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View Full Version : Looking for guinea pigs..or at least some resources (Moved from Novels to roundtable)



KiraOnWhite
01-27-2009, 08:27 AM
Hello all, I'm gathering materials to teach 15-year-olds about creative writing. May some of you kindly provide an excerpt which best represents your writing style? Or do any of you know of guides for writing styles online? Thank you again!

Liosse de Velishaf
01-27-2009, 08:38 AM
Are you sure this should go in "Writing Novels"? Generally, creative writing classes for that age seem to focus on short stories and poetry. Maybe "Basic Writing" or some other section (which I've likely never been to, or I would make a specific suggestion) would be more appropriate?

sunandshadow
01-27-2009, 09:16 AM
Have the students bring in something by their favorite writer and analyze the style of a passage of it? I dunno, when I was in high school I vaguely remember having an assignment to imitate two of the writers we read for class that year, I picked Poe and Hawthorne (almost the same style, really). Other people picked Dickens or Hemingway. That year was all classics though, so there wasn't anything more wild to pick from like horror, postmodernism, surrealism, science fiction or fantasy. Given a free choice I probably would have picked C.J. Cherryh, C.S. Friedman, Paul Park, or William Golding.

When I've given personal mentoring to a young teenage writer I usually find that they are interested in learning terminology - what kind of viewpoints are there, what is a character arc, what is freytag's pyramid, what are genres, etc.

KiraOnWhite
01-27-2009, 02:14 PM
Hmm, but isn't it rather difficult to imitate some authors, if the book chosen is not a literary one? I try not to teach something already in the provided curriculum, and since usually in class model essays are given out, many tend to emulate that style and neglect their own.

Shweta
01-27-2009, 02:20 PM
Hi Kira,

I'll port this over to the roundtable -- I think you may get more responses there, since what you're asking isn't novel-specific.

What do you have in mind when you say "Your style"? Are you trying to get the teens to find "their" style, or to play around and discover things about their writing? I know I tend to have a slightly different style for every story -- it's whatever voice the story "wants", for lack of a better word. So while I'd be happy to share exerpts with you, I'm not sure what I'd share :)

KiraOnWhite
01-27-2009, 02:25 PM
Hello, thanks for moving the thread!

It's more like the delivery of a story, as in even if using the same content, through authors of different styles it could sound rather different. Like how they choose to bring out the character and atmosphere.

Do share a piece, I'll take note to credit, aha =)

Shweta
01-27-2009, 02:58 PM
Hello, thanks for moving the thread!

No problem :)


It's more like the delivery of a story, as in even if using the same content, through authors of different styles it could sound rather different. Like how they choose to bring out the character and atmosphere.

Ah see, to a large extent I think that depends on the story as well as the writer. Not always, sure; some writers have an approach that is noticeably theirs. But I tend to find my style/voice fits the story, or I can't write it.


Do share a piece, I'll take note to credit, aha =)

Sure! Conveniently my short piece Half Flight (http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/rrHalfFlight.html) is up online, and I'm happy to share.
But if I tried to write a novel in that style, my head would explode :D

-- And if you'd like a contrasting sample from another story, I'd be happy to share that too, (with attribution to the place where the story's being published, of course).

KiraOnWhite
01-27-2009, 03:06 PM
Thanks again! It's a real lovely piece.

For me, stories that aren't mean to sound literary sound the same...I hope that it's my distinct voice and not a sign that I'm inflexible o.0

Shweta
01-27-2009, 03:26 PM
I think a lot of people may have more consistent voices than me. I also speak in different accents depending on context and am used to navigating multiple cultures, so I don't have a consistent real-life voice to map to writing :)

Kitty Pryde
01-27-2009, 09:07 PM
I would have to strongly disagree that non-literary voices all sound the same: Go to the library and pick up a Jack Vance novel, a Neil Gaiman novel, a Carrie Vaughn novel, and a Neal Asher novel. That's two science fiction and two fantasy 'non-literary' writers that I pulled off the top of my head. They sound absolutely nothing alike, and I could identify each of them in a paragraph or two! Alternatively, go to Amazon and check out the first pages of a book by each of these folks.