Thursday, July 23, 2009

Try This At Home

I wasn’t co-pilot in the giant white van because I had a secret death wish. Initially I wanted to talk to Domenic about his morning lecture on using myths and history as models/sources for new writing. After that, I became attached to the bouncing rhythm of the white van, the bad music on the Slovenian radio stations, and the convivial atmosphere in the van, which was always packed full and full of chatter and shouts for more A/C or louder music.

Alas, I don’t have a picture of this epic white van, but it was a Fiat, big and boxy, and was some cross between a safari vehicle and a shuttle van for senior citizens.

Before we get to Koper, I’ll pass along these writing exercises from Domenic’s talk, which asked us to consider the antecedents of stories, the history behind the seemingly original tale you’re trying to write. Two weeks later in Prague, Bret Lott would say, “there is nothing new” in the world of writing. Along these lines, Domenic talked about the classical seeds for contemporary works. Here are the exercises:

1. Take the underpinnings of the story of Julius Caesar and

a) combine it with a contemporary political intrigue
b) make the main character a salesperson at IBM

2. Retell a classic tale from the perspective of a minor character (as in Wicked derived from the Wizard of Oz)

3. Tell a story of a contemporary man and woman, one who almost betrays the other and is punished in a disproportionate way (not sure of classical root of this one…will look into that and report back)

Now…on to Koper!

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