It’s 2013, middle of January of 2013, and this is my first post! Gasp! Lucky for you, blogging more often (a Tuesday/Thursday schedule) is one of my resolutions. So, if you see me absent on one of those days, hop out of the computer, find me, and drag me back to blogland by my hair. I’m allowing you to.
So, 2013. Normally, or more rightfully put, normal people, would blog about the upcoming things they’re looking forward to. Honestly, I have no idea what is coming up. A new Hunger Games movie, cool. THE AVETT BROTHERS IN COLUMBUS. Even cooler. A new season of Girls and Downton Abbey and New Girl and that one with Kevin Bacon and a whole bunch of shows coming back and starting up. Awesome.
But, what I really know enough to blog about are the things that are keeping me going in 2013. Obviously, this is my 10329903 classes at university revolve around books. Two courses this time around have to do with books or stories: I’m taking a course on teaching Young Adult Literature texts to high school juniors and seniors, and learning a little bit about film and how film is basically a story with highly thought out and captured visuals. There’s a lot of x-axis and y-axis and z-axis camera shots in the introductory chapter of my book and, all I can say, is directors, producers, and crew, I salute you. I really just thought movies were a kind of point and shoot deal. And I’m not even exaggerating about that.
But, in this film class we read a text by a man with the name John Gardner and Gardner not only talks about what makes a fiction story work, he talks about fiction writers as if they had this magical gift that not many people find in their skill set. And, they do. I think many authors are overlooked and treated like they’re a dime a dozen, but Gardner realizes that authors have one of the most amazing gifts of all, to make people believe the are in another place, another real world, where the words on a page come alive. Authors make you believe your story is real, and that’s pretty amazing.
While I’m not legally allowed to post Gardner’s text on my blog, some take away points from Gardner’s book (we only looked at chapter 2) is that while the storyteller ultimately has the final say on what goes into a novel, the story could be told one million ways. When writing about a hero riding a horse to save a princess, the author has to spin up this storyworld to make the reader believe there is such a hero and a princess. He’s riding away into the forest, and you read about his horse’s hooves stomping on the ground, the scene cuts to the dirt the horse is tramping upon, you see it’s black hair, the dirt coming up from the ground sticking to it’s leg, you see the grass behind the horse, torn up and you cut to the horse’s eyes, which look fiercely into the distance, where a stone castle is starting to take shape on the horizon.
The author chose to focus on the horse to show the anxiety and the nervousness and rush of the passage. The author could have chosen to focus on the princess watching out her window, seeing a small speck in the distance, or the thoughts racing in the hero’s head, but he chose the horse. The writer has the power to make us believe, and that’s pretty special.
Just a discussion that really sparked my interest in fiction for this year! I look forward to hearing from you all year!