We’re reading the world…

We're reading the world building chapter of VanderMeer's Wonderbook today -- it's a nice one. Compact, full of useful advice. If we have time in class, I'm going to have them do a small exercise where they describe our campus for someone who has never been here. But with a twist -- I'm going to ask them to make something weird. It doesn't have to be fantastical or science fictional -- just weird. I'm curious to see what they come up with. If we have time, I'm also going to ask them to draw a map!

"Especially when creating imaginary worlds, it is easy to think strictly in terms of making the unfamiliar familiar. The reader must have an understanding of the setting that allows them to enjoy your story or novel. But in describing your setting, you may want to be careful not to tamper with an essential strangeness or inexplicable quality that we often find in the real world.As Caitlin R. Kiernan wisely notes, 'a single mystery is worth innumerable solutions.'" (238)

And now I want to go read some Carol Emshwiller, or Kelly Link, or Haruki Murakami

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