One day when I was like 9, I heard the Beatles on the radio, and I asked my dad who they were. He told me they were the best band in the world, and I became obsessed. He started giving me their albums in sequential order, and I listened to them - and only them - until I was probably in high school.
All your clear and pleasing sentences will fall apart if you don't keep remembering that writing is linear and sequential, that logic is the glue that holds it together, that tension must be maintained from one sentence to the next and from one paragraph to the next and from one section to the next, and that narrative - good old-fashioned storytelling - is what should pull your readers along without their noticing the tug.
When one has come to explore the ' instant moment ' and one has chosen to savor the delights of life, which are hidden behind the curtain of haste and superficiality, then ' mental time ' is replacing ' sequential time '. So ' here ' and ' now ' are keeping hustle and impatience in check. (" Just for a moment ")
The term comics long ago became obsolete and inaccurate. It merely defined the content of the early joke-based comical strips. Sequential Art is a more accurate description of the form. I first suggested it because I believed something needed to be done to correct the feeling of inferiority by artists and writers in this field.
In many professions, what used to matter most were abilities associated with the left side of the brain: linear, sequential, spreadsheet kind of faculties. Those still matter, but they're not enough. What's important now are the characteristics of the brain's right hemisphere: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, big-picture thinking.
The dynamic drives of modern economic growth, in the countries that entered the process ahead of others, meant a reaching out geographically; and the sequential spread of the process, facilitated by major changes in transport and communication, meant a continuous expansion to the less developed areas.
Life itself, however, flows and is sequential and punishes those who try to compartmentalize it. Thus if, for any reason whatsoever, moral standards are conspicuously and unprecedentedly breached in one area of society, such as the political, it will follow as the night the day that those standards will start collapsing all down the line-in sports, entertainment, education, the armed forces, business and government.
Structure that really pays off is all based on emotion. I don't write down an elaborate plan. It's really done by feel. It's one area of my writing that I think I've got surer at as I've evolved. In my work you often get an abrupt shift in time, a jolt. But the emotional logic will take the reader on. I hope. I trust. After all, our memories do not work with any sequential logic.
Still,[...] in all forms of comics the sequential artist relies upon the tacit cooperation of the reader. This cooperation is based upon the convention of reading and the common cognitive disciplines. Indeed, it is this very voluntary cooperation, so unique to comics, that underlies the contract between artist and audience.
You see, Dad, Professor McLuhan says that the environment that man creates becomes his medium for defining his role in it. The invention of type created linear, or sequential thought, separating thought from action. Now, with TV and folk singing, thought and action are closer and social involvement is greater. We again live in a village. Get it?
It is the ego's purpose that makes everything seem dis-united and like separate events. The constant purpose is the thread that ties all events together. The script is really a continuous thing, rather than discreet events. I did this next and this happened, then I went there. That is the way it is talked about when the mind believes in sequential time and events. But once we get a sense that there is purpose that ties them all together, that is when the fusion between all the events takes place.
Writing is linear and sequential; Sentence B must follow Sentence A, and Sentence C must follow Sentence B, and eventually you get to Sentence Z. The hard part of writing isn't the writing; it's the thinking. You can solve most of your writing problems if you stop after every sentence and ask: What does the reader need to know next?
The line-by-line, sequential, continuous form of the printed page slowly began to lose its resonance as a metaphor of how knowledge was to be acquired and how the world was to be understood. "Knowing" the facts took on a new meaning, for it did not imply that one understood implications, background, or connections. Telegraphic discourse permitted no time for historical perspectives and gave no priority to the qualitative. To the telegraph, intelligence meant knowing of lots of things, not knowing about them.
When one existentially awakens from within, the relation of birth-and-death is not seen as a sequential change from the former to the latter. Rather, living as it is, is no more than dying, and at the same time there is no living separate from dying. This means that life itself is death and death itself is life. That is, we do not shift sequentially from birth to death, but undergo living-dying in each and every moment.
Freedom isn't an illusion; it's perfectly real in the context of sequential consciousness. Within the context of simultaneous consciousness, freedom is not meaningful, but neither is coercion; it's simply a different context, no more or less valid than the other. It's like that famous optical illusion, the drawing of either an elegant young woman, face turned away from the viewer, or a wart-nosed crone, chin tucked down on her chest. There's no 'correct' interpretation; both are equally valid. But you can't see both at the same time. 'Similarly, knowledge of the future was incompatible with free will. What made it possible for me to exercise freedom of choice also made it impossible for me to know the future. Conversely, now that I know the future, I would never act contrary to that future, including telling others what I know: those who know the future don't talk about it. Those who've read the Book of Ages never admit to it.
Length, I want to suggest, has a peculiar significance for the reader of a Victorian novel and especially so if we are concerned with an awareness of it as a book; a physical object held in the hand... The distinctive achievement of novels like Bleak House and Middlemarch is an expanding density and complexity towards the creation of a realised and felt fictional world. Their imaginative breadth demands both a spatial freedom and temporal capacity equal to the creative intention... The Victorian novel, then, assumes through its length the possibility of a completed and enclosed fictional world. The reading experience, through a linear and sequential development will be, quite obviously, distinct from, say Ulysses or Finnegans Wake. It is what Josipovici has called the 'swelling continuity' of Victorian narrative, a form which encourages a particular kind of reading response: Reading an intricately plotted nineteenth-century novel is very much like travelling by train. Once one has paid for one's ticket and found one's seat one can settle down in comfort and forget all everyday worries until one reaches one's destination, secure that one is in good hands
Of course, even when you see the world as a trap and posit a fundamental separation between liberation of self and transformation of society, you can still feel a compassionate impulse to help its suffering beings. In that case you tend to view the personal and the political in a sequential fashion. "I'll get enlightened first, and then I'll engage in social action." Those who are not engaged in spiritual pursuits put it differently: "I'll get my head straight first, I'll get psychoanalyzed, I'll overcome my inhibitions or neuroses or my hang-ups (whatever description you give to samsara) and then I'll wade into the fray." Presupposing that world and self are essentially separate, they imagine they can heal one before healing the other. This stance conveys the impression that human consciousness inhabits some haven, or locker-room, independent of the collective situation - and then trots onto the playing field when it is geared up and ready. It is my experience that the world itself has a role to play in our liberation. Its very pressures, pains, and risks can wake us up - release us from the bonds of ego and guide us home to our vast, true nature. For some of us, our love of the world is so passionate that we cannot ask it to wait until we are enlightened.
One clue that there's something not quite real about sequential time the way you experience it is the various paradoxes of time supposedly passing and of a so-called 'present' that's always unrolling into the future and creating more and more past behind it. As if the present were this car-nice car by the way-and the past is the road we've just gone over, and the future is the headlit road up ahead we haven't yet gotten to, and time is the car's forward movement, and the precise present is the car's front bumper as it cuts through the fog of the future, so that it's now and then a tiny bit later a whole different now, etc. Except if time is really passing, how fast does it go? At what rate does the present change? See? Meaning if we use time to measure motion or rate-which we do, it's the only way you can-95 miles per hour, 70 heartbeats a minute, etc.-how are you supposed to measure the rate at which time moves? One second per second? It makes no sense. You can't even talk about time flowing or moving without hitting up against paradox right away. So think for a second: What if there's really no movement at all? What if this is all unfolding in the one flash you call the present, this first, infinitely tiny split-second of impact when the speeding car's front bumper's just starting to touch the abutment, just before the bumper crumples and displaces the front end and you go violently forward and the steering column comes back at your chest as if shot out of something enormous? Meaning that what if in fact this now is infinite and never really passes in the way your mind is supposedly wired to understand pass, so that not only your whole life but every single humanly conceivable way to describe and account for that life has time to flash like neon shaped into those connected cursive letters that businesses' signs and windows love so much to use through your mind all at once in the literally immeasurable instant between impact and death, just as you start forward to meet the wheel at a rate no belt ever made could restrain-THE END." footnote ("Good Old Neon")
David Foster Wallace