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AES Kris Curtis Barney "Getting it Right"
Chloe Curtison 30 May 2014
Transcript of AES Kris Curtis Barney "Getting it Right"
Getting it Right: Process Revision of a Short Story
"Rolling Toward the Bitter End"
Conflict established with Back Story.
Jake did not want to move away from his lakefront cabin. Nor, did he want to admit the murder was his fault. In respect to the former, the first time he tried the move, he blamed it on his dog--motion sickness. He did not even get three hours out when he turned back, dropped his dog at his parent’s house and took out his Harley for a week long solo trip around the Wisconsin Dells. To the latter, well it let’s just say there is a moment in which self-defense is a choice or the only choice, and there was some ambiguity there. Jake did finally make it out west. The choice had been made for him. His bike sold, his cabin gutted and his guns and clothes packed-shipped-to meet him after his trial for first-degree homicide
The Harder Work:
Create meaningful dialogue
Parallel Don and Liz with Don and Flight attendant
Zipper like back story
Ideas came from :
Story 1 "Between Friends"
Zipper like back story
That year had been a rough one for Daniels. She was young, too young for what had happened to her and I felt bad about that too. Maybe that’s just what it was- I still felt bad. I Always thought she was so strong, for a girl anyway. And when we were kids, she could beat any boy around in the fifty-yard dash. We were always together.
It had been one long hot summer. We stayed out pretty late in those days. Only way to get relief was to get low to get cool. We had a large front lawn, so we would hang out there laid out on a blanket listening to the cicadas. They were ubiquitous. There was nothing like that sound, that buzz of electricity come to life.
Besides friends and something cold to drink and not liquor yet anyway, we were fourteen, the cicadas were all you needed to have a good time. Not a huge fan, Daniels would often talk over them, in attempt to get them to take the hint. But, I loved them. You didn’t have tot talk- you listened.
"In a Way With Ms. Daniels"
Not that it had been the precursor to what inevitably later would be blamed on the unassuming newborn, but Ms. Daniel’s pregnancy to Mrs. Parker was the beginning of the end. Both promised things would not change, but both women knew a lie when they heard one.
“It is happening again”
“Why? Are you letting it happen?”
“I do not have the time to baby him.”
“Does he say he is unhappy? Does he say …there is someone else?”
“He does not say almost anything. But I know we can work it out. We can make it work” but he is unhappy, he wants a baby and I don’t.
“I’m always saving lives”
“It is a noble profession”
“Jackson was saved. Not by me, he said Jesus saved him long before I did”
“Jackson is a good husband”
“His life wouldn’t change”
“Change can be good”
“Change is just change”
“Good or bad, I save lives, what does Jackson do?”
“Loves you. He says he loves you right?”
“Jackson loves Jackson” and to be quite honest I don’t know why we are even together.
My results: Five short stories
I Used process revision
Metaphor For Process Revision: Quilt
(Patches from other pieces sewn to make complete entity, but instead of it being different stories pieced together, it is different experiences of the actual success or failure when writing the other stories
instead of revising a complete story, you are using short writing sessions to flesh out elements.
these writing sessions might/might not be the story you are working on, it might just be a brainstorming or scene writing for setting, dialogue, secondary character development.
once I hit the element, I knew what success felt like, so I found it easier to replicate for intended work.
Now, I will introduce you to Don Pruett protagonist/apathetic husband of "Flight"
Strategy: (In hindsight)
Created shell story
Scene writing –to see when I successfully executed element
Lean out after each draft (wanted nine pages or less)
Use workshop to solicit peer review
Approaching the draft process from form rather than content allowed me to write for short periods of time specifically on characterization and trajectory/pacing. What I found worked for me was to goal myself for the specific session and then look at the process product.