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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Overview Setting: Case Study: Invisible Light by Marcy Weydemuller

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

Some of the joys and heartaches of writing are the surprises that turn up unexpectedly—especially after the first draft is completed. We discover a thread we had not intended but does work well, or we have written ourselves into a corner that doesn’t seem to have an answer.

So I thought I’d share with you a dilemma I faced after my first few drafts of Invisible Light that I hadn’t considered. And how setting helped me to solve it. And it may have mattered to no one but me.

Ashia’s story set in contemporary San Francisco. The poetry fairy tale story Ashia wrote is set in a loose version of medieval times. Both stories seemed as far apart as possible and I wanted their connection to be organic and not orchestrated.

As I read over I realized that the setting and tone in the fairy tale were often connecting with Ashia’s confusion emotionally and when I followed that thread I found a connection that helped me with the edit draft.

I don’t know that it will make sense to anyone else but in this project setting helped me find a bridge.  I’ve posted one excerpt below.

Share: What have you written recently that surprised you?


Read deep, marcy


Excerpt Invisible Light Chapter Four

“He chose my childhood play tower for my dungeon
memories of sunlit days
hidden behind layered moss, an ivy-sewn shroud.

Meeting of sky and water; river falling,
hurrying toward the sea.

Makeshift planks stretch across soggy banks
hesitant boards crackle under foot weight.

Masons quickly finish bricking parapet.
haunted faces refuse to look us in the eye,
melt into air as doorway closes.” …


…“Ashia sighed. She did know. It was the complete dismissal of anything Ashia told her about the situation at school. Her mom kept saying give it time—this city is different—or other ridiculous clich├ęs. Another thing the real Erinn Vaega would never include in her thoughts. The reason she was so good in her field was the accuracy with which she could discern insincerity, false motives, and hidden agendas.
            Had they both fallen under some kind of spell when they visited the office? Ashia felt like she had with the fatigue that clung to her almost every moment at school.”…

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