While I have always been a storyteller of sorts, I am not much of a writer of stories–but I have always been intrigued by the relative simplicity at the core design level of most books and movies. A lot of it is tied to my love for Joseph Campbell’s work on the Heroic Cycle, which shapes so much of my teaching in 8th and 9th grade. I am also curious about ways to successfully “break” the common cycle of stories–and still produce a piece of worthy and memorable literature. When I read Jayber Crow, by Wendell Berry, I was simply in awe of the beauty of the language, imagery and simple exploration of a time and place.
In my own writing of Hallow’s Lake (unfinished of course) I am trying to create a novel that is a mosaic pieced together by a narrator and aside from the narrator no character greater or lesser than any others. Every chapter is a slice of life lived by some character tied to a remote community around a lake in New Hampshire. I only work on the novel sporadically.
At any rate, I only opened up this blog to post this Kurt Vonnegut video about the shapes of stories that I found in (of all places) The Daily Mail. It is a short, humorous, and not very academic video, but I thought my students might like to see it when we start our short story units.