Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fourteen Novels

By the end of the semester (if I decide to take the challenge and not work with old material) I should have the plot outlines for fourteen different novels inspired by the following published works:The Great Gatsby, The Remains of the Day, Things Fall Apart, My Antonia, The English Patient, The Age of Innocence, Love in the Time of Cholera, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Tristram Shandy, Animal Dreams, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Annie John. All of this is for my novel class. We're reading sections of each book (first chapters, middle chapters, last chapters, tension moments, character introductions, etc.) It's difficult... to say the least, but I'm sorta looking forward to brainstorming ideas that I might use at a later time. I sorta wish that the class was more focused on writing a novel, but I'm sure this will help in the end. So, tonight I write my The Remains of the Day inspired novel outline and final chapter. We'll see how it goes.

The rest of the semester looks promising. I will be workshopped twice next week--first in fiction and then in memoir. Double whammie. I'm not sure what to expect. I'm incredibly nervous about fiction because of the content of my story. It's pretty out there and possibly could be frowned at since one of the main characters is a chimpanzee. I have this daydream where everyone just shrugs and says, "You want me to take this seriously? It's a monkey." Or rip it up behind my back as some folks tend to do from time to time when something doesn't interest them. Oh well, we'll see. I'm still scared. I'm not nervous about memoir--it is what it is. Damn, I should have the same attitude in regard to my fiction.

So far, the semester is going well. Hopefully I can keep up with all the work.


Becca said...

Rip it up behind their back? Seriously? That's so incredibly disrespectful. I'm glad I've never seen anyone do that.

Tanya said...

Maybe that sounds like it happens all the time, which is a misrepresentation. I was talking about one occurence, and thankfully it's never happened again (to my knowledge). I hope your class is going well!

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

That sounds like an interesting project in the novel class. Are the plot outlines supposed to be new content that follows the old content? or that intangible "inspired by" meaning "vaguely related to in a way only you can identify"?

Tanya said...

It all depends on the writer, I guess. We had some people stick close to the Gatsby plot and others move away from it completely. I look for themes and what not.

This time I went with a similar structure and sorta did the opposite scenario for plot. I have a hard time "imitating" plot that's been done. I feel like I'm stealing. So, I brainstormed new ways to tell the story. We'll see if it works.

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I want to take that class! Share your notes with me?

I've read some of those books/heard they are really good, and I think it'd be interesting to write plots inspired by them!

Anyway ... I'm sure you'll have a blast! You're a good writer, so it shouldn't be the hardest thing in the world for you! :)


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