FICTION WRITING: STORY STRUCTURE AND STARTING OUT

Introduction

 

Writing is not much without reading and learning, it misses a significant element of what makes the written language important. (Harmon, 2015) Verbal language happens naturally, it could happen in a vacuum, but the written language is memetic evolution, and it needs space to evolve. (Vaneechoutte and Skoyle, 1998)

With that in mind we have been building up a repertoire of writing technique, and through reading theoretical and creative work, have critically engaged and analysed the use and identification of certain writing techniques as means to improve upon my engagement with the written language.

In this report you will find an exploration of how to start writing, the building of sentences, and the use of dialogue, and how the critical engagement with these ideas through theoretical text has affected my own writing. This will also be explored through the selected creative readings in the form of three short stories that have inspired experimentation within my own work.

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Reading Analysis

Subterranean Gothic – Paul Theroux

Subterranean Gothic is a personal essay detailing Paul Theroux’s investigation into the New York transit system and the effects that the subway has on the city and its inhabitants. Deeply embedded underground, amongst the stupefied subway patrons and vandalized rail cars, Theroux starts by unpacking the mythology that the subway has to New Yorker’s. He writes that most New Yorkers, “… haven’t been down there in years.” (1981)

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The Trials of the Heroic Women: An examination of Penelope, Pocahontas and Wonder Woman

The Trials of the Heroic Women: An examination of Penelope, Pocahontas and Wonder Woman

“We live in a culture that is ambivalent towards female achievement, proficiency independence, and right to a full and equal life. Our culture devalues both women and the qualities which it projects onto us, such as nurturance, cooperation, and intuition. It has taught us to undervalue ourselves. Too often we deride our own abilities.” (Orenstein, Introduction xix 1994)

This essay will examine the heroine’s journey, one not dissimilar to Campbell’s hero’s journey, and will explore the stories of Penelope, Pocahontas, and Wonder Woman. Through the exploration of these three heroine’s journeys, we can investigate the differing conventions involving the socialisation of girls. The heroine’s journey, much like the hero’s journey, integrates ideas of adolescence, where a child who in living in a normal unfettered world is plunged into the depths of humanity and faces death in their journey, returning to the world as an adult. (Frankel 2011, Pg 19-28) As Pearson and Pope point out, the hero’s journey is vastly ‘limited’ by its implied gender archetypes. (Pg. 4) If it is limited it is also arguably incomplete.

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Testing for the ‘Other’: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Blade Runner, Ex Machina and an exploration of the Science-Fiction genre

This essay will first explore the notions of science fiction as a film genre, before examining three films as examples of this genre. The films selected are Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Blade Runner (1982), and Ex Machina (2015).

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Anna and Rumpelstiltskin – Meta-Analysis

One day Anna was working in her family home, when the King, who was passing by, spotted her through the window. The King, who was a greedy man, spotted Anna when he was entering the house and instantly became infatuated with her. He pushed past her father, the Miller, and stared down at her. “You, you come to my castle and live with me as my wife.”

Anna laughed, she thought the king was joking, and upon hearing her laugh the King became enraged and red in the face. He yelled for his guards to seize her and take her to the castle. The Miller family fought to stop this, but the King had too many soldiers and they took Anna away.

Back at the castle the King bought his advisors to him and asked them how he could get her to marry him. The advisors conferred and came up with a suggestion.

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A Flash of Revelation: Epiphanies in Short Stories

Used effectively, an epiphany can be a powerful literary device for an artist working in literature and most especially short stories. They can not only create understanding in a character but connect the audience to the story in a deeper way.

To explore epiphanies in short stories this essay will first explore the notion of literary epiphanies themselves. Then it will explore the epiphanies in the short stories, “The Dead” by James Joyce, “A&P” by John Updike, and “A Good Man is Hard To Find” by Flannery O’Conner.

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