Diverse Narrative Structure

When: August 14 – September 6, 2020
Where: Online — Available everywhere and at your own pace
Price: $100

Values are not universal across all cultures, and thus what a satisfying story looks like is not limited to one model either. In this course author Henry Lien uses case studies from books, films, and other mediums, and in-class exercises and games to demonstrate that elements that we consider staples of European/Western storytelling–such as the three-act story structure, the empowerment arc, and individual heroism–are not universal across all cultures.

Writers will leave this course with tools to analyze the European/Western forms and themes in the stories they have written as well as templates from other traditions to explore and apply to their work.

Who Should Take This Class?

Writers of all genres — Literary, YA, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Children’s Books, Romance — and all mediums — Prose, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Comics/Graphic Novels, Games — at any point in their career from newbie to professional.

Required Texts and Media

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Amazon | Indie Bookstore)

This course will use the following films as examples:

Purchasing or streaming the films during class is optional. If you are not able to view them due to finances or the film not being available in your country, you can still participate in class.

Course Format, Technical Requirements, Time Commitment

The class does not have set meeting times. You can access lectures, other class materials, and group discussions at any time from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. All class discussions will take place in a private online forum and all class work is done on Google Drive. All students will need a Google account to upload to Drive–if you don’t have one, you can create a free account just for this class.

The time commitment each week will depend on your level of participation. Discussion threads tend to be wide-ranging, so students should try to check in at least once a day or every other day. You may manage your time as needed based on your own schedule. 

    Accessibility

    The class takes place in a private WordPress forum with a theme designed for accessibility. We’ll utilize Google Drive and Google Groups. All of these services are accessible to students using screen readers. Most lectures are text; required videos have closed captions and/or transcripts.

    If you have questions about potential needs, or if there are any other ways we can make a class accessible for you, please contact us before registering and we’ll answer within 24 hours.

    Full and Partial Scholarship Opportunities

    There are a limited number of full and partial scholarships available for this class. If you do not have the financial means to pay for all or part of the registration cost for this class, we encourage you to apply.  We have a broad definition of financial need that ranges from writers who do not have the money at all to writers who have the funds but can’t afford to use them for a writing class. We especially encourage writers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply. Wherever you exist on the financial needs spectrum, don’t self reject! (Still not sure whether you should apply? Read this post.)

    If you can afford to pay for part but not all of the registration fee, please apply for a partial scholarship. Under this financial aid plan you can let us know the amount you can afford. If you cannot afford to pay at all, please apply for a full scholarship. 

    To apply, please fill out this form by 11:59PM Pacific August 1, 2020. You’ll be asked to provide:

    • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need
    • A brief (500 or fewer words) description of a work or works in progress that you hope the class will help you research.
    • If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, you may indicate that if you wish, though it’s not a requirement. (We set aside some scholarship spots specifically for students who identify as BIPOC, though we do not limit the number of scholarships we’ll give to BIPOC applicants.)

    Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific August 1, 2020. We will notify all applicants of their standing by August 9. If you have any questions, please use our contact form to ask!

    Refund Policy

    If you find that you need to drop the class, you may do so by contacting our GMail or emailing via the website.

    If you drop by August 1, 2020, you will receive a full refund minus a service fee.

    If you drop by August 7, you will receive an 40% refund minus a service fee plus a chance to enroll in future Writing the Other classes at a discount before general tickets go on sale.

    If you drop on August 8 or after you will not have your registration fee refunded. However, you will be able to apply to credit to a future classes.

    Register Below

    If you have a Gift Card, discount, or code to access tickets, please click the “Enter promo code” link in the Registration box below before you begin the process.  

    Having trouble with the box below? Go to the Eventbrite page and register from there.

    var exampleCallback = function()
    console.log(‘Order complete!’);
    ;

    window.EBWidgets.createWidget(
    // Required
    widgetType: ‘checkout’,
    eventId: ‘113986129582’,
    iframeContainerId: ‘eventbrite-widget-container-113986129582’,

    // Optional
    iframeContainerHeight: 750, // Widget height in pixels. Defaults to a minimum of 425px if not provided
    onOrderComplete: exampleCallback // Method called when an order has successfully completed
    );

    The post Diverse Narrative Structure appeared first on Writing the Other.

    find the cost of your paper

    Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

    Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

    I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

    A Plague of Giants

    There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

    Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

    I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

    But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

    There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

    If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

    There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

    Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

    The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

    If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

    The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

    The Artwork Of Gary Choo

    Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

    The Art Of Gary Choo
    The Art Of Gary Choo
    The Art Of Gary Choo
    The Art Of Gary Choo
    The Art Of Gary Choo

    To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

    The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.

    27