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Song of the Moment: Treasure – The Gathering

The first meeting for inkTank is this Saturday, and I can’t wait!  I’m really optimistic that this program will help me become a better writer and will also help me contribute to the oft-ignored writing community in the Twin Cities.  I’m very fortunate to live in an area known for its artistic community; whether it’s music, visual art, writing, or theatre, Minneapolis/St. Paul has everything, which is why I’m actually considering attending college here in Minnesota, as opposed to moving to Wisconsin, which was what I had originally planned.  Of course, I still have plenty of time to think about what I’m doing after high school, but it’s still good to have an idea about what I want.

Back to inkTank.  For our first meeting, we have to bring a piece of our own writing (more on this in a bit), what we wrote for a writing exercise (where I will bring my poem “Absinth,” perhaps extended a bit), and writing from our favorite author.  This is where I’m having a bit of a tough time deciding.  I have a few ideas, including a children’s book that I consider the reason I wanted to write in the first place, but I’m still largely undecided.  I guess you’ll find out when I do.

This is a good time to formally announce my latest project, even though most of my friends know about it already.  The working title is Reverie, and I will be sticking to my roots by (hopefully!) making it dramatic and edgy, because that’s the kind of stuff I like to read.  It will be a story (I hesitate to call it a “novel” at the moment) about a girl named Jennifer Austad and her group of childhood friends—the “Ladybird Rebellion,” as they call themselves—as they discover that their secret hideout may not be as secret as they once believed.

This is my first story taking place in the modern world, which means it will be both easier and much more challenging at the same time.  It will, of course, be more challenging because I am so unfamiliar with writing fiction that doesn’t include magic and elven people, but it will be easier because I can look at the world around me for inspiration and ideas.  Describing things won’t be such a hassle.

I still want to maintain some fantastic elements, though, which is why I’ve created a plot that centers around the paranormal.  I’m talking spirits, ghosts, demons—the works.  I would say more, but I’m not even sure how rigid the plot I’ve outlined is yet; it could very easily be radically different a week from now.  I’m affectionately calling Reverie “gothic fiction,” mostly because I think the word gothic sounds cool.

In Anne Lammot’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, she frequently mentions how characters should be inspired by real people you know or admire.  The main character, Jennifer, is inspired by a few people:

  • Jessica Zajicek, formerly Kathy Griffin’s assistant on the reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.  Even though she was just an assistant, I really loved Jessica’s fashion sense and dry humor, which hopefully reflects in Jennifer’s character.  (And yes, “Jessica” did inspire the name “Jennifer.”)
  • My dear friends, especially all of those that I met at the private school I attended in ninth grade.  They are all fun and uplifting people.  They also have their dark sides, which are going to be injected into Jennifer as a character numerous times.  I want Jennifer to be human above all else, and people as down-to-earth as my friends are the perfect inspiration.
  • All of the people I have been fortunate enough to meet online, including those who attend a certain Nintendo video game forum I used to frequent.  I was very stupid when I was about ten or eleven; if I hadn’t met these people, I probably still would be.  Their humor and mannerisms will find their way into Jennifer’s personality; most likely, their very low tolerance for stupidity will too.  ;)

It feels good to be working on something, because I know that if I can keep up with it, “having something to work on” will lead to “having something to show people.”  Wish me luck.

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... to my little corner of the internet. I'm Ben Schroeder, an aspiring writer and music enthusiast. Please leave a comment if you have the time!