Friday, February 27, 2009

A Mini-Meditation on Writing

I should be doing something productive right now, but I'm not. I'm blogging. It's not that I think blogging is a waste of time; it's more like I have a number of things I could be doing. Like school reading. Paper writing. Heck, I could even be watching Princess Mononoke, which I rented today. At least that would get my imagination going.

I'm a big fan of the imagination. I guess that's why I keep wanting to add elements to the story I'm writing for Children's Lit this semester. It began as a straightforward LotR-esque adventure story, but as I've thought more and more about it--and watched a few Miyazaki movies--I've wanted to expand the world. I want to crack open the top of my head (metaphorically) and build a world that amazes. I don't want to populate a fantasy world with elves and dwarves and orcs, though there's nothing wrong with doing that. I want to bend categories. I want to invent critters that hang in the imagination long after you've read their stories. I want to blend the stuff of differing historical eras into one and make it seem as natural as breathing. That, to me, sounds exciting.

I haven't abandoned adult fiction, though. "Come on Casper" is still in the works. It's just not something I'm working on for a class these days. That story is a different kind of challenge. It's more about structure and getting the language just right . . . not giving away too much before the end of the story, etc. Of course, as I typed that, I recognized that children's lit requires all that too. I just don't get to 'play around' as much with "Come on Casper."

Is it less fun then? Yes and no. It's not a blast like inventing monsters and other whimsical doodads, but there's an intense pleasure that comes from actually constructing a story and using structural elements to guide the reader when the subject matter doesn't make reading the story 'fun.' That's what I like about adult lit. Still, though, I plan on incorporating the fantastic into my 'serious' adult fiction later. I just have to figure out how to work it out.

OK. Time to be productive.

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