02494: Writing Inertia


Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 136

I recently starting going through the Masterclass of author Joyce Carol Oates and she has a lot of interesting insights on writing short stories and pretty much other forms of fiction. What has most struck me thus far is the value she places on developing one's skill for observation to find things that one can use in stories later on. And her primary method for developing this skill is actively keeping a journal.

This blog doesn't quite a journal, but it does sort of tap into the same mindset, I suppose. I'm not sure if I'm ready to develop a separate journal just for observations just yet, but it might prove to be an interesting exercise. This idea, among others, suggested, really stood out to me and it does give me ideas. She offered a variety of suggestions for writing including imposing a strict time constraint for writing a story or experimenting with form such as considering what a story would be like if it only consisted of beginnings. 

As much as I love the distinct insights Margaret Atwood had to offer in her own Masterclass, Oates' approach may prove to be more practical - or at least more readily applied. She did state in her introduction that she patterned it after her class at Princeton, so it does feel like a series of writing exercises. 

We've been in quarantine for over 4 months now and beyond getting work done, it would be nice to make progress with this side of my interests. It feels like a real possibility again using resources like this as a starting point. I just have to figure out what I want to do. Or maybe I need to try working with story prompt generators like Talecraft crafts or Story Dice. So many possibilities - just a question of figuring out a path, I guess.