Part 2. Project 2. Exercise 1

Exercise 1 – Choose a novel or a film or a play you love and map it to The Hero’s Journey

I have chosen to use another J.K Rowling creation as I know it quite well, I would have chosen Harry Potter if the course textbook hadn’t used it as an example!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Act 1

Endangered animal enthusiast and lone wizard, Newt Scamander, The Hero, arrives in New York with a suitcase full of creatures. He travels the world saving endangered animals, restoring them back to their natural environments and gently educating his fellow wizards about them. Carrying out this vocation is hisOrdinary World.

  Newt receives his Call To Adventure on the steps of the bank at which the Salem League is protesting against witches. He is asked if he is a seeker after truth, he is further asked to comment on the idea that witches live amongst the normal humans. Newt refuses to answer and makes a hasty exit in pursuit of one of his escaped creatures. This refusal to interact is Newts Refusal Of The Call.

  Inside the bank he meets Tina Goldstien (Meeting with the Mentor) who will be Newts guide to wizarding America. He is arrested by Goldstien and taken into MACUSA, Crossing The First Thresholdtowards interacting with other wizards, not just animals.

Act 2

As Newt, Jacob and Goldstien travel New York recapturing his escaped creatures their paths begin to cross with MACUSA’s Augustus Graves. Tests Allies and Enemies.

  In his Approach To The Inmost Circle, Newt is questioned by Graves who inadvertently starts to show signs of nefarious intent.

  When Creedence is revealed both as the Obscurous and as a scared boy, Newt tries to save him both from self destruction and from the plotting of Graves who wishes to use Creedence as a weapon. Battling Graves for Creedence’s heart is Newts Ordeal.

  Towards the end of the battle, Newt is losing and will be killed. Creedence intervenes to save him from Graves and at Newts urging, shows mercy. The saving of Creedence’s soul is Newts initial Reward. Graves is unveiled as villain Grindewald further rehabilitating Newt in the eyes of MACUSA.

Act 3

The Road Back for Newt begins with the thanks of the American MACUSA President. He is able to use one of his creatures to wipe the memory of the city thereby enabling the Resurrectionof the magical worlds shroud of secrecy.

  He Returns (to the UK) with the Elixir of the promise of new love.

I am now to use the same stages of A Heroes Journey to create my own story.

Act 1

Ordinary World – A shy bear who is scared of going outside, lives in a playroom.

He likes watching planes through the window, sits in a plane and imagines flying.

Call To Adventure – Invited to a toys picnic in the garden

Refusal of the Call – Says no because scared of outside and doesn’t really know anybody.

Meeting with the Mentor – He meets Bolt the rabbit engineer. Mad Scientist.

Crossing the First Threshold – Leaves his shelf for first time, into Bolts workshop, helps him with inventions?

Act 2

Tests/Allies/Enemies

  • Meets Captain Cassidy and his men (toy soldiers) who go hunting for bits and pieces for Bolt. In exchange Bolt fixes their tanks/rifles/catapults/bodyparts. The soldiers look a bit like worker ants when they drag back the assorted parts.
  • Sees The Cat (enemy) who tries to catch the soldiers and their loot
  • Bear is brave and chases the cat away
  • Gets picked up by The Dog and dropped in the garden – realises it’s a nice place full of sunshine and flowers – nothing to be scared of

Approach to the Inmost Circle – Toys picnic gets chased off by cat, cat eats sandwiches. Bear deploys in Bolts plane with Captain Cassidys men, airdrops soldiers to secure picnic area

Ordeal – Plane breaks, too much weight, Bear parachutes out of plane with picnic, as ‘outside’ as outside can be

Reward – Saves the picnic, lands to a heros welcome, realises everyone likes him

Act 3

The Road Back – Toys get found in garden by child, put in cart and taken back inside….literally giving them a lift

Resurrection – New life as Bolts test pilot

Return With the Elixir – No longer scared of outside, dreams of flying now real, lots of new friends

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Part 2. Project 2. Research Point: Aristotles Four Elements

I am currently reading ‘The Fairys Tale’ by F.D Lee.

Of Aristotle’s first four elements, the one which dominates is Plot. It’s a fantasy book in which a cabbage patch fairy wants to earn her promotion to become a fairy godmother, to get there she has to look after the storylines in a series of fairy tales and ensure that they work out as intended. So, essentially, the plot is about plots! The plot of the book is the dominant factor, this is followed by the lead character. So far I have noticed that there are no other particularly well developed characters, just a series of interactions which the lead has in the course of her adventures. The third most dominant element within this book is Spectacle, Thought Diction and Song are certainly present but only at very low levels.

Part 2. Project 1. Exercise 2

Make a list of everything you’ve read or written or seen or heard in the last 24 hours

What I consider to be stories I have highlighted in bold.

What I consider to be art I have highlighted in italics.

I have read –

  • Start Late and Finish Rich (finance book)
  • Place (set textbook)
  • Creative Arts Today (OCA course PDF)
  • A food menu

I have written –

  • Assignment for Part 1 Contemporary Arts
  • The first exercises in this Part 2
  • A text message to a friend complaining about my boss (haha)
  • A to-do list
  • A passcode for the internet

I have seen –

  • Adult Life Skills (Film)
  • The Great British Sewing Bee (TV)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Film)
  • Thor : Ragnorak (Film)
  • Total Recall (Film)
  • News

I have heard –

  • A story about a fight
  • Information about someone else’s marathon

How do you, personally, define a creative artistic piece of writing?

Until I read the essay by Hazel Smith I would have read this question and thought that it applied only to writing fiction and possibly poetry. Now however I am uncomfortably aware that it probably means something a lot more arty and abstract than I want it too! Because of this my definition is now a little les specific than it would have been.

  I define a creative, artistic piece of writing as one in which the author takes the reader away from their current situation and into another moment either remembered or imagined. The words must flow from the page without tripping the eye to allow subconscious transportation.

Part 2. Project 1. Research Point: Hazel Smith

In this exercise I am to read and take notes on an essay by Hazel Smith from the student website. It is entitled ‘Creative Writing and New Media’ in The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing.

Notes from the essay –

  • Some aspects of new media writing sound fascinating. I am particularly interested in investigating the interactive reading games which require the solving of a puzzle to enable the reading of further text.
  • I would also like to research more into stories with illustrative animation as this links in with an idea that I have for a personal project.
  • Having just finished Part 1 Contemporary Art I’m a little horrified to read that the author has been heavily involved in what can only be described as Contemporary Art installations. I thought I’d escaped all that!
  • The digital revolution will mean great things for creative writing. Access to publishing facilities has been opened up by companies like Amazon so that everyone with enough dedication has the potential to be successful. Books can be carried around more easily, I have a couple of hundred on my e-book reader right this second. Reading has become cheaper, no shipping fees and no costs for the publishing house being built into a book price.
  • Early text-only computer games are being born again

I think that the implications for creative writing from the digital revolution will be positive and far-reaching. The accessibility to the written word that digital technology provides is massive. A video on YouTube is one of many examples detailing how much education has been improved by the introduction on iPads as teaching aids in South Africa.

Young Lives Changed Forever. How the Introduction of the iPad has given life. (2019). [image] Available at: Anon, (2019). [image] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2okG0tWphI [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019]. [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

I believe that libraries will eventually evolve into places from which you can loan out e-books. Thousands of books can be fitted onto a palm size device and transported across the globe. People will have access to stories and knowledge that may not otherwise have been possible and that is an incredible thing.

I’m a traditional book lover so I hope that they never die out entirely. What’s changed for me personally is that now I only buy books I really love, anything else I download onto my Kindle, this helps save trees and that is something else which makes me happy!

Part 2. Project One. Exercise 1

What happens to a story when you take it from its source, make it permanent in print, and disseminate it to a wide audience?

When a story is taken from it’s source it becomes entirely self reliant, it must contain all the context required to make sense if it is to succeed. When a story is limited to word of mouth in a certain area there may be subtleties or nuances that do not need to be explained.

  A story made permanent in print now becomes frozen in time and will survive in it’s original form. As time passes language may evolve, everyday routines and activities as referred to in the story will change but the story itself will not. Instead it will become a form of a time capsule for future readers. One example of this could be Pride and Prejudice which is still a popular classic.

  When a story is disseminated to a wide audience, particularly far overseas, it carries with it it’s sense of place. It can also then begin to gain mass popularity and traction in the market. One example of this could be the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling, despite being about a boy at school in Scotland they are read worldwide and have been translated into several different languages.

Write a list of implications arising from the printing press. For example, think about who has control/authority over the text, the meaning of the text, and the relationship between the source of the text and it’s recipient.

  • In a country where all the printing press is subject to central control (ie North Korea) the only available news is heavily biased and can lead to misplaced public beliefs. Potential for censoring is high.
  • Freedom of the press, and preferably competing ones at that are required to allow the full range of views to be heard by the general public.
  • General Public are required to look at the source of the information and check for it’s credentials and therefore bias, not just accept whatever they read to be fact. One example of this are the frequent fake news stories on social media website Facebook.
  • The recipient is also required to consider what outcome the originator of the text may have, for example, are they attempting to ignite a social situation or are they reporting facts.
  • Printed words now have the freedom to be sent and received all over the world radically improving communication
  • Educational power. Printed words have the power to educate even when a recipient does not have access to educational facilities (distance learning!)
  • Longevity. Printed words will last for as long as a physical copy of them remains undamaged by misuse or elements.

Part 2. Introduction Exercise

In this intial exercise I am to write down all the lists that I can think of about why people read and write. I am then to see what I notice about the two lists and if any of the entries are duplicated.

Why people read

  • Escapism
  • Entertainment
  • Education (self help and institutional learning)
  • Curiosity
  • Inspiration
  • Relaxation

Why people write

  • To entertain
  • To share knowledge
  • To tell a story that won’t go away
  • To relax
  • To remember events

When looking at my two lists I notice that there are a couple of common factors, entertainment appears on both as does relaxation. I do not think that people are either readers or writers. Everyone is a storyteller of some sort, some people are just better at writing them down than others.