Pride and Prejudice - The STORY GRID edition - Annotated by SHAWN COYNE

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

“This Might Not Work … “

By Steven Pressfield
Published: February 14, 2018

 

Stealing a phrase (above) from Seth Godin, I’m going to try something a little different over the next few weeks and maybe more.

I’m gonna serialize a book I’ve been working on.

Consider the course and contour of this artist’s journey …

The book is about writing.

I don’t have a title yet but the premise is that there’s such a thing as “the artist’s journey.”

The artist’s journey is different from “the hero’s journey.”

The artist’s journey is the process we embark upon once we’ve found our calling, once we know we’re writers but we don’t know yet exactly what we’ll write or how we’ll write it.

These posts will be a bit longer than normal, just because that’s how chapters in a book fall. I don’t wanna post truncated versions that are so short they don’t make sense, just because that’s where chapters happen to break.

Please let me know if you hate this.

I’ll stop if it’s not worth our readers’ time or if our friends find the material boring.

That said, let’s kick it off.

Starting with the epigraph, here’s the beginning of this so-far-untitled book:

 

 

 

I found that what I had desired all my life was not to live—if what others are doing is called living—but to express myself. I realized that I had never had the least interest in living, but only in this which I am doing now, something which is parallel to life, of it at the same time, and beyond it. What is true interests me scarcely at all, nor even what is real; only that interests me which I imagine to be, that which I had stifled every day in order to live.

Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn

 

 

B    O    O   K         O    N   E

 

 T     H     E       H     E     R     O’     S       J     O     U     R     N     E     Y

 

A   N   D       T   H   E     A   R   T   I   S   T’   S       J   O   U   R   N   E   Y

 

 

  1. THE SHAPE OF THE ARTIST’S JOURNEY

 

 

Consider the course and contour of this artist’s journey:

 

          Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

          The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle

          Born to Run

          Darkness on the Edge of Town

          The River

          Nebraska

          Born in the U.S.A.

          Tunnel of Love

          Human Touch

          Lucky Town

          The Ghost of Tom Joad

          Working on a Dream

          Wrecking Ball

          High Hopes

 

Or this artist’s:

 

       Goodbye, Columbus

       Portnoy’s Complaint

       The Great American Novel

       My Life as a Man

       The Professor of Desire

       Zuckerman Unbound

       The Anatomy Lesson

       The Counterlife

       Sabbath’s Theater

       American Pastoral

       The Human Stain

       The Plot Against America

       Indignation

       Nemesis

 

Or this artist’s:

 

          Clouds

          Ladies of the Canyon

          Blue

          For the Roses

          Court and Spark

          The Hissing of Summer Lawns

          Hejira

          Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter

          Wild Things Run Fast

          Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm

          Night Ride Home

          Turbulent Indigo

 

Clearly there is a unity (of theme, of voice, of intention) to each of these writers’ bodies of work.

There’s a progression too, isn’t there? The works, considered in sequence, feel like a journey that is moving in a specific direction.

 

          Bob Dylan

          The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

          The Times They Are a-Changin’

          Highway 61 Revisited

          Blonde on Blonde

          Bringing It All Back Home

          Blood on the Tracks

          Desire

          John Wesley Harding

          Street-legal

          Nashville Skyline

          Slow Train Coming

          Hard Rain

          Time Out of Mind

          Tempest

          Shadows in the Night

 

A strong case could be made that the bodies of work cited above (and those of every other artist on the planet) comprise a “hero’s journey,” in the classic Joseph Campbell/C.G. Jung sense.

I have a different interpretation.

I think they represent another journey.

I think they represent “the artist’s journey.”

 


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Posted in Writing Wednesdays
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What It Takes

What It Takes

Storygridding 4,000 words of Big Idea Nonfiction

By Shawn Coyne | Published: February 16, 2018

For fun, over at www.storygrid.com a while back, I storygridded Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal article from the June 3, 1996 edition of The New Yorker.  I tracked the narrative altitude in the work that I described in my post from February 2, 2018.

The vertical axis moves from the “street” level perspective at the lowest elevation through the “city” vantage point up to the “national” level and then all the way to the highest “universal” level. Four specific lenses that he uses to progressively build dramatic tension.
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What It Takes

What It Takes

Don’t Major in the Minor

By Callie Oettinger | Published: February 9, 2018

(Past is present. With a December 6, 2013 date, this post is a little over four years old. The drones haven’t replaced humans yet, but Amazon is still pushing distribution, with its announcement that Amazon is going to enter UPS’ and FedEx’s space. O’Reilly has continued to change things up since this writing, but is still leading the way. More cultivated subscription models, too.)

“Don’t major in the minor.”

Mellody Hobson said it, but I’ve thought it these last few days, since watching Jeff Bezos on 60 Minutes this past Sunday.

In case you haven’t heard, Bezos unveiled a prototype for package-delivering drones at the end of the interview. Without missing a beat, the character-bashing, Jeff-Bezos hating, Amazon-vilifying tribes descended, with articles and comments from one site to the next.

They majored in the minor.

I’m not saying that the drones weren’t newsworthy. They were—and I saw mentions pop up in everything from Outside Magazine’s site to Waterstones’ blog. And I’m not saying that Amazon isn’t above criticism, but . . .


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Posted in What It Takes | 56 Comments
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