In which our heroine attempts to bale a barnful of hay, dances to the music of the fiddlers three, and is given a wondrous gift.
The story continues tomorrow with Chapter 2: The Convention of the Birds!
* * *
One of the most enjoyable things we did on the workshop was to create a complete zine in the space of an hour. We made a booklet out of a few sheets of paper folded in half. (Hey presto!) At the start of each chapter, we drew a frame. then we went on to write a short, timed section of the story, returning at the end to draw a picture within the frame.
When writing a story by hand, it’s always interesting to know that at a certain point the pages will run out. By the time you reach the last page, you must somehow wrap things up and reach the end of the story.
According to Lynda Barry, there are books on story structure because it exists. It is something we know intrinsically. In the workshop, when we did each piece of timed writing, she would let us know that we had a few minutes left, a minute or so left, and when it was time to finish the sentence or phrase we were on.
With only 5 or 7 or 9 minutes to write a story, you might think most of our stories were left dangling somewhere in the middle. But when my classmates read their pieces to the group, they almost always rounded the story off perfectly. Even though none of us knew where we were headed when we picked up our pens, somehow we reached the end of the story as if we were headed there all along.
I hope you enjoyed this first chapter! The story continues tomorrow with Chapter 2: The Convention of the Birds.
You can read more about my experience at Writing the Unthinkable here.