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Thursday

Thursday Craft: Monomyth in Munro (Part VI in a Series)

In Alice Munro’s sto­ry “The Lives of Girls and Women,” a young girl Del con­fronts the orga­niz­ing prin­ci­ples of the peo­ple in the Cana­di­an small town of Jubilee. Reli­gion, neigh­bors, sex, mar­riages, gen­der, love, social mores–all these throw obsta­cles in the way of Del as she seeks to grow into wom­an­hood. The sto­ry begins with Del’s search for glo­ry in her small town, and that search for glo­ry becomes con­nect­ed to sex, as she finds a “sex” book belong­ing to Del’s friend Naomi’s moth­er. Mr. Cham­ber­lain, a male friend of a board­er in Del’s house, gropes Del, lead­ing to fur­ther encoun­ters with Mr. Cham­ber­lain. Del returns from these encoun­ters, that jour­ney into chaos, with a new under­stand­ing of sex, of men, of the type of woman Fern desires to become.

Wednesday

Victor Stabin Brings You The Letter G

For almost three years, wher­ev­er he went, Vic­tor Stabin brought a dic­tio­nary along. Comb­ing through over 8,000 pages of a vari­ety of dic­tio­nar­ies, he came up with the allit­er­a­tions that inhab­it this work.

Monday

The Bum End: Part 2 on the Muted Ending

Ste­fanie Freele explores the lay­ers of “mod­ern end­ings” in con­tem­po­rary writ­ing & rais­es the idea that per­haps short sto­ry end­ings are mut­ed. Part 2 of 3.

Saturday

FF.Net Looks at the Monomyth in Joyce’s “Araby”

This entry in the Mon­o­myth series looks at James Joyce’s “Ara­by” and how the mon­o­myth works to both struc­ture the sto­ry and pro­vide its mean­ing.

Friday

FF.Net Returns to Campbell’s Monomyth, Part IV, The Return

Pre­vi­ous posts took an intro­duc­to­ry look at Joseph Campbell’s Mon­o­myth and a more in-depth view of the first and sec­ond rites of Campbell’s mon­o­myth, the sep­a­ra­tion and the ini­ti­a­tion. Today, in the third part of the series, the focus turns to the end of stories–and the return.

Thursday

Campbell’s Monomyth, Initiation (Part III in a Series)

Pre­vi­ous posts took an intro­duc­to­ry look at Joseph Campbell’s Mon­o­myth and a more in-depth view of the first rite of Campbell’s mon­o­myth, the sep­a­ra­tion and the ini­ti­a­tion. Today, in the third part of the series, the focus turns to the mid­dle of stories–and the ini­ti­a­tion.

Wednesday

Flash Focus: Victor Stabin Brings You the Letter C

For almost three years, wher­ev­er he went, Vic­tor Stabin brought a dic­tio­nary along. Comb­ing through over 8,000 pages of a vari­ety of dic­tio­nar­ies, he came up with the allit­er­a­tions that inhab­it this work. 

Tuesday

Writing the Monomyth into the Short Short, Part II, The Inciting Incident

Plot, Peter Brooks argues in Read­ing for the Plot, is a “form of desire that car­ries us [read­ers] for­ward, onward, through the text” (37). In oth­er words, for plot to work, both read­ers and char­ac­ters must be “stim­u­lat­ed from qui­es­cence into a…tension, a kind of irri­ta­tion, which demands nar­ra­tion.” If plot, as Brooks argues, occurs in both the text and the read­ers, then the writer must be con­cerned, not only with inspir­ing with­in the char­ac­ter the desire to do some­thing, but also with arous­ing with­in the read­er the inten­tion to read. Both char­ac­ter and read­er sit qui­et­ly, yes, but also poised for some­thing to hap­pen. The known world doesn’t do it for them any­more. A dead­ness per­vades the every­day. They’re ready for some­thing to happen–and some­thing does, the incit­ing inci­dent that demands a sto­ry.