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Aetherbunny Posts

Create through the crap

I LOVED having the chance to listen to Ira Glass discuss his early work in radio, and then hear an example of how stilted and awkward he was even eight years into the business. What he said about beginning any creative endeavor with good taste, about knowing that the work you’re producing isn’t up to your own standards, really resonated with me. I dabble in all kinds of creative crafts–crochet, drawing, singing and songwriting, playing the guitar, photography, digital art, poetry and prose, even cooking–and in all of them I run across roadblocks when I look at what my favorite creators are producing and think, Look at this stuff I just made. It’s NEVER going to be as good as their stuff! or the even greater pitfall of, Why isn’t my stuff as good as their stuff right NOW? It’d take so much work to get there, I might as well stop trying.

It’s all about tone

I wound up listening to two radio programs for this assignment: Radiolab’s “Patient Zero” and a This American Life segment called “The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar.” Both were excellent, and though I’m going to focus more on the Radiolab show (simply because it’s the one I took more copious notes on) I found it interesting to compare and contrast the two programs in terms of style and storytelling technique.

EVERYTHING IS STORIES but actually wait this is difficult

As a caveat to my post last week about stories, storytelling, and how utterly rad crazy awesome DS106 and new media are in terms of discovering new ways to tell them, I wanted to ramble a little about how impossible storytelling can sometimes be.

I’m in a fiction writing class at the moment. Finally. After sticking to mostly poetry and lit classes for my entire college career. It’s a great class with a fantastic professor and we have really useful workshops, but I’m struggling. Part of that is definitely lack of practice, but a significant chunk of my stuck-ness is that fiction writing (or nonfiction… okay, prose) isn’t my strongest form.  I like new storytelling forms, ones that have pictures and sounds and clicky buttons. I like fanfiction, where you walk into the story already knowing and loving the characters and concepts, where you’re basically reading an individual’s personal exploration of stuff you really care about. I like Tumblr, where people tell their personal stories with gif images and wildly hyperbolic text. I LOVE (seriously. Like, will-legally-marry-when-they-pass-the-law L-O-V-E-LOVE) webcomics, because they are EVERYTHING I have ever wanted in a storytelling medium.

Short stories, though? Just text? A novel or novella-length book? While I will probably die with a book in my hands, creating something like that is insane.

Cool monomyth, bro

Kurt Vonnegut’s quirky explanation of story-shapes immediately brought to mind one of my favorite posters: It’s a fantastic (if abbreviated) visual explanation of Joseph Campbell‘s…