Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Me and the MFA - Part 3

For this post, I was going to put up good quotes but how could I not include photos?
This is the wonderful Jane Resh Thomas lecturing about psychic distance in POV. I was lucky to have Jane as one of my workshop leaders, and this topic came up several times.
Jane had a great analogy about going to a play and only seeing what happens on stage by the stage manager reporting via a hole in the curtain. It really brought the whole "too distant from the narrator" problem home to me.

How could you not love your fellow students when they attempt to play Chopsticks with boomwhackers? (Said instruments look like pool toys but play sounds when you whack someone or yourself with them.)
This is some of my class at the Kerlan collection at the University of Minnesota. We were able to look at original picture book art as well as early versions and editors notes (and revisions) on a range of manuscripts, all kept in the archives.

Some favourite quotes from the residency:
* Where can you put your finger on a line and say this is the heart of your story?
* What will your character win by losing? Or lose by winning?
* Beware of letting your characters cry all the time - it loses impact. Crying carries a lot of weight.
* The past and present of a character must be equal adversaries.
* Where is the hot spot in the story for your character? Where will their emotions be at the front and centre of everything?
I had to include this. Our Australian Girl is focused entirely on telling great historical stories, whereas the American Girl franchise began with the dolls and is the core of the thing. I visited the AG store at Mall of America, and found a salon for dolls. You could book your AG doll in for a "tidy up" which includes hair styling, in little doll-sized salon chairs.
This guy very kindly said I could take a photo. It took me a little while to regain my cool, calm and collected exterior... It was a bit sad, though, that out of the whole two-level store, the books were just all in one small corner.

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