Clarion: Week 1

Clarion is located on the verdant campus of Michigan State University. It rains in MI. In the summer. Often it even thunders. When it's not doing that, the temperature flirts with 90 degrees and the humidity chokes the air.

Regardless, I survived Clarion week one.


Emotional summary: I'm here! My god, I'm screwed! I can't write! I'm the best writer evar! I'm the worst writer evar! Everybody else feels the same way as I do? You mean my angst is being replicated by all the other aspiring writers? I'm not unique. But I can write, otherwise I wouldn't be here, right? I'm glad to be here. My god, I'm here.

Samuel Delaney's Writing Advice for All Creation (paraphrased): Use Dramatic Structure unless you have a compelling reason not to: Scene first (and he means first!), then characters, then plot, action, resolution, etc. Before beginning, ask what the main character wants. Do they get it? Why or why not? Avoid cliches and received language at all costs. Put events in chronological order, even at the sentence level. A good writer does all the above (unless they have a compelling reason not to), a talented writer does all that, with pizazz.

Oh, btw Italy beat Ukraine 3-0.


At 6/30/06, 7:38 PM, Blogger Livia Llewellyn said...

I read that last line as "a talented writer does all that, with pizzas."

If only it could be like that... :)

At 6/30/06, 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't think writers should fear cliches either, or they get...well cliche. I mean cliches have their place or they wouldn't have had the staying power to become cliche right? The man in angst, the person at the cross roads. the alienated soul... etc etc etc...all been "done to death" but we keep coming back for more.


At 7/1/06, 8:31 AM, Anonymous alex said...

Hmm. Your notes are thorough enough. But what about his oft-repeated advice about the dog?


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