Wednesday, April 25, 2012

30 Days of Writing, Day 1

Name of your current project and back story of the name

This doesn't work for me, really. Titles are never a good thing for me to figure out, and they usually come far down the track. As I don't actually have a title for my story as of yet, let's go with some previous titles I've used for other stories and why I used them, then I'll say what my story's about (or will be about) so you can get an idea about it.

  • Age 6: Two Little Girls
    We begin the creative process young. Two Little Girls was, as expected, about two little girls who went on adventures. These adventures were things like trips to the zoo and whatnot - things kids get excited about in Sydney - and were carefully handwritten with accompanying drawings. My best friend at the time, Alyssa, wrote these with me. 
  • Age 13: Pretty much any title involving Simple Plan/The Used/Good Charlotte/Blink 182 lyrics
    Oh, to be thirteen again. I had black hair, black clothes, a bleak life outlook and terrible taste in music. (My taste is still terrible, according to all of my friends, but I maintain Aqua is brilliant music to listen to when doing assignments. The Swedish get pop dance stuff right. Or are they Danish?) Anyway, these were mostly terrible fanfics where my main character, a thinly-veiled version of myself, would have shenanigans of some description with these bands. I am truly thankful I never discovered, otherwise I'd have a lot of explaining to do.
  • Age 16: Vivir Con Miedo, Es Como Vivir A Medias
    If anyone's familiar with Australian cinema, you'll know that's a Strictly Ballroom reference. I wrote this when I was in the throes of staying at home (woo panic attacks) and I basically was watching all the Baz Luhrmann, all the time. This story was an appropriation I had to do for Extension English - we had to appropriate Frankenstein. If you feel like reading the story, it lives here. I look at my old short stories and wonder where my skill in writing creepy stories went.
  • Age 17: Exotopy OR A Season Called Home
    I chose Exotopy, my tutor chose A Season Called Home. Exotopy was an interesting word I stumbled upon when researching this novella. The word literally means outsidedness. According to this website, it's also used to describe when an author 'speaks' the authentic voices of characters outside their own. This was probably my most deliberate title choice. The characters were migrants, as I've been focusing on for three years now, and for two of them, they existed by assuming identities. For Fernanda, she wanted to be a part of her family and so allowed herself to become Spanish over Australian. For Cristobal, it was the opposite. For Santiago, the outsider feeling was the dominant feeling. My tutor added the very corny Season Called Home because Extension 2 English is stupid. I had to incorporate Romanticism into it (why, why didn't I get to study life writing?) and I focused on the seasons - each character was associated with a season. Unfortunately I had to put a really obtuse reference to that in the title, because my English teacher kept nagging, my tutor became exasperated, and I let her do as she saw fit.
  • Age 18: Understanding
    Back to Chilean stories. This is the first attempt at my Novel and Memoir story, except it's a short story. The title was so chosen because the second last line was something like, "One day, mi vida, you'll understand." I'll go into more detail when I explain my novel.
  • Age 20: About the Toes
    A memoir piece relating to my father's toes. I went with a Sedarisy angle, and Sedaris uses quirky titles for his pieces. Okay, that's a lie. I literally couldn't think of anything else, and an hour before I submitted the assignment I tacked the title on, printed it off, and fled to the train.
Now, the novel.
Basically this novel is an extension of Understanding. It may have the same title when I get around to it, who knows. It'll revolve around Carmen, age 19, her mother's best friend, whose name escapes me (it's in my room somewhere) and this woman's son, Cristian. Rather than doing the whole woo teen love angle (I'm going to slightly cover that, if I can make it realistic), I'm going to focus more on the relationship between Carmen and her mother's friend. Carmen is basically an outsider, and I enjoy writing these ones. I found my closest relationships outside of my immediate family (such as for much of my teenager years, my grandfather was my surrogate father - due to my insanity, not my father's - and is now the person I love more than anyone in the world. He, too, was the black sheep in our family), and I find it interesting to explore the relationships that aren't typical. The woman and Carmen are similar, but different, but understanding life in the confines of a certain culture is the outcome.

So there you have it. I've also pretty much done an assignment in here - had to write a pitch for Novel and Memoir. Polish the last paragraph up and I'm done!
Muchas gracias, interwebs! 

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