Luke and I have been talking a lot about process lately, both here at Adventures in Storytelling and in our conversations with each other. Although the going is slow, both Adventures in Storytelling and Charlotte’s Journey are chugging along happily, so much of our conversation has dealt with maintaining our creative pace. The best strategy seems to be establishing and sticking to a routine. Once again, Luke and I have discovered something that is already well known! We’re accepting awards for redundancy. Continue reading “Facing the Challenge of a Disrupted Schedule”
There is an important piece of writer’s advice floating around out there. You’ve probably run across it before. It’s on most writer’s advice websites, written on blackboards of creative writing classes, it’s on the lips of writing instructors, shaved into stationary cats, and probably written in the stars themselves:
Show don’t tell.
I’m not fond of this advice. Sure, at its heart, it has a valuable message. In simplest terms, show don’t tell encourages a novice writer to do more than simply report a series of events. To show is to encourage the readers to have a visceral, emotional, and empathetic reaction to what they are reading. A writer of creative fiction should do more than just report what happened like a newspaper article. The trouble is that while creative writing instructors are busy carving the words show don’t tell onto every pebble on a beach, they have failed to notice that the novice writers have not learned the important part of the lesson. Continue reading “Abyssinia Henry: The Power of Telling”
Luke: This is where James would write an intro to this section he wrote. He may talk about what it was like to write it; or something he learned about his process, the story, or one of the characters; maybe he’ll just go on a tangent about cheese. I’m not sure which, because he hasn’t done it yet…
James: This section is long. It actually covers a few important events, not the least of which is meeting Blue. Originally, Blue was supposed to join the team right here, but that didn’t work for the story as I was writing it. Some emergent ideas reshuffled the timeline of events, and hopefully improved the next section I’ll be writing with Blue’s surprise re-appearance.
Although it doesn’t make it into the narrative itself, I took efforts to explain all the magic in this section under the strict rules we imposed on our story. You can see those explanations in the comments.
Finally, this section might be a failure. Blue doesn’t join the team as the cue card suggests he should, and an implicit connection between the ruined fortress and Count Vilnius never arises. Both failures may, in the end, prove to be better for the story, but there you have it.
Continue reading “CC.018.J.2 | Charlotte and Raul Meet Blue (But for Real This Time)”
The process of reclaiming the title of storyteller was not entirely an easy one. Not only was I committing myself to a project with a fairly large scope, but I was also making myself accountable to another human being (who just so happens to be a very good friend). Combining that with the difficulty that comes with any artistic or creative process meant learning how to write all over again. Continue reading “No, You’re Analogue! A Writer’s Strategy”
The Wrestling Match was an opportunity to let Charlotte and Raul get to know each other in the wake of a traumatic event. The trick was making sure they aren’t too familiar yet, which I found to be a challenge because I know both the characters well. This section is all about having our two leads interact and learn about each other. Raul’s buffoonery is front and center, but I tried to give him some nobility as well. Charlotte is dealing with grief, and coming to terms with the challenge that faces her. The sword, well, it’s largely absent, which means that we’ll be seeing improvements in a future draft.
A Night on the Bratwurst Pass was part of an experiment. Luke and I had been working on character sketches and world-building for Charlotte’s Journey, but we hadn’t yet actually managed to get down to some good old fashioned story writing. We needed a change of pace, so I suggested that some homework for the week should be writing a short story. We would take our lovable skeleton man Blue and imagine a time when he was still alive in the flesh-and-blood sense of the word, and tell the story of the one time he met an orc. Below, you’ll find my take on that story. Although very much a first draft, it captures the spirit of both the character Blue in his (relative) youth and the world that he and Charlotte live in.
After ideation, several potential story treatments, and a whole lot of back and forth, Luke and I settled on a rough setting / adventure for our hero, Prota (later to be named Charlotte; but that’s another story). Since Luke’s initial idea was to see if we could tell a worthwhile story using Joseph Campbell’s monomyth structure, he suggested we each create another story treatment that spoke to the Hero’s Journey story beats. The following is what I came up with.
Continue reading “James’ Monomyth Story Treatment”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Early on in our talks, James sent me an email with this Treatise: On Magic inside, to help me understand his perspective on the concept of magic and how he wanted to use it in our story. For myself, I like the giant fireball, and I think some of the fun is in jumping through the rhetorical hoops. But I was intrigued by the concept and thought it would be fun to write; a challenge, too. It’ll be interesting to come back to this when Charlotte’s Journey reaches its end, and see how magic fared in our world. —LG Continue reading “Treatise: On Magic”
After Luke and James each wrote three story treatments for what would become Charlotte’s Journey, James suggested that they should each take the best parts of that initial round of idea development and write three more story treatments. Below is the third refined story outline that James wrote – although not fully developed, it can be read as a short story would be. It stands as an example of how ideas for Charlotte’s Journey were conceived and developed, and demonstrates how thoughts from both creators were shared to make a more complete and better whole. Continue reading “Refined Monomyth Ideation #3 – James: Suzy F. (aka SUZY, SCORPION QUEEN)”