Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Class In Session

I feel like I'm back in college with all the text books I've been reading lately about the craft and art of story writing. Reading Neil Gaiman at the same time hasn't helped. His writing is so different than what I normally read, and since I'm trying to read slower like Prose suggests, I find myself hyperconscious of how he's constructed his story, his conflicts, his characters, his sentences.

I'm doing the same thing with movies. We recently saw Taken, and when we got home, I found myself dissecting it according to McKee's criteria (described in Story). I enjoyed the film as far as an escape into another world for a few hours, but it wasn't a masterpiece by any means (I also keep forgetting the name, so that's not a good sign). McKee's criteria helped me pick out why this decent film didn't make the leap to extraordinary, memory-worthiness. I won't give details, since this film is so new, but if you see it, please let me know if you think it was fabulous or what you think was lacking.

I don't know if this is a good sign, but it's a sign that I've been totally immersed in my personal story-writing class: Yesterday when I read something funny in Anansi's Boys, Cody asked what I was laughing at. Rather than explain the joke, I opened my mouth, and this came out: "This author has a great way of turning a line." Of turning a line? Who talks like that? Well, me, obviously, but not normally. Cody gave me a deserved look that said I was peculiar and quickly left the room before I could collect my wits and think of something normal to say.

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