Archive | September, 2016

Brandon Sanderson Lectures

25 Sep

I haven’t watched these yet but they look great! Hour-ish long lectures by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ_Yq-hCQ9kmCiNdDeIrbgA/videos

 

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Were The World Mine…

24 Sep

Well, okay, for now a lot of these aren’t not ours, but rather some other very creative souls’. We discussed last meeting just what makes these worlds so darn good…and what makes others not quite as successful!

What Works:

  • Unifying details make the world go ’round; whether it’s the color schemes found throughout Wes Anderson’s films or the car-based imagery of Mad Max: Fury Road‘s post-apocalyptic world, these aspects provide a sense of atmosphere for readers and viewers, allowing them to better understand the world
  • The size of the world most definitely influences how it presents! JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth is a sprawling land that lends itself to the wealth of languages, history, and myths that Tolkien created for it, but not every world needs such an extensive system to be a super interesting experience. Worlds that echo our own (like Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) or worlds that are a tiny little slice, a microcosm even, of the real world (think Parks and Rec) still entice audiences!
  • Sortability. What’s your Hogwarts house? Your Camp Half-Blood cabin? Being able to sort yourself into the world in question makes it immersive! It’s a feature of the world that is by no means necessary, but it’s definitely fun.
  • Take the main characters out of the world for just a moment. Would you still want to read about the world? A lot of our favorite worlds–Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings–have tons of other stories that take place in them, and we’re still definitely interested in them!
  • A consistent tone throughout different settings is important, too. A Series if Unfortunate Events, for example, retains its eerie theme throughout the vastly different places its characters visit.

 

What Doesn’t Really Work:

  • Subtlety is key; while kitschy story tropes can be fun and most certainly can be done well, don’t overuse them. Too many bold aspects of a story can make it seem laughably bad (see: Tyra Banks’s Modelland)
  • Sometimes there is too much of a good thing; this applies to description too. While ambling description of rivers and mountains and cities are beautiful, some instances don’t call for total disclosure of the areas and things around. If you want to build a mystery about the world or some aspect of it, then less is indeed more.
  • Several people mentioned books with wonderful settings that could have been so cool to read about…if only the plot had gone somewhere. So, have a direction for your plot and world, as well as a way for them to interact!
  • In James Cameron’s Avatar, the world itself is absolutely breathtaking: cool creatures, beautiful scenery, and hints at what could be a pretty cool culture. Unfortunately, for a lot of us it just seemed to fall short; the land of the Na’vi felt a lot like a Stock Alien Planet™ and could have been changed out with many other fictional planets and very little of the narrative would be changed. On that note, give your world narrative substance to balance out its awesome appearance!
  • A bad attitude can ruin a lot of things–even a fictional world. Reluctant heroes are tons of fun, but let your characters enjoy the world they’ve come into a little! Audiences can absorb the views of the main characters, and if they’re not enjoying the world to some extent, then neither will the reader.

All in all, I think one of the most important points we covered is that, for your own world, it’s important to find a balance between what you’ve found that works; does a smaller or larger world fit what you want to accomplish? How can audiences immerse themselves? It’s totally your call, but hopefully this discussion was of some help in guiding your worldbuilding!

-Molly

Boston Teen Author Festival

22 Sep

Hey Creative Writing Club! This weekend will be our first outing of the year. As I said on Wednesday, most outings will not be this last-minute or be so long as this one.

Saturday is the Boston Teen Author Festival in Cambridge! Doors open at 9:30 am and the opening panel begins at 10, so we will be meeting BY 8:45 in front of 100 Bay State/Bay State dining hall (the side facing Kenmore Square, not Bay State Road). We will be taking the T from Kenmore to Park Street on the green line and then transferring to the red line to the Harvard stop. From there we will walk to the Cambridge Public Library, the site of the fest!

The festival is free (yay!) but please bring a Charlie Card or money for a Charlie Card (which you can get at Kenmore station) to pay for the trip on the T there and back. Also, there will be an opportunity to buy books and have them signed by the authors – credit and debit is accepted (you can also bring copies you already own to get signed). The festival does not provide lunch, so either pack some food or we can eat in Harvard Square, so you might also need money for that.

The last panel ends at 3:00 and then signing is from 3:15-5:00, so there is not a set time we will be leaving, we’ll play it by ear.

There will be 35 authors and 1o panels. We can each go to three panels, and you can choose which ones you would like. For a list of authors and panels, and for more info, check out their website: http://www.bostonteenauthorfestival.com

See you on Saturday!!!

-Sarah 🙂

How to Join the Blog

21 Sep

Becoming an author on the CWC blog is easy for you and tricky for me. Fortunately, you’re you and not me.

If you want the ability to post on this blog, simply sign into your WordPress account and leave a comment on this post asking! I will add you as an Author, which will give you the ability to write and publish posts on this blog. You can post works you want to share, interesting resources you found, or anything you feel would interest the club.

Keep in mind that WordPress will send the invitation to join to whichever email is tied to your WordPress account. If you no longer have access to it, you might want to update the email to something you can access.

Also, posting requires a WordPress account, so if you don’t have one, you should sign up for one. It’s a pretty straightforward process, but I can help you with it if you need help.

Welcome to the club!

—Ivy

First Meeting Exercises!

18 Sep

Story #1: The Dramatic Battle for Earth!

Once upon a time a crazy doctor named Jeff created the first crab-human hybrid. The hybrids, known as lobsters, had plans for world domination.

The lobsters, if eaten, would dissolve the human from the inside acidically, like when serial killers dissolve their victims in acid.

Because of the this humanity declared war on the lobsters in 2025.

That was the same year the holographic iPhone 57 came out. The lobsters had machine guns; we’re fucked.

Oh sheet.This is bad. Lobsters with machine guns is like my mother getting her ramen noodles TM set on fire.

Only worse, because firemen are no match for lobsters. So then we figured we should call the army.

But, just the army would not be enough! President Trump declared that the aliens should be recruited as well.

“There are no aliens allowed in me swamp!” Shouted Shrek from the corner of the room. Slowly, Shrek made his way over to the middle of the room and began sneezing wildly.

Achoo! He sneezed. A huge cloud of dust exploded out. A small creature popped out with the dust.

“Prairie dogs!” Micheal cried. “Look mom the prairie dogs came out to play!”

The END

Story #2: Science is all around Bad

Brian had said he had a major invention coming. What he ended up making looked a lot more like a confetti-spewing bathtub than an intergalactic portal.

As the confetti shot out, he caught as much as he could in his mouth.

It felt orgasmic.

But luckily the main character had morals and thus he/she made different life choices.

One of his life choices was to become a hobo and live a spiritual life on the road. He did this until one day he met his long lost brother.

His brother was named Anton, and he lived in an alleyway off Fenway. They started a grand pyramid scheme that eventually rescued them from poverty and the rough life style of the  hobo.

The brothers were corrupt, but were saved by Scientology.

After converted, the brothers left their home country to go to Asia in order to help convert other people. They thought they could save people this way.

They couldn’t. The ones they attempt to save transformed and haunted the families of the doctors.

The doctors of the Black Death. And so, they prescribed a dose of medicine.

The medicine, however, was ineffective. So the patient grew two extra heads and fingers as long as legs.

The END

Story #3: The richest wombat in the world

A wombat walked into a coffee shop and ordered a mocha. Then it noticed how no one there understood him.

“Well this simply won’t do,” he thought to himself. He then proceeded to squack at the top of his lungs, “Hellooooooo, I’m perfectly sane here, I say it’s impolite to stare.”

But nobody listened, so he killed himself.

The next day, a young girl of about 10 years old found his body drifted onto the side of a stream. She observed the carcass for a while, and contemplated why he seemed so familiar.

When suddenly, she remembered. After all, how could she possibly forget the man whom she had charmed and eventually took off with all his money.

She remembered each person she conned.

She considered releasing them from their mental prisons.

The End

…or was it?

Welcome to the Blog!

12 Sep

Hello and welcome, Nerdy-Wordies new and old!

You’ve found your way to the blog of the BU Creative Writing Club!

Here you’ll find prompts, info on events, resources, and more!

This is also a great place to post finished pieces, snippets, works in progress, questions, updates or any other part of your projects that you’d like to share. If you’re new, ask your friendly neighborhood e-board for an invite so you can post too!

And don’t be afraid to comment either! Knowing someone read their post will make the poster’s day!

Check out the Bookshelf in the far right menu tab for movies, TV shows, books, comics, games, and more recommended by your fellow CWC’ers.

Wishing you the best CWC year yet,

Your Nerdy Wordy Overlord, (Retired)