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Gotcha.

But now that you’re here, I guess you have no choice but to read about my struggles so far in writing my novella for capstone. Darn!

My first struggle is that the middle of my manuscript has no plot. That’s because I had such a clear idea of what I wanted in the beginning and end of the novella. And now, I’m stuck in the middle.

Literally.

I’m too ashamed to workshop what I have so far, mainly because I think it’s so cheesy that it’s not yet worthy of your minor-in-writing eyes. I know we’ve all felt that, so feel free to mentally snap in commiseration.

Image result for snap gif poetry applause

What I realized would be helpful is if I wrote out a summary of my novella so far. That way, everyone in class will at least know what’s happening each time I bring in my 35-page draft, and I will no longer be forced into an awkward state of dishing out vague, unhelpful descriptions.

Zach got me thinking more about what kind of character I want Death to be, which is awesome, because I’m not sure yet myself. Also, Sydney got me thinking about what illustration I’ll have on the cover, which is also awesome, because I’m also not sure yet. Note to self: think about these things later.

I’m going to be honest; I’m struggling to make this blog post longer. I think it’s because I always hated blogging, so I’m trying to get better at it. So I’m going to tell you about my Halloween costume.

I’m going to be Princess Jasmine, because the live-action for Aladdin is coming out this summer (which, if you haven’t seen the trailer, what are you doing still reading this?!
Go watch it-bye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g5knnlF7Zo).

My boyfriend is going to be Aladdin, but we’re struggling to find him a stuffed animal monkey to borrow for his costume. Every Aladdin needs an Abu, so if you have an Abu you would like to donate to me for a day, I promise I’ll take good care of it (seriously, my email is fshaidar@umich.edu, help a girl out):

Image result for funny abu aladdin

So many things to think about, so much more to write. Even though the draft was due yesterday.

Good luck everyone!

1: The Journey Begins

Both for me and Amir, the main character of my novella/novel: Dying Man’s Wish.

 

The Orontes, or “The Green River.” This is a scene-to-be in Dying Man’s Wish. I took this picture of the Asi (Orontes) River near the Beqqa Valley, in Lebanon. (Excuse the poor quality of this image; this is just a screenshot of the actual image).

 

The coming-of-age plot centers around the son of a grave robber, Amir, as he begins to gain perspective on life and death in an ancient Middle Eastern society. The setting will bring to life some of the monuments and stories native to the Middle East. In this way, I aspire to both comment on and alter history through a creative lens, the way I imagine my ancestors interacted with the monuments, or lived the stories we now tell. It’s almost like re-writing history, the way I imagine it, to create a piece of historical fiction.

The plot is narrated by Death, an opinionated, all-knowing entity whose form is left up to the imagination of the reader. Ironically, Death offers comedic relief at times, and bits of experiential wisdom at others. Mostly, though, Death is the primary raconteur of the story.

Other elements I want to incorporate into the novel/novella include social and political commentary on issues that still impact the Middle East today. In this way, I hope to discuss modern issues that are really just continuations of ancient issues, such as women’s rights and political corruption. Doing this grants me a way to discreetly, but not innocuously, “show the world its own shame,” in the words of Oscar Wilde.

But I also want to show the world its own beauty. In part, that is where the image above, along with others, come in. I will incorporate a series of images I have taken in my travels abroad to serve as various settings. More on this later 😉

Thank you for reading!

At Your Desk, in the Coffee Shop…Where Should You Write?

Hello friends. I am a big proponent of switching things up—

Hold up. Wait a minute. You’ve definitely said you don’t like change in the past. You said it was scary.

Well, all right. Okay. You got me. I like switching things up in some instances. And one of them, thank you very much, is when it comes to having different places to study and/or write. (So just slow your roll there for a second.)

Fine.

In the past four school years, and in accordance with my divine wisdom of—

Okay, sorry. I cannot just stand by silently while you say stupid sh*t like that. Let’s be real, bruh.

Ahem. Okay. I’ll just say, in the last four years, I have studied in a variety of places — from the UgLi to the Dude to Shapiro; from Starbucks to Starbucks…to Starbucks? (yes, that’s right); from Potbelly to Sweetwaters to Espresso Royale; I’ve been around, kid. Sometimes you need a change of scenery to get the juices flowing.

My project for the Capstone course has very much been about how writing is made. Over the last two months I’ve compiled a novella weighing a little more than 20,000 words—

Oooh, big shot. Brag some more.

That is not bragging, buddy. It’s simply stating a fact. Haven’t you seen that Word Document? It’s Donald-Trump-YUGE!

YUGE
Self-explanatory. (Not an endorsement of Donald Trump; we’ll leave those to Sarah Palin and Chris Christie.)

Anyway, as I was saying: the guidelines I set up for writing the novella dictated that I go about the writing process in various ways. Sometimes I had to stand while writing, other times lay down. At one point, I holed up in the laundry room, locking myself away until a word goal for the day/night was met. And the latter part of the novella I’ve been writing on yellow legal pads, a la Maya Angelou style. (The whole thing is about emulating famous writers).

But that’s not what the story’s about.

Quite right. It’s about King Krush and his battle with not one, but two (!) villains who threaten him and his kingdom. And I’ve written it in a variety of locales, such as the Starbucks cafe in Barnes & Noble, where I find myself currently penning this.

You’re actually typing. I see you, liar.

Christ. They knew what I meant. Let me just answer the damn question before this guy drives us all mad. Where should you write? I’d advise trying a cornucopia of places—

Okay, wow. You didn’t pull out the Dictionary.com app for that one or anything…

*Sigh* Okay. Just remember to switch it up, folks. If you have a favorite spot but it’s becoming a little rusty, don’t be afraid to change it up. You never know where you’ll find inspiration.

Now, please excuse me as I strangle this little punk..

Voices in Head
Relevant.