Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stories From Writing Class, One.

Some of the exercises were kind of rough. On my hand. We had to write for certain periods of time without the pen stopping. So many hand cramps, but the point was to write and write and write so that of all the stuff that came out, some of it would be the start of something good. Sounds kinda fluffy, but it worked.

I finally have an ending.

It's so cool how this came about, too. The first night we (the teacher and the six students) started talking about the very basic bits of a story. What does every story need?

"Conflict." I said. That's the first thing everyone thinks of. Every story needs a problem.

Prof asked "What does your character want?" The want, and the not having of it, is the conflict.

Also needed is a crisis. Some moment when the conflict is fought, admitted, exposed. The boiling point.

From there you draw your Conclusion.

I always thought that my problem with this story was the conclusion. I just couldn't draw it. The second night I looked at my notes and realized that I didn't have a real crisis, so that was why I didn't have any conclusion.

That night, I'm wandering the halls, scribbling away, when it hit me.

I had been wrong about the conflict the whole time.

I stopped in the hallway and leaned against the wall. Once I figured that out, everything came clearly.

I had my true conflict and already had my crisis. The conclusion started writing itself.

I got back into the classroom and was near tears, I was so overcome. Prof. was stunned when I told her I had the ending. She said with a laugh, that I didn’t have to come back on day 3 if I didn’t want to. Of course I did. I got to work on other pieces, and best of all, got some really good feedback on what I had so far.


Blogger Mella said...

I'm so glad that the class proved cathartic for you and your writing process! Hold onto that feeling - don't let it get lost beneath a pile of dirty laundry or shuffled away in the midst of a crazy schedule of feedings and naps and playgroups!

Hearing about this little class also encourages me - published or not, I plan on using my MFA to teach writing...how cool to the one that helps someone find their story.

8:58 AM  

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