3420 Day 4

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Due Friday--Journal: Do Not Mention…
Freewrite for 20+ minutes to Gardner's "Part 1--Describe a building as seen by a parent whose son has just been killed in a war. Do not mention the son, war, death, or the parent doing the seeing. Part 2--describe the same building...as seen by a happy lover. Do not mention love or the loved one." How did (or will) you solve some of these problems? What kind of fleshly detail did you start building? Post to Canvas Discussions.

Due next time--Journal: Image Notebook
Melanie Rae Thon (see ImageNotebookWhatif.pdf under Canvas Files) discusses how some writers write concrete, sensory descriptions about the things they see, taste, hear, touch, and smell. She talks about how we are especially sensitive in our observations when we are disoriented, like we would be as we travel (or when we arrive somewhere new). Choose something that really stands out from today's or this weekend's interactions and describe it with sensory details--use metaphors or similes too if those work for you and if they are sensory. We discussed Proulx's this rich language in Bunchgrass--like when she describes Ottaline's hand guilded with safron (302). We started this in class.

Writerly Advice

How do you read fiction? Amy Tan lays out her "tastes" p. xxvi

Truth vs. Fiction

Stanley Fish’s Affective Stylistics: close reading of the text and of my reactions to expectations the text sets up (or that I have before coming to the text) and the way the text disappoints/changes, or fulfills expectations

 

 

Lee's Lecture Notes Day 4: The So-Called Basics, and Flash Fiction?

Story #2 (What If Sunday "Emotional Triggers" 550 words, a flash fiction length); Sundays (lee's journal draft); if someone asks you to write a story titled "Sunday," are you really going to just write about your own, possibly mundane, Sunday? Are you going to write something that has nothing to do with Sunday? Also see the other What If prompts in the handout for more ideas.

Look at some flash fictions on Minima--are these stories? Why or why not? Which ones pull you in and why? Do they have enough tension (and that can mean a lot of things)? What do we see in Green Tricycle (a story about eggs)? Or Fifty Word Fiction (would we publish here?)?

Old Notes:
1.

 

Is the Monomyth in "The Tumblers"?

-- The straight dope on plots--Cecil Adams on stuff that happens

Juxtapositions of unexpected story elements/character details from Perry Glasser:

Write a vocational label on card 1—yellow: postman, fashion model, truck driver, dentist;

Write a “mildly strange or unusual behavior” on card 2—pink: sets free a parakeet; picks loose the tennis racket strings, or sewed closed his sweater sleeves

Collect and redistribute cards randomly.

Why did card 1 do card 2?
This could be the last scene in the story…retrograde writing (plotting)…

 

journaling...last time

Beginnings and endings: Kesey's story that starts with psychiatrist notes; the non ending vs the O'Henry snap (big surprise at the end)
3. More on elements of prose--what is the tension that pulls us through this story and why/how? Plot? Voice? Linguistic Style? Characterization? What stops me from reading? What are my reading fetishes/biases?
7. Tensions and endings in "The Watch" (surprise? possibility?) vs. "Mexico" (fatigue?) vs. "The Dark House" (locations are uncertain, but not outcome?) vs. "The Tumblers" (revisionist history with Hitler and Eva Braun--"the Jewish ballet")--and how do you write a story where everyone knows the ending aka yet another holocaust story?
8. The Watch and POV: 3rd limited (4 characters?), weaving together, commenting on each other's sanity or lack thereof--vs. 3rd Omniscient; the Fantastic of Buzbee's fantasy world (a male and female fantasy)

4. Look at some flash fictions on Minima--are these stories? Why or why not? Which ones pull you in and why? Do they have enough tension (and that can mean a lot of things)? What do we see in Green Tricycle (a story about eggs)? Or Fifty Word Fiction (would we publish here?)?

Scholastic's Story Machine is for kids, but it can loosen you up for more fantastical or absurdist writing; here's my try at one

4. Being meta-readers as we read manuscripts--what are we thinking/anticipating at each point in a story? Affective stylistics.

Reply to your designated group's Ex. 1 Apprentice Stories in Canvas Discussions and/or under Canvas Assignments--be as writerly in your comments as possible (think about style, craft, narrative voice, exposition, description, narration, dialogue, setting, characterization, pacing, minimalism vs. maximalism, onesy twosy details, the Uncanny vs. the Marvelous etc.). It's OK to make summary comments. What parts did you like best and why? What did you have problems with most and why? You might have to finish some of these for next time.