CLASS NOTES: 4/16/08

Good workshopping session, covering anthropomorphism  in Jim’s story of Vinny the vulture, and the question of verisimilitude of storyworld in the transition.  Does a vulture read? Well, as first person pov, we’ve found he’s written this story. Do we dig deeper into the ethical issues Vinny faces or is the story to be taken for its entertainment value and a humorous look at the daily life of a vulture.  How much more of a technical arc do we require, even in this form? 

In my own story, we have a switch in time requiring the use of white space, we saw the need for character building to represent motive, and we have subtlety versus the need for more obvious confirmation of action and in fact, if more action must necessarily be shown. 

It brings up questions to me once again about writing for audience.  And again, the answer is the most obvious: write for the readers only if you want to reach a certain audience through publication.  While a writer may not actively pursue the literary production, I think that if he is geared in that direction in his writing and reading, then likely his work will be influenced.  If one likes a particular genre such as detective, romance, or sci fi, there is still the choice of the author to fulfill the ‘traditional’ means of story and yet it can still hold the literary qualities vaguely defined as anything from character-based to boring navel gazing.

Breakthrough moment for me personally: hearing all the possibilities of the ‘missing’ segment of time that changes the character (Molly’s intuitive statement was terrific, regarding character’s only requiring one quirk in personality, one item a bit off, to allow the possibility of a major break).  For me, this was confirmation that less is more, that had I found it necessary to provide even one of those scenarios, then it would have negated those imagined by the other readers.  Loved handing the story over to the reader to fill in the blanks.


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