READ 001 – The Educated Imagination – Northrop Frye

Part of the CBC Massey Lectures series, Northrop Frye originally delivered his series of six talks on the value of studying literature, collective known as The Educated Imagination, in 1962. The lectures have been collected in a book published by Anasi. By virtue of being a student at the University of Toronto and being taught by professors who were in turn taught by Frye himself, the ideas of this book are a part of my critical DNA. Before going back to read The Educated Imagination again this week after a decade of recommending it to all and sundry, I don’t think I fully appreciated exactly how formative Frye’s ideas are to me and my approach to literature and critical theory. Continue reading “READ 001 – The Educated Imagination – Northrop Frye”

READ – A new kind of article!

In out most recent chat, Luke and I discussed how reading books or articles about storytelling is all well and good, but it would be more beneficial to us as creators, and indeed to our community as a whole, if we were to actually reflect on the content of these books.

To that end: enter a new kind of Central Pillar article. READ articles will allow members of the Adventures in Storytelling community to reflect on writing that is about writing. Much like the PLAY experiments, we don’t want to put too many formal restrictions on what READ looks like, but expect READ to be filled with insights on big thinkers, discussions on new ideas, connections to existing Adventures in Storytelling content (especially Right Pillar themes), thoughts on the many philosophies of storytelling, and indeed, whatever else you want READ to be about!

PLAY 003 | Day 5: A Daunting Task…Done.

Wondrous Wiarton Writing Retreat Log | Day 5:
Saturday February 17, 2018

Section: CC.043
Time Spent Writing: ~1 hour
Number of Words: 939

As James keeps saying, “I could write more—but I don’t need to!” I understand the sentiment. We have both agreed that the speed at which we have barrelled through our remaining sections this week has kept our usual verbosity when writing prose to a minimum. Which has forced us to get to the point. How will that compare to our early sections when it comes time to Edit? We shall see!

Continue reading “PLAY 003 | Day 5: A Daunting Task…Done.”

PLAY 003 | Day 4: “Hey Luke… We just climaxed!”

Wondrous Wiarton Writing Retreat Log | Day 4:
Friday February 16, 2018

Section: CC.038, CC.039
Time Spent Writing: ~4 hours
Number of Words: 2,758

…wow. Did that just happen?

James is shaking, he’s so excited. Together, across two different sections… We just finished writing the first draft climax of Charlotte’s Journey.

Continue reading “PLAY 003 | Day 4: “Hey Luke… We just climaxed!””

PLAY 003 | Day 3: Three… Two.. One… Jump!

Wondrous Wiarton Writing Retreat Log | Day 3:
Thursday February 15, 2018

Section: CC.035 (additions), CC.036
Time Spent Writing: ~3 hours (maybe? I kind of lost track of time…)
Number of Words: 2,769 (nice!)

Writing is weird. Today, I made four people fight. They had no real choice in the matter, they just had to hit, get hit, and do what I said. (Poor Raul! I owe that guy a beer…)

Continue reading “PLAY 003 | Day 3: Three… Two.. One… Jump!”

PLAY 003 | Day 2: One Lost Egg

Wondrous Wiarton Writing Retreat Log | Day 2:
Wednesday February 14, 2018

Section: CC.028, CC.035 (all new, baby!)
Time Spent Writing: ~3 hours
Number of Words: 2,735

After successfully sleeping in to 11AM, I awoke to an empty house (save for the cat); James was away to work, and I—after a disastrous attempt to make breakfast (R.I.P. egg I dropped)—set out to accomplish my own tasks!

Continue reading “PLAY 003 | Day 2: One Lost Egg”

PLAY 003 | Day 1: Getting Into It

Wondrous Wiarton Writing Retreat Log | Day 1:
Tuesday February 13, 2018

Section: CC.017 (again), CC.031 (correction)
Time Spent Writing: 2 hours
Number of Words: 2,118

I arrived in Wiarton around 12:30PM, providing the Secret Geek Signal to gain access to The Cottage (aka James’ home). I was instantly at ease amid the LEGO, lightsabres, and copious books. I offered James a hearty hello, and we sat and chatted, as two old friends do. Continue reading “PLAY 003 | Day 1: Getting Into It”

PLAY 003: Finish It

“Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.” — Neil Gaiman

I have these words written in black Sharpie on a Post-It note I taped to an external hard drive that sits on my desk. This note to myself has been there for long enough that I forget when I first taped it up. It sits there, ever the chill reminder, that my singular goal as a writer is to finish. Continue reading “PLAY 003: Finish It”

The Joy of a Tale is in the Telling Part II: Magic Beans

During the first ever Adventures in Storytelling Suds and Stories (a real life meetup where community members hang out to enjoy company, beverages, and talking about stories), Amanda described Stephen King as ‘supernaturally talented,’ which is both incredibly apt and an incredible pun.  I can’t give you any proof, but I feel that King’s talent flows from an innate understanding of a simple storytelling truth (a truth that he puts on to the lips of Roland in The Dark Tower series): the joy of a tale is in the telling.

As we explored in Part I, a story is a space where the audience and the author meet and together generate meaning. Stories possess a wonderful quirk that complicates this idea, though. Once a story is told, it continues to exist independent of the person who originally did the telling. That might mean it was codified or recorded in some way, or it may just mean that it lives on in the memory of a person who was listening, but a story becomes an entity unto itself. Continue reading “The Joy of a Tale is in the Telling Part II: Magic Beans”