can not do the same with eccentric people in it. Because when you are at the fat centre of the safe tree and not out on its scary tiny branches like most of us creative types - you cannot see the others. It freezes you to be so safe and well-fed and conventional.
Now, let me go a little farther with this. Because, although eccentricity is a synonym for quiddity - it doesn't altogether capture it. Quiddity is more the singularity of a person - it means, as near as I can figure, 'the whatness' of a person that makes them that person and not some other. And not just a tick or a mannerism - that would be like saying that Queen Elizabeth is her weird stiff wave. As to what someone's 'whatness' would be, well, that would make this a very long post I fear.
Writers must find that quiddity for their characters and no tricks must be allowed. OK, a few, but the eseence of the person must be true and real to you so that you can make it true and real to the readers.
And that is all - dear questioning masses - that I can say at this point. Quiddity - a lovely word...

12 comments:

Siv Maria said...

Love it!

sue said...

Another challenge Jan, this one a bit easier I hope, to play with this new word, quiddity.

Liza said...

This is a new word for me...a good one.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Excellent write.

Yvonne.

Helen Ginger said...

I do like the word quiddity. I don't think I've ever used it, but now that I know it, I'll try to incorporate it into my language.

Hart Johnson said...

I LOVE this! Fabulous word! It's great to keep in mind in creating characters though, too--that each should have a different 'me-ness' to them.

You're a Quiddity of Delusions follower, yes? I'm sure you know Mark... (he is a guest at the Burrow tomorrow, btw)

Rae said...

Thanks for the lesson on quiddity! After reading your blog posts, I understand why I'm not a writer- there is so much to know! But you make it seem so easy....

Arlee Bird said...

A new word for me as well, and one that fits me. I may not always outwardly appear to have eccentricity or quiddity, but I certain think that way and it probably shows up often in the things I write.

Thanks for a educational experience today.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Marjorie said...

What a great word! I'll have to try and use it in my conversations sometime and see how it goes over. haha!

Julie said...

This is the second new word I've learned today because of the Challenge, love this Q word. Now I want to use it too. :D

fredamans said...

Now I have a proper term for my uncle Mike. Quiddity. Hmm.

http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2011/04/q-is-for-quiet.html

Faith Pray said...

And here I thought you'd be writing on "not Quitting." Lovely thoughts on quiddity. Such a quintessential word for a writerly quality.