Monday, September 3, 2012

Odds and Ends

I don't have much to say this week on the formation of good stories - my life is nuts. I am currently taking a class that requires a lot from me, and another that requires more, and for the other two...don't get me started. The good news is that my fiction class is teaching me how to use unusual forms of prose, such as index (telling a story with numbers), lists, letters, questions, footnotes (most of the story is in footnotes), etc. I feel like it will make me a better writer. My class on writing the YA novel is a little different.

You see, I know my professor doesn't like high fantasy and there is a possibility writing high fantasy will harm my grade. However, the novel I want to use is high fantasy, and I feel like using it will make me a better writer than if I used something else. For those who follow my fictional lives, it's down between the Alder Torrance/fantasy world of Cartha story or the Jeremy Wilderson story. Alder's story would help me grow in writing plot, characters, dialogue, prose descriptions, and, well, basically everything else, whereas I feel Jeremy's story will only help me write characters. Which is good, but I can do better.

The good news is, my professor knows me and knows I write fantasy. Also, Alder's story is not a conventional high fantasy. Yes, there is another world and yes, the names there are strange. But Alder is a typical fifteen-year-old from our world. It takes him a long time to accept the magic in Cartha, he doesn't get the fashion of cloaks and tunics, and he has a hard time pronouncing the names. I also plan on messing with the idea of magical translation (how Alder can understand what the people of Cartha say) by having some puns and idioms not land with Alder. I think this story will be okay when I workshop some of it next week.

In other storytelling news, I went to the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival this weekend for the first time. I highly recommend it for budding storytellers; the style and mastery of words that I saw there was amazing. It was inspiring for me, as I try to write a bunch of stories for my two classes. I learned there that anything can be a story, even a drive home with your kids, and that the best tool a storyteller has is the ability to see things in a different way than most people. Huh. I guess I did talk a little here about the art of story crafting.

Lastly, I think I'm beginning to be a real writer. One of my friends teaches sixth grade and she is currently teaching her students about the writing process. Somehow I came up in conversation and her students want to read my novel (that's hopefully coming out around Christmas). When she told her colleagues about this lesson, they said, "You should get your friend in here and have her give an assembly on writing." So, next semester, I may have a speaking gig at an elementary school. It feels weird. Who am I to be talking about writing, Brandon Sanderson? I'm no expert. But, I'd be lying if I don't giggle a little gleefully when I think about it.

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