Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Couple More Exercises

I've got just two more things to post from camp before I have to come up with original material I'm willing to let you all see. And sadly, the deal I've made with myself mandates regular posting of material.

These are not the most appealing things (for me, anyway). The first up is one of those stupid things where we go out to some spot look at trees and nature and whatnot and try to describe it.

Yuck. Here's the thing, I hate nature. Well, okay, I'm ambivalent towards nature in general, trees hold my interest for milliseconds at best. But when it comes to writing I really have a hard time not seeing nature and similar stuff as anything but violations of some of Elmore Leonard's rules, "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip." and "My most important rule is. . . If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." I know some authors can pull it off, but most people write nature scenes that readers tend to skip, and I'm typically one of them (as a writer and reader).

The second was a little better, we wander around a big room in the Idaho Historical Museum that features black and white photographs from (apparently) random spots in history, we pick a photo and write a little narrative based on it. Better, but still not my cup of tea. Historical fiction? Even recent history? not me.

The thing that saved me? The instructor started off that session talking about how thankful he was that we didn't have SF/Fantasy types in our group (a clear sign that he a. didn't pay that much attention to my answer about influences/interests and/or 2. didn't know who I was referring to with names like Butcher, Rothfuss and Scalzi). How his classes at the university and whatnot have seen a big upsurge of Fantasy types following the Jackson Lord of the Rings series, and Twilight, etc. He didn't come out and say that SF/Fantasy was worthless and a waste of time for writers, but he sure communicated that.

Obviously, that got my dander up a bit, so I determined to give him a dose of that part of my brain and found ways (how interesting or successful those were is yet to be determined) to bring that out in my exercises.

Anyway, here they come, am interested in what you think (ditto for the 79 word stories and anything else I post here)