Xangles  >  Blorkk  >  mediumJuly 09 Update

Xangles Blorkk: Fusing Skits and Prose into Mush
Update -  July 2009

The current problem with skit-prose ("skip" for short)--and one of the things contributing to the lack of material on the site--is the increased difficulty of editing it as the material grows.  You can't edit skit-prose with a standard text, document, or html editor if you ever want to revise anything.  The Urgg's stupidity must have gotten to the skip griters (skit-prose Blorkk writers), because we figured, well, just make sure to get everything right the first time!  It turns out that we're not in the thousandth of a percentage of  human writers who can write final works in one shot.  So, in order to develop the medium of nonlinear skit-prose, we now have to get off our lazy grumples (if we had them) and start developing a way to edit it, or it's almost impossible to write.  This is a nontrivial get-off-our-grumples task, because any editor will have to continually evolve as the idea of skit-prose grows, and as we write more particular material.  Consider the following passage.

-What's a frwoa?
-It's probably like a really bad lavender rated horror film.
=That's so contrived, 'cuz their frwoa text is lavender.  I bet our subtitles are cherry.
=I'm sure they're pink, Dan.  You're ridiculous cherry tank top is sucking all the red out of IDS space-time within about a billion kilonanits.  My pink lingere, on the other hand, uses up a minimal red-hue quota.
|| *ZGRRGUGT*.  Alright, we're in Dan and Kim's kitchen.  Looks like they're pink, and they're watching some old grade-B lavender sci-fi film.  Wait, Grorg, why are you cherry?
>Glorgs of Hell!  You're right.  The smorshal warmper must have misfired.  I'm in the wrong font, too.  How am I supposed to help conquer Earth in Arial?

Let's say these are written in the order they're spoken; the first depth (lavender) before the second (pink), and then finally the puke green & rotten cherry depth.  Then let's say a fourth through seventh depth is added.  Then, for the eighth, the writer decides to insert a plot twist revealing the first speaker is actually a time traveling Urgg, who ate some bad Okuakan plastic mulg and developed the sudden need to get plastic surgery and impersonate a frangles character, who use the word 'frwoa' (fractal work of art) instead of the synonyms 'grwoa' (an Urgg frwoa) or 'xwoa' (a general Xangles 'frwoa').  Then let's say it becomes a crucial plot element for that Urgg to mess up and say 'grwoa' or 'xwoa' instead of 'frwoa', giving away a key clue to that if noticed would alter our xangle (point of view) of everything that follows from the first depth to the eighth.  In this case, the writer might want to change the color lavender--as well as the spoken word 'lavendaer'--to grape.

Firstly the word 'frwoa' has to be changed.  Then the word 'lavender' needs to be changed to 'grape' a dozen times if it's mentioned that many times in the first depth.  Not a hard chore with a simple 'Find & Replace' editing tool, but then this has to be done in every single other depth that follows (or references) the first.  If this was the first Area 51 depth and there were 51 depths, the same dozen edits would have to be done on all 51 document files.   Then, the color of not just some, but every lavender dialogue line in all 51 depths would have to be changed as well, whether we're working in MS Word, Wordpad, Notepad, or an html editor.  Finally, at a last glance, maybe the writer decides the shade needs to be a couple notches bluer!  Same process, and so on, for every single small edit in any given skit-prose frwoa.

Editing becomes incredibly tedious incredibly fast.  Ideally, we'd like to be able to change the color of any given skip depth with a single click, and/or change the symbol at the start of each line that distinguishes them along with the color.  And of course be able to re-edit the material entirely, especially if a significant change is made, such as re-writing an entire frwoa depth.  Simple software can be easily written for this--such as a program that re-orders a text file of numbered depth lines and inserts the proper depths into an html file--but if the medium of skit-prose is to evolve, we would need skip editors with more features as time goes on, such as a multi-featured interface that would display the colored lines as you type.  (Like a C++ editor will automatically color certain keywords as you program).  Or, re-color every single depth line to be a few notches darker or lighter, or a bit more blue, or yellow, or red.  Then a griter might want to cut and copy and paste whole sections of a single skit depth while it's intermingled with many others, instead of cutting and pasting every single individual line.

Even more complex potential uses now surface.  Multi-depth sub-plots could be organized into groups; maybe we want to add or delete a five-depth commentary that isn't crucial to the story line.  Or, keep the commentary, and have what it comments on forever a mystery.  As the idea of nonlinear skit-prose is currently presented, one could already make use of a full skit-prose word processor like Microsoft Word.  So of course, if the complexity of what nonlinear skit-prose is capable of develops, it could need something as powerful as a small programming language to properly handle complex plot depths (especially in a multi-writer project), that could be rendered or compiled into a final result.  And as with everything, such a program could be used by a beginner to do very simple things, or more complex things if a griter wants to learn more.

Of course, just reading final works of skit-prose also would make great use of skip reading software.  To skip some skip and surf and sip some more, as the old Blorkk proverb goes.  There are multiple complex things a reader might want to do, such as punch up any given combination of multiple skit depths to see how they interconnect, or adjust the colors or fonts themselves to make reading easier, or to actually shift around the depths to create their own customized re-arrangements of the stories.  It might sound complex and dizzying, but its just the first contact with a new medium.  Think of being exposed to poetry, or prose, or reality television, or a strange movie like Memento, for the first time.

So, writing / reading software  is the biggest issue facing Blorkk skit-prose development at the moment.  Check back as initial simple writing software is posted if you'd like to fool around the techniques yourself.  Of course, actually updating current skit-prose material more than a few pages a kilonanit would help, but that would violate the prime mandate of Xangles, Frangles, and Blorkk: to galantly and tirelessly expand the vast boundaries of hyping the material, to eschew the guilt of its eternal nonexistence.  And if that fails, the final last resort is of course always to point out that the material is just so complex, that you're all just going to have to wait until the end of time to actually read it, at which time you'll be so infinitely entertained, that you'll finally understand why the end of time is worth the wait.  (As everyone at the dawn of time always says).

Xangles  >  Blorkk  >  mediumJuly 09 Update