Friday, April 30, 2010

A lot of writers of my acquaintance have a childhood love of dollhouses and dioramas (I still remember my diorama for an eighth grade book report on In Cold Blood ... yes, it was of the Clutters' house on the night they got murdered--and my report was a first person account of the murders by one of the killers which I delivered in some kind of drawl.) Anyway...I've mentioned Elsa Mora's blogs before--she now has a doll one--which very much led me to want to make doll versions of all my stories. Make some kind of visual representation of what you're writing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Here is Franz Kafka's story "The Sirens" in its entirety:
(translated by Clement Greenberg)

"These are the seductive voices of the night; the Sirens, too, sang that way. It would be doing them an injustice to think that they wanted to seduce; they knew they had claws and sterile wombs, and they lamented this aloud. They could not help it if their laments sounded so beautiful."

Notice how the first sentence defines something. The second sentence questions that defintion. The third sentence redefines it. Notice, too, how his use of "too" changes what the story appears to be about (what are the "these" if not the Sirens?).

Write your own three sentence story.
Time to make your plan for summer. One thing you will read. One thing you will write. (let's just go with one at a time, okay?)

Josh Rouse - I Will live on Islands... - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

This week The New Yorker has an E.L. Doctorow story that is all dialogue and The Atlantic has a T.C. Boyle story that has (almost) no dialogue (the characters are on a vow of silence). Read both. Then take a story that you intended to write with the traditional mix of dialogue and not and write it first with all dialogue and then with no dialogue. Try to make both versions work. Now you have two stories instead of one. Who says that the style can't be the thing that makes them different stories? Nobody, that's who.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Take a look at these samples from the book Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline. Then write your own timeline.
Apparently in Japan there is a DVD of girls crying as they tell their stories. Its title is 11 Stories of Girls Crying in a Genuine Way. Write something, doesn't have to be the obvious, with that title.