Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Clarion Notes: Day 24 (Wings)

Sanity Status of the Troupes: Holding. It's definitely a pressure cooker here considering the turnaround time of the work we do and the vulnerability of individual students in workshops.

Elizabeth Bear commented on the fact that we're a pretty emotionally stable group and that we seem to "have each others backs." It certainly feels like it's true. I hope we continue to support each other in writing endeavors after this session of Clarion has ended. Just yesterday, I was talking to another student about keeping the Clarion 2011 blog going in order to keep tabs on everybody and trade prompts.

Bear also said she thinks the future of the genre, based on our stories, looks pretty good. I hope she's right about that, too.

Workshops: This week's instructor, David Anthony Durham, is an interesting contrast with the previous three teachers in that he started with historical fiction, moved into writing fantasy, and is in the process of returning to historical. He's a remarkably patient presence in workshops and very reserved. He seems to take the in-jokes shared by the others in stride.

Today, he spoke about the research that goes into both historical and high fantasy fiction, the choice of fidelity to research, and the importance of viewpoint characters that allow the reader to access what's going on.

The reading at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore happened on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday. Durham read from a section he did for Fort Freak, the newest addition to George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards anthologies. He then read a couple teasers from his upcoming book The Sacred Band, the last in his high fantasy Acacia series. The crowd at the bookstore was a nice size and I enjoyed the question/answer session afterward.

This weekend: SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2011! Clarion has given its participants free passes and YES YES YES YES YES YES.