Friday, July 1, 2011

Bears, moose and other creatures


We just had our weekly barbecue. Well, it's been pizza twice because of rain, but tonight we barbecued. And ate strawberries with insane amounts of whipped cream. Nom nom nom.

Yesterday we talked about publishing. How we need to create a business person next to our writer person and editor person, so be able to separate the art of writing from the business of getting published. Evil Overlord, having worked as an editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, has great insights into the publishing world.

My business persona will be called Kecke, and will work at a very informal office where suit and tie are not required. Upon my return to Sweden, he will start researching markets for my stories, and list the various magazines, websites and other markets according to genre and importance. Once I have a story ready it goes to the first, most desirable market for that type of story. If they don't buy it, on to number two. And so on.

Embrace your rejections, Overlord said. Keep them in a drawer. She gave examples of Odyssey grads that had gotten well over 100 rejections before they sold a story. The lesson here is to keep at it, keep at it, keep at it. Over 50 percent of Odyssey graduates go on to be published. Those that don't are those that give up, for whatever reason.

Last night, another late night walk. It's nice to get out of the apartment, if only to walk around campus. One of the campus security guards informed us that we might meet moose. Two moose had been caught on the security cameras the night before, in the baseball field. Eating? Practicing? No one knows.

Saw some more fireflies. So cool.

Today Elizabeth Bear was our guest lecturer. She lectured on plot structure, from the Aristotelean structure (inciting incident, crisis, conclusion, everything usually takes place in one place and in a very narrow window of time) to the epic structure (different characters and thematic arcs are intertwined and overlapping, there's always something going on for someone or something cathartic for someone else). It was very interesting, and especially so when we, as a group, created three Hollywood movie structures in less than 20 minutes

The best one:
A horror movie. Peter the plumber has to choose between his prized pumpkins and his son, while a goblin attempts to steal the pumpkins and turn the son into a pumpkin creature. In the end, Peter prevails against the goblin and chooses his son over the pumpkins (the Satisfying Ending). "I will never ignore you for a pumpkin patch again," he sobs as he hugs his son. After the credits, Peter walks through his garden, planting squash.

Quote of the day, related to the above:
Elizabeth: So we have Peter, a plumber who eats pumpkins. What's his problem?
Dundee: Alliteration.

In thirty minutes I will arm myself with laptop and headphones and head over to the other house for a write-athon. Whoever writes the most in an hour wins. I trounced Sarah Palin the other night, with 1100 words against her 600. Yeah! So I'm confident. Which probably means I'm going down in flames. We shall see.

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