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Posts Tagged ‘Orson Scott Card’

Here is the picture of the purple phone I mentioned. You cannot really appreciate just how purple it is in a picture, but I have to admit that it is growing on me…

I was a writer again today and it felt good. I fell in and out of projects. From reading the Orson Scott Card book on characters, to re-reading Asandra to try to figure out exactly what I did with that story, to figuring out timeline issues in Xsardis, I have tackled a variety of important things. And I am learning from them all.

When I am super busy I do not have time to develop my craft as I would like to. I rarely try short stories because there is not time. I would never have dared to attempt a poem. But the more I write, the more I want to expand my horizons. I think I can blame the Writers’ Guild for my attempt today at a poem. Though, when I say ‘blame’ I really mean ‘thank.’ I was inspired by something today and I was able to take the time to write a poem about it. My fellow guild members had given me the courage (or maybe the shove) to attempt it. I cannot even begin to guess if it’s any good. And the big problem with poems and me is that they are so personal that I don’t want to share them. But even if no other soul ever discovers it, it was so freeing and exciting to write.

When I am working out an issue, I usually pull out my guitar and sing it out. It is cool to watch myself begin to sort things out through writing. Although this was not an issue but an appreciation of great beauty. My heart feels alive in a very new way and my poem was an attempt to capture that.

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“Every story choice you make arises out of who you are, at the deepest level of your soul… (It) reveals more about you, in fact, than you know about yourself… The moment you use a technique that doesn’t belong in your story, solely for the sake of appealing to some imagined reader… your story dies a little…” from Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card.

With the Borders in my hometown closing I set out to use the sales to enhance my library of books in my field. I picked up Characters and Viewpoint not just because of the tone that was easy to follow or because the content was relevant, but also because Card recognizes early on that the book is not a formula for a cake or a checklist for perfection, but construction tools to dig out of the author the important traits. Too often, works on literature try to coddle the author with familiar do’s and don’t’s. This doesn’t work for creative authors!

When I teach in the classroom, I do NOT give students a lecture on how to follow in my footsteps or write the perfect novel. Instead, I teach them how to put emotion into their stories, how to turn a boring article into something they care about, and the like. This is a much more effective manner in the long run. Basics are for English class, not for the professional writer.

I am two chapters into Card’s book and I have already found it extremely helpful. I took the above quote to Writers’ Guild’s third meeting tonight to get their take on it. Unanimously and fervently they agreed that writing does come from your soul and you cannot cater to readers until you love the project yourself.

Writers’ Guild was held tonight at Paddy Murphy’s in downtown Bangor. We arrived at 6 and did not leave until the place closed at 9:30. Our largest group yet attended: 5 people. We talked for a long time about literature and passed around stories. Then we fell naturally into talking politics, movies, theology, life, college, family, memories… Our guild has a unique texture, one changing as the members grow. I look forward to seeing where it goes!

And for my avid fans: check out the new www.issym.com where you can now ‘like’ Issym and comment at the ‘about the books’ page!

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