The final finished short form writing pieces for my AHS capstone. There is a sci-fi short story, a fantasy short story, and a poetry zine (in pictures and text only form). My goal was to explore a wide variety of short form writing. There is also a 'story builder' guide that was used for an interactive activity during the exhibit.
More about my initial goals and form:
I aimed to write multiple pieces of short form writing (fiction stories & poetry), specifically to explore genre blending and unusual forms of writing. I’m inspired by writers who have transitioned narrators in the middle of paragraphs, have poetic descriptions with cadence in the middle of science fiction, and other unique forms. I want to take time to explore having a personal writing style/trademark while feeling more comfortable in the writing basics.
I produced a portfolio of various stories and poems I wrote during the semester. I also listed the works I was inspired by at the end of each piece. I was successful in my goal to create 8 short form writing pieces for the semester, as I wrote 2 short stories and 9 poems. This was not for my final submission, but I additionally wrote at least something every day in a physical notebook - poetry, thoughts on what I’m reading, or story ideas. This inspired my writing and served as a free brainstorming space. Since I was more comfortable with poems, I wanted to share these in a coherent theme and I compiled them into a zine. This was combined with matching pictures drawn by another student (Dylan Merzenich). The short stories I wanted to be more exploratory and aimed to get more breadth in topic and style. A stretch goal was to make a guide for how to create short stories or generate ideas, which I ended up completing as an interactive activity for exhibit.
I set out to connect three subjects with this project: my AHS concentration in media studies, science fiction and fantasy media, and education. The intersection of these topics is the result of my project: a curriculum for a media studies course analyzing common themes and structures used in the representation of fictional worlds and their connections to modern and historical cultures and societies. The media I explored and class discussion prompts I created raise a variety of questions and will spur conversation on philosophy, ethics, religion, race, sexuality, and the foundation of them all, identity. This project has provided a unique opportunity for me to go through the experience of analyzing books, film, and television from my perspective as a student, but also from the perspective of a teacher. In forming my exploration into a cohesive curriculum, I worked to create an overarching structure that builds up new ideas and concepts in both a logical and interesting order. As the course concludes, the topics and the relationships among them should begin to crystalize and connect, ideally in a manner that reveals as many new questions as answers and leaves students excited to continue to further pursue the ideas of the course in their own media consumption. The following document includes the course syllabus and lesson plans for a half-semester course that I will co-teach with my advisor, Prof. Maruta Vitols, in Spring 2016.
Having studied and written short stories for a few years, I wanted to try and expand that to the next logical step: a novel. Or in this case, a novella. Starting with research in the how-to department, I built a fantasy world, central narrative, characters, plot, and tried to tie it all together with humor in one big story. The document with “background” in the title is all the information an author needs to build a believable world – the mythos, locations, major characters, economy, and much more. The story itself was not finished, but has quite the start to it. This also was a study into the realm of writing humor, seeing as spoken comedy and written comedy are two different beasts entirely. The end result is simple though: a story with the intent to entertain.