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Reading Notes: Arabian Nights Part A

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The Merchant and the Genie 
Wow! Turns out Christopher Nolan is an amateur. I really liked reading the story within the story within th story. I kept anticipating the  Inception "drop" in each tale that would kick back to the one before it. It definitely helped hold my interest. My only wish is that there was a bit more information about Scheherazade and the sultan as the stories were being told. The reality of her stalling with the stories gets a bit lost. That may just be because of the way I'm reading them as separate stories.     My favorite one of Scheherazade's tales was the very first, the genie and the four men. I'm choosing to tie all of the men's stories and Scheherazade's into one story for my writing assignment. This is for the sake of simplicity, although I'm sure that's not the right word, when rewriting. PlotThe basic plot of Scheherazade's first story goes as follows. A merchant is traveling through the desert. He stops at a fou…

Storybook Plan

I have settled on doing a storybook about a god that creates the world from nothing through writing on a magical typewriter. The god will have an assistant or a team of assistants that help his writing and advise him. The amount of assistants and their input is not entirely determined yet. The story will end up dictating that. The god will create the world as he writes its history. For example, "'And then a mighty wave crashed onto land and a single fish was left on the shore,' wrote the god. So, a mighty wave crashed onto the land and a single fish was left on the shore."    I want the experience of the story to be that of rewriting and experiencing the creative process. A god he may be, this god is not perfect. He is going to need to rewrite. He may not like yesterday's draft. His assistant may notice a glaring continuity error. Whatever the case may be, there will be rewrites and brainstorming sessions abound. For both my characters and myself I'm sure…

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Writing the World


Week 4 Story Lab: Microfiction

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Well, that was certainly interesting. I don't know how I feel about it quite yet. On one hand, it is really fascinating to have an entire story crammed into such a small space. On the other, I want to know more! I just want to read some of these stories as fully fleshed out things. My imagination is fun and all, but I want more from some of these authors.    Also, this has made me even more conscious of my word count. (Even if it doesn't seem like it here.) I am studying film and television production here at OU with a focus on screenwriting. One of the biggest lessons to learn in screenwriting is the importance of brevity. There is no room for purple prose on a script page because every word is meant to translate to something on screen. You don't write, "He ran as fast as he could out of the door, smacking his shoulder on the frame of the doorway on the way out." You write, "He runs out. He smacks his shoulder on the door frame." It has been one of the…

Reading Notes: The Iliad Part B

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The section of the Iliad that most stood out to me today was The Slaying of Hector. Contrary to my favorite part of part A, this section is full of action and suspense. Who is going to survive? How will they manage to kill their opponent? Which god will intervene next? It was great fun to read.PlotThe plot for this sections is fairly simple. The Greeks are winning the battle thanks to Achilles reentering the field. The Trojans are retreating into the city. The Greeks would have won the battle at this time if it were not for some divine intervention on Apollo's part. In order to give the Trojans time to escape, Apollo instills great courage into Agenor and gives him a spear. Agenor stands his ground at the gate and spears Achilles when he approaches but the spear just bounces off Achilles' armor. Achilles charges Agenor. Apollo lifts Agenor to safety and then takes his form. Apollo, now Agenor, leads Achilles on a chase long enough to get the Trojans to safety and then mock…

Reading Notes: The Iliad Part A

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I read section A of The Iliad for the first reading assignment this week. The portion of this first half of The Iliad that stood out to me was The Quarrel. I like the smaller scope of this section. Rather than use a large battle with action and fight sequences, this section of the story tells its tale in two simple locations primarily through dialogue. It is a tense and dramatic scene of a subordinate rising up against and abandoning his commander. It sets up the coming battle so well and really makes you hate Agamemnon.     Plot    The Greeks take the city of Chryse and divide the spoils among themselves. Agamemnon was given a girl named Chryseis, the daughter of the priest of Apollo for the city. Because, you know, women are objects that you can just take and give to each other. Anyways, the priest comes to Agamemnon with a bunch of gold to buy his daughter back. Agamemnon, ever the dick that he is, tells the priest to go away and don't come back or else. The priest went bac…

Project Research Week 3

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I have decided that for my storybook I will go with my first idea, to create a comical creation myth. I liked the recommendation of writing a story in which the creator has to constantly correct their mistakes or completely restart. I can't get the image out of my head of a Zeus-like figure hunched over a typewriter furiously typing away and then ripping the page out to begin anew. I hope to convey that image in my story.

    One story I may rewrite or take inspiration from is the Popul Vuh. I like the constant dissatisfaction with their creation that the gods in this story have. The contents are a little rough for me. I doubt I'll write a tale in which every other being turns on and rips apart the first men. However, it serves as a good reference for why my creator(s) may be dissatisfied with their creations and what would be enough to cause a reset for them. Is man not beholden to the gods enough? Are they too smart? Do I just kind of feel like I could do better? These ar…