Monday, October 3, 2016

TWIC: online class, design, research, scheming, night vale

The university of Iowa has an online class on How Writers Write Fiction.
How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women will bring together beginning and experienced writers for the study and practice of writing fiction. Class videos, readings, and writing assignments will invite new writers to experiment with the creation of fictional characters, scenes, and stories. Advanced writers will be challenged to examine their convictions and to refine and expand their craft. Centering on character - the characters created by women writers and the female characters created by all writers - this MOOC will lead participants through a progressive study of how authors from around the world approach each aspect of writing fiction.
October 12, 2016 - November 22, 2016

Another class is offered The Open University and starts (well started) on October 3.
Start Writing Fiction focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.
You will listen to established writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You’ll consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal.

You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.
From Boingboing, Designing the Future of Work and Design Fiction. The latter appears to be a Gedankenexperiment, an attempt to imagine what effects a new technology will have.
Grammar Snobbery and why you shouldn't engage in it.
The following are not strongly related to creativity but do share some characteristics.

Some of the history of free/open software. I use OBS and Audacity and am grateful to have powerful tools at my disposal.
One free/open piece of software that seems interesting is Cryptpad, which attempts to make a sahred word processor similar to Google Docs but with the text fully encrypted.
I have discussed my lack of productivity as connected to a lack of creative stuff. Maybe I need to sleep less. An article on those who don't need as much sleep.
A dissection of a scheme to scam millions from Amazon. I think, though it is unclear to me, that the person used various Amazon Prime (is that the name of the account that allows you do download unlimited books?) accounts to download 'books' - terrible messes similar to a cat walking across the keyboard - for which he received royalties.
Doctorow on the success of Welcome to Night vale.
Stories become great by hacking your brain. Nothing that happens in fictionmatters. The people in fiction are fictional so their triumphs and tragedies have literally no consequence. The death of the yogurt you doomed to a fiery death in your gut-acid this morning is infinitely more tragic than the "deaths" of Romeo and Juliette. The yogurt was a alive and then it died. Romeo and Juliette never lived in the first place.
Stories trick your naive, empathic mind into resonating in sympathy (literally) with the plight of their imaginary people. Usually they do this by scrupulously avoiding any reminder that these are imaginary people. That "willing suspension of disbelief" is a bargain between the creator and the audience: the creator tells the tale and hews to something that is plausible (or at least consistent) and the audience member doesn't pinch herself and say, "Cut it out with the quickened heart, the leaking tears, the smiles of triumph, you dope, this is all made up!"
I have been satisfied with Welcome to Night Vale, but not thrilled. Well, I have some long drives coming up, maybe it is time to dive in and binge listen. Their website is here.

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