Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wheel of Time Theories 1 & 2

So, while it's on my mind, I should go ahead and placed down a few of my theories for the upcoming FINAL CHAPTER in the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. While we patiently wait for Brandon Sanderson to finish A Memory of Light, I feel like we may suddenly one day turn around and, bam! the book is out and we've read it. And along the way we forgot to put our theories in writing, just so, you know, we could prove that we were right.

So, I'm just going to write down a few major ones that I've had for a while. If you haven't read this series, set aside the next year and grab books 1-13 and go to town! If you have read these books, you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Theory 1. Lan dies. Nynaeve gets with Valan Luca in her post-Lan depression. All's well that ends well.
Theory 2. Rand dies. Nynaeve finally figures out how to Heal death and brings him back to life. Why? You don't mention that "everything can be Healed except death" fourteen thousand times and then never do the opposite of it. Not when everything else that "couldn't be done" (cleansing the male half of the Source, Healing insanity, fixing someone who's been gentled or stilled, etc.) gets done despite the fact that it was "impossible."

That's it. Two theories. I'm done.

Writing Prompts: 

1. Take some time and think about what your readers are theorizing about the end of your novel or short story. Stop right where you are and think of five different endings for your book. Think of the exact opposite ending to what you have intended to write. Have you written anything to make your readers think you were going in that direction? Did you do it on purpose? Why? Why not? Are any of the theorized endings actually better than the one you've been planning on writing? (In my book The Crown of White, Moss Willimon used to go south at the beginning of the novel. One day I realized it would be far more interesting if he went north instead. So I changed it. Don't be afraid of change for the better.)

2. Have you ever written that something was "impossible" just so your readers would be amazed when you had a character figure out a way to do the impossible? Did the purposeful misleading hinder or help the story? Write a one-page story where the last sentence accomplishes what the first sentence claimed was impossible. What happens along the way to change the impossible to the possible? 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Prose vs. Poetry Writing Prompt

A while back, a man decided to make the perfect statue. So he sat on his front porch in winter and thought about the statue. He ordered the block of granite, and it lay in his front yard while he pondered. He planned it out in his mind, how he would strike each individual blow and polish it so well that the graceful arc of an arm would slowly emerge from the granite. He planned and planned for so long, that when he finally decided to make the statue, it was late into fall of the next year. The old block of granite was beginning to show signs of weathering and wear, but he knew still what lay beneath. So he began to chip and chisel and carve, and he worked till his sweat poured and he almost began to hate the block of stone. Almost. But he refused to let it win.

So he made it. Then, in the ignition of birth, the statue began to take a life of its own, growing. Growing.

Growing. Expanding, and snowballing into something better than he'd ever imagined. He polished it. He crafted it. And when he was finished: it was a novel statue indeed.

Another man I knew came behind that novelist and gathered the chips of stone that had fallen away, discarded. He pressed them firmly into place in a pool of mortar and lay them in the sun to dry. When he was finished, he took his mosaic home and placed it in his garden. There was something poetic about it there. The mosaic, made of the discarded chips and pieces of the novel, leftover words and fragments of sentences, gathered the sunlight and reflected it into the darker reaches of the garden. It was a beauty in and of itself as well.

Write a short short story in which a statue is the main character. Write the scene from the statue's point of view. See what she sees. Make the statue not human. 

Then, write a poem about the leftover pieces of wood after a carpenter finishes a project. What happens to them? Do they have any stories to tell? Where do the bigger scraps go? The smaller ones? Is there even a drop of jealousy among the various pieces of lumber? Why?