of stories and skulls

It is interesting to read people’s analyses of stories, both for the variety and the insights. It’s also interesting that no one tried to draw the shape of their stories. It wasn’t a requirement or anything, but it is a simple exercise in visual analysis. I thought about this yesterday when I stumbled across an article on learning through drawing. Most of us feel we can’t draw because we can’t draw as well as people who have been working at it for years/decades.

We don’t need to draw well to draw a story shape, but if we don’t think we can draw, then drawing becomes something we don’t do. Thing is, assuming average physical ability, we can all draw, and we could all draw well if we wanted to put in the practice. Our first attempts might not work out well, but we can reflect on what worked well and what went wrong and learn from that process. (Note that the process of practice and reflection was detailed in the Week Two reading on writing assignment posts. That reading should be kept in mind for each assignment, every week.) As an example, I was inspired by the work of Brother O’Mara to try to make miniature skulls of my own. They’re all crude and crappy, but it’s a start, and eventually I’ll develop some control over the medium and be able to refine detail and proportion.

The point of all this is a) that we shouldn’t be embarrassed to put our efforts on display and b) we should blog reflections on our processes and outcomes. We may go through a “man in the hole” storyline, but we know we’l come out better in the end.

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