first I'm gonna introduce my plan how to make up for the late post last Sunday. Because I was so inactive, I will go to 10 different blogs each day this week and leave a comment. These blogs will be published with links and a short introduction in my Wednesday and Sunday posts.
Isn't that a nice way to make it up to you?
Today I want to tell you quickly why I was so off this month. After finishing University exams early in May, I took a short vacation and then something amazing happened.
My application for an internship at a small publishers in Berlin turned into a full-time job offer. This means that I will be involved in publishing two children's books over the summer, which is just amazing. Unfortunately, they will be in German for now, so I can only tell you about it. It's really exciting for me, because I have lots of responsibilities and I get to know the publishing world first hand.
Where did you get your first publishing experience?
Before we get to the post, I have to apologize.
At the beginning of the year, I promised to post every Sunday, except for special reasons. This Sunday I wasn't at home all day and had my birthday in my mind, which is why I forgot. I'm really sorry guys. I will think about a special treat for you in exchange or you can suggest what I should do to make it up.
Additionally, I haven't been very active due to exam period, but as this is now over, I'm glad to be back in the bloggosphere and hope to see you all on your lovely blogs soon.
Here's this weeks post:
Aristotele says there needs to be a moment of change10. I’m glad to have a twofold one.
Amelie starts being concerned through Tyler’s violent behaviour; this worsens when her friend discloses his stalker knowledge. She changes from an ignorant blogger to a concerned internet user, which her last blog entry nicely sums up.
Also important: avoiding melodrama. The thought of what Tyler knows or could do is more intriguing than him attacking her, which I realized from Burroway and Stuckey-French11. The end is open to interpretation; Deborah taught me that this can be more effective. I tried this successfully in previous short stories. This way the reader ponders more about the future and the issue.
In my first draft, the club scene was way too elaborate and slowed down the pace. I cut a large bit. With the use of Simon’s pedantic editing notes12, I usually keep sentences very short. Here I concentrated on getting the right balance. The notes also helped me to cut over-explained parts like “she couldn’t tell what it was supposed to mean this time”, a mistake many of the stories I proofread often make. My own stupid mistake: I had to recheck the dialogue, because I accidently mixed it up with the German rules.
I don’t know about you, but I loved the working title “The Blogger Stalker”. Unfortunately, it gave away too much. I wanted the story to be more explorative. I went for the multipurpose “Green Friend Request”, which implies a comment on the Facebook blue, on Tyler’s green eyes and the naivety of Amelie.
Please tell me know what you think.
I don’t like conventions. There’s no excitement.
I enjoyed using the blog entries to disclose Amelie’s inner thoughts as in “Tyler, who was not only really cute, but also gave me this feeling”, instead of just showing and implying it.
By using Facebook with very detailed descriptions such as “a red encircled 1 in the top left corner“ and the unusual display name, “Tyler “Bing” Bening”, I played on the familiarity with the network. I hope this partly ridicules to what extent we know the layout inside out.
Normal written speech is usually artificial and cleaner than reality, which my tutor Deborah explained with “Ahs, Ohs and Yeahs” that sound awkward in writing when used to often. To make the chat scene more immediate, though, I included some spelling mistakes and a lack of punctuation (I keep complaining about that in real life), see for example “Im sure u did fine”. Copying the Facebook chat was a challenge: I couldn’t use pictures, so I switched to names, the Skype layout, and I made the Facebook font smaller and italics for the speech for readability and to differ from the main story.
Do you think it works this way?
The exciting end tomorrow.
After generating the idea, I worked on characters, made notes about names and specific traits. Their backgrounds came from from people I know, like a collection, to ensure that I can portray them better.
I only concentrated on physical details where it was reasonable, again a lesson from Jonathan . The sole weight lies on the ginger hair of the stalker Tyler, because it reveals that she likes him and later shows his hidden nature, as he hits the drunken guy.
I pondered on my use of third person. First person is more direct, but third stresses the voice change between story and blog entries. In the end, third helped me to use John Singleton’s advice on having characters speak differently from the author. I stole an idea, too: the Opal book series uses simple sentences, while blank lines work as an ellipsis of time like the cuts in films .
The prologue of Sabatina’s “Sterben sollst du für dein Glück” promised a great story about Pakistani family disputes and gender roles, but she described very generally . Her few references to weird European toilets grabbed me the most. Therefore, I focussed on using concrete detail from the start like the drinks in the club, the dancing stage or the type of assignments Amelie worries about.
Next find some structural decisions.
The next few posts I want to share the process of creating my most recent short story, as it explores the dangers of social media. For those who have read my blog recently, it will be quite obvious that the idea came from my own experience, because I've previously published similar entries as my main character Amelie.
However, it’s a fictional story, for I integrated many aspects that didn’t happen to me. For instance, I didn’t have a stalker, but one of my blogger friends Apfelicious, whose blogger name inspired me for Amelie’s online identity, had one and was forced to change her URL. Initially, I just wanted to write a girl-meets-boy story and grabbed the plot from my recent encounter that was quite magical due to strange coincidences. My tutor Deborah said to us that using real events can help to start off and I proved that to myself with my last piece in Writing Place. It was immediate due to its real place and happenings.
Multiple reasons triggered the stalker-media design, one I mentioned already. In our module Writing Context, we explored New Media this year and I wanted to combine this knowledge with a normal short story. Then our tutors keep telling us how important using social media as a writer can be, especially as part of our careers week, but they miss lecturing us in detail about the risks involved. A visiting professional writer told us last year that she finds ideas by asking herself “What if?”. In this short story, I wondered what if I unwillingly invite a stalker with my blog? Tomorrow I will tell you more about the writing process.