Walking past a local bookstore, my boyfriend and I noticed a line of people beginning to form outside. So devoted were these people that they were sitting in lawn chairs or propping themselves up with backpacks. We peeked into the window to see who would be visiting the bookstore that day.
I can think of some contemporary authors who have defined me as a writer and who have also defined the Generation Y-ers of the literary community, but I’m not sure any one piece of writing speaks for and represents the generation as a whole. Would you agree or disagree?
Every writer successfully crafting a narrative, just like any runner successfully crossing the finish line of a marathon, needs some kind of driving force. For a runner, that force might be years of training, headphones along with a good running playlist, and a carb-loaded meal eaten at just the right time.
Can you imagine a famous writer corresponding with a no-name writer through a series of hand-written letters? Can you imagine such a correspondence lasting six years and the writers never meeting? Wouldn’t it be nice for every young writer to find that much support?
In their final papers, many of my students admitted that they entered the semester with the notion that Intro. to Creative Writing would lead to an easy A and not require a lot of work. Well, they were surprised by assignments that were rigorous and demanding. Why do students expect creative writing to be so easy?
Not everyone who has a blog uses it to create high-brow literature, but bloggers do write to charm a unique audience, one that’s unique in that it can interact with them. As a writer, blogging helps me supplement my other writing projects. It helps me discover my own voice, explore my characters, and experiment with different styles.
I asked my students to come up with a plan for the future of their writing lives. If they want to continue writing outside of class, how will they motivate themselves? What will inspire them? Where will they go to write? Who will they ask to read their work? Many of my students decided that forcing yourself to write just ruins the experience.
In writing, as in life, a temporal beginning does not always make for the best beginning. Amateur, even professional, fiction writers tend to start a story at its chronological beginning. Because we think chronologically, our natural inclination is to begin a story with a character waking up from a dream or by introducing a stranger.
Yesterday, my students and I discussed literary magazines and their role in literary culture. I think my students were surprised by the broad range of subject matter that writers cover (a poem about photographing snakes, a story about drunk girls in stilettos, another poem about a burning Christmas tree) and how a magazine exists to suit every interest.
Have you ever seen someone perform a really bad magic trick? The person is trying so hard to deceive or charm you that you are able to seem, without even really trying to look, exactly where he slipped the quarter. But when you witness a good magic trick, you are mystified. You know an answer must exist, but you don’t care.