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Archive: Inspiration

Technology Is Making Our Writing…Better?

By Jennifer Blevins on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - Comments Off

I have a longstanding love affair with words. Truth be told, I can?t get enough of ?em. I love long n? languid complex sentences, extended metaphors, adverbs and adjectives and gerunds?oh my! I like to read a lot of words and I like to use a lot of words, and I live in constant fear that I am a member of a dying breed. I have long assumed that the pillars of eloquence have been crumbling down around us as ?text speak? rapes the English language and inane Facebook status updates stunt the intellectual growth of the young. But I recently read an article by Clive Thompson in Wired Magazine that gives me new hope and urges me to see the evolution of language in a fresh light. Read more »

5 Phenomenal Examples of Fan-Made Transformative Storytelling

By JK Evanczuk on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - Comments Off

What happened to Snow White?With 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and even Star Trek, the notion of transformative work has been a particularly hot topic these past few months. Transformative work not only plays havoc with intellectual property law, but also with the audience as storytellers take our familiar, beloved characters and then subvert them entirely. Holden Caulfield is 76 years old and on the run from a nursing home, Elizabeth Bennett defends her family from hoards of zombies, and James Tiberius Kirk finds himself without a father and a long way to go before he can become captain of the USS Enterprise. The result is all the more shocking and enlightening given the juxtaposition of the transformed work with our knowledge of the original work.

It’s a compelling artistic endeavor. And transformative work is nothing new. Fans of Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad wrote their own books based on his works. Cervantes’ Don Quixote saw more than a few unauthorized published sequels. John Gardner’s Grendel, a re-telling of Beowulf from the monster’s point of view, was published to great acclaim (which, being one of my favorite books, I definitely recommend you giving it a read). Gregory Maguire’s best-selling Wicked, an alternate take on The Wizard of Oz, is now one of Broadway’s biggest hits. You get the idea.

But what about fan-made transformative works? While there are countless pieces of fan fiction and fan art out there, in which fans take their favorite characters and merely continue their stories, genuine transformative works are far less common. But as few and far-between as they may be, their stories really resonate.

After the jump, a short list of lesser-known, but by no means lesser-quality, fan-made transformative storytelling that challenge the old adage “there are no new stories.”

Read more »

The Moth: Storytelling Crack

By Jennifer Blevins on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 - Comments Off

The Moth podcasts are storytelling crack. I have a new addiction. Oh, and it?s so delicious. I just can?t seem to get enough. Each fix is only temporary and leaves me wanting more. But thankfully this addiction is free and doesn?t harm my body in any way. And it?s so simple, you?d never guess: The Moth podcasts. See, I spend a lot of time on trains. And while I am a voracious reader, I had the misfortune of inheriting severe motion sickness from my grandmother. Just like Granny, if I try to read more than a page or two while on a moving vehicle I break out in a cold sweat and feel like I?m about to hurl. So I?m left with hours and hours on trains with nothing to do but to listen to my iPod. Well, recently a dear friend of mine recommended that I download The Moth podcasts. And this dear friend opened me up to a whole new world of awesomeness. The Moth is kind of like a drug. Storytelling crack. Yes, The Moth is storytelling crack. And I urge you to partake. Read more »