Perhaps the best way to learn about writing is by studying the work of other
writers. Today, you will choose a book by a writer you admire. Read a
paragraph of this book to get the author’s “voice” in your head. Now, try to write
your own story (or rewrite a story you have written) the way this author would
have written it. Imitate the author’s style and the techniques he or she uses…
Well, this brings me to one of my big insecurities, the unshakable feeling that I am not good enough first and foremost because I am not able to break down what I do and why. Yes, I was a literature minor in college many many moons ago, but analyzing style was a skill I never acquired. This one will be hard and will make me very nervous.
I have chosen Sarah Monette and an excerpt from The Mirador. This is even harder since I so rarely write in first person. Now I am sitting her wondering why. It is not a conscious choice I have made. Hmmm. Things to think about. I think I will make it a goal to write something in first person after this.
“I stopped, as I always did, to check on the mostly dead perseïd tree that stood against the ruined wall. I didn’t know if the tree still retained any symbolic connection to the waking world, but it had been linked to Mildmay, to the huphantike that Thamuris had cast and that I, in my blind arrogance, had enacted. It might have been superstition or it might have been penance–either way, I could not enter the Khloïdanikos without making sure that the perseïd still had some life in it, even if only a bare handful of green leaves.
I had learned not to hope for more.
The tree looked as bleak as ever tonight, and I did not linger. Thamuris was waiting, stretched out on the bench and staring up at the stars. He preferred the Khloïdanikos at night, when myriad paper lanterns stood beside the path, hung from the bridges, floated on the koi pond, nestled in the branches of the perseïd trees. The moon did not wax and wane here, but bloomed always full and beautiful in the sky; the stars, against the velvety blackness of the sky, glittered in constellations that neither Thamuris nor I could recognize.”
I hate this city.
It isn’t like I ever wanted to move here, I was perfectly happy to stay in Arkansas, but Dad took the job with the University of Miami and now here I am. The only thing I like so far is this mall The trees are strung with white Christmas lights all year round, they twinkle and glitter like little stars amongst the leaves. It makes me think of fairies, or elves out of Tolkien. Those are interesting. Miami is not.
I sometimes wondered if I did something terrible in a past life to be stuck with such a boring family. My father is the epitome of lame, and my mother has all the imagination of a star fish. Not to say that starfish were not an imaginative creation, but that the starfish itself is not going to be very imaginative itself, not having a brain and all.
I am not saying that my mother is not smart; she just doesn’t see the world as anything other than the concrete here and now. My father is no better.
Maybe I am so kind of changing child. Didn’t the old English people believe in babies switched at birth by fairies? Or was that trolls? Maybe trolls were Scandinavian. Either way, I am almost sure I am not their child. But then I get to wondering what happened to their child if I was a changeling. What happened to the baby the fairies took? Then I get sad and my parents start asking what is wrong and it just goes downhill from there.