Forums Forums Main Forum LEARNING > Writing Live Chat – My Writing Hero

  • thesurrealari

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    April 27, 2020 at 4:31 am
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    @mywritinghero I would love to hear your thoughts on the stories of Donald Barthelme, which seem to eschew traditional story structure for something else. He seems to be very well respected as a writer, although he’s not necessarily my cup of tea (except for one or two stories). I would love to hear your analysis.

  • thesurrealari

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    April 27, 2020 at 4:31 am
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    @mywritinghero I would love to hear your thoughts on the stories of Donald Barthelme, which seem to eschew traditional story structure for something else. He seems to be very well respected as a writer, although he’s not necessarily my cup of tea (except for one or two stories). I would love to hear your analysis.

  • redheadeded

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    April 27, 2020 at 5:27 am
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    You guys are a library of resources and the discussion was great! Thanks @Cathy for the chat, and thanks everyone for all the great references.

    Erin (AKA the Redheadeded)

  • mywritinghero

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    April 27, 2020 at 5:41 am
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    Wow, there’s so much great stuff happening here since I last logged on!

    I appreciate the addition of the tragedy resources, @thesurrealari, as well as the Pulp Fiction breakdown! Dissecting the stories we love is, I think, one of the most useful things we can do as writers. If we can figure out the moves that made those stories “work,” we can adapt those moves for our own writing.

    It’s like taking apart a complex piece of machinery to see what makes it “tick” – and lucky for us folks have been doing this for a long time, and we can look at an abundance of models (story circle, hero’s journey, hamatria-peripeteia–anagnoris, chiasmus, incremental perturbation, etc.) to give these moves names. Giving something a name, as it turns out, is one of the first steps of figuring out how to do it.

    If I can hop on the question @KrisBurgos raised, I personally LOVE a tragic ending. The stories that sit with me the longest are often the ones that really mess me up in some way, lol. I think it’s important to note that the story circle is not just for happy endings – a change doesn’t have to be positive, it just has to be earned.

    I think a lot of this comes down to reader experience. How do we want the reader to experience the story? What do we want the reader to feel?

    To address the Barthelme question, @thesurrealari, I would add that a lot of “literary fiction” short stories tend to be less plot-driven while still being entirely complete stories. In that way, it’s hard to compare this genre to the genre of most comic books; that said, I think there’s something to learn from them. What makes a story like Barthelme’s “The School” feel complete and impactful is not necessarily the events that happen, but the journey the reader goes through while reading. It’s the same reason I think Lydia Davis still writes what I would call “stories” even though so many of them are only a paragraph (or a sentence) long.

    A definition I have found useful is Barth’s incremental perturbation (I’ll attach some files for anyone down for this uber-nerdy rabbit hole). He defines plot as “the incremental perturbation of an unstable homeostatic system and its catastrophic restoration to a complexified equilibrium.” Which basically means, you start with something that is somewhat normal but unstable, then little by little turn up the temperature until you hit boiling, and, upon boiling over, reach a new status quo that results from the consequences of the boil. (Barth is much more eloquent – I’ve attached the original essay and a summary for anyone interested).

    This definition allows us to view things like Barthelme, like Lydia Davis, like the famous “For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn” (attributed to Hemingway), as stories, even though they, as you pointed out, eschew traditional story structure.

    This is all to say that I think you can do whatever the f*** you want, as long as you do it with intention, and as long as there is some kind of impact on the reader. Because if a reader reads something and feels nothing, what was the point?

    It’s figuring out how to affect the reader the way we intend to that’s the real puzzle of writing.

  • mywritinghero

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    April 27, 2020 at 9:40 pm
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    Hey, everyone!

    Our first “office hours” will take place on Wednesday 4/29 at 1pm EDT. Here is where to find us on Zoom: https://bit.ly/8-page-office-hours.

    If you’re interested in attending office hours, either this week or in the future, please answer this quick poll: https://forms.gle/55qjGEsv2aoxz3Nn8. As I said on Friday, I want to be able to accommodate as many schedules as possible, so I’ll be switching up times week to week. Hopefully, if you can’t come one week, you’ll be able to attend during other weeks. This short poll asks what times you’re generally available during the week and what time zone you’re in.

    Thanks!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  mywritinghero.
  • mywritinghero

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    April 29, 2020 at 10:02 pm
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    We’re live! Join us for office hours: https://bit.ly/8-page-office-hours

    I’ll be hanging out from 1-2:30pm EDT.

    Reminder: We have a quick poll for general availability. I’ll be using this to select future office hours times 🙂 https://forms.gle/55qjGEsv2aoxz3Nn8

  • mywritinghero

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    May 5, 2020 at 3:10 am
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    Hey all!

    This week’s office hours will be on TUESDAY 5/5 at 10:30am. Zoom link: https://bit.ly/8-page-office-hours

    (Remember to fill out the availability poll if you haven’t yet! https://forms.gle/55qjGEsv2aoxz3Nn8 )

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  mywritinghero.
  • mywritinghero

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    May 15, 2020 at 2:03 am
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    Hey everyone!

    If you haven’t already seen, we’re now including office hours on the challenge calendar – there will be a google meet link in each calendar event for you to join the group coaching session that week.

    To join our video meeting (happening now!), click this link: https://meet.google.com/sjh-ozgu-rqc
    (We’ll be hanging out until 6pm!)

  • mywritinghero

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    July 22, 2020 at 8:20 pm
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    Hey all!

    I’m taking this week off from office hours for my partner’s birthday 🙂 But I’ll be back next week! Keep an eye on the google calendar for the date/time and Hangouts link.

    Write on,
    CK

  • maryamsmark

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    July 24, 2020 at 12:17 am
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    Watch on Facebook live

    Hey everyone: I know it’s really late notice but Wacom has Gina, the concept artist and costumes designer for The Boys discussing her creative development process. It’s happening NOW – started at 3pm est – for an hour or so. Watch on Facebook live. Link above. Have a great Thursday
    Maryam!

  • mywritinghero

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    August 5, 2020 at 7:13 am
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    Evening, all 🙂

    Quick check-in/update re: office hours! We had great attendance while we were still in the writing phases of the challenge – now that the project has progressed past writing, most folks are focused on those other aspects (which is totally cool and expected for this type of challenge).

    I am suspending my office hours for the time being, but I am still around! If anyone still wants office hours to continue, please feel free to reach out and we can chat about what makes the most sense for this challenge. Email or DM on Instagram (@mywritinghero) is probably the best way to get ahold of me. Otherwise, I’ll catch you all on the forums, on the calls, and around the web.

    Write on, my dudes!
    CK

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