Thursday, January 31, 2008

Writer's Block: Film Theory

As I've mentioned previously, I'm taking a Film Theory class right now. This is my last semester of my MA program. Until this point I've taken 1 lit theory class, 2 workshop classes, and 6 literature courses (counting the Victorian Lit class I'm taking now). Being who I am, I'm usually paying more attention to "how will this help me write?" I mean, if I'm going to be there instead of actually writing, I should be making the most of it, right?

Except, none of it really helps. The fiction workshops? I'm not that type of writer. I mean, it just reminds me of how, well, inadequate I am compared to my fellow classmates. Oh, I shouldn't say inadequate. We have different styles, different goals, different hopes, and different directions. But we were working on their terms, not mine, and so I didn't really feel fully supported. The lit theory class? I don't remember anything from that course, and even if I could, I don't feel like any of it applies to me in any meaningful way. The literature courses? Some of them I couldn't stand. The ones I adored improved me as an academic, but never helped with my writing.

My film theory? Now that is different. It all makes perfect sense to me. In fact, it makes so much sense to me that I can't write it all out in a single blog post. Constructing reality that is only real in its artificiality? Creating a causal reality? Focusing on framing? Focusing on showing not telling? Focusing on tension within a single scene? Focusing on the use of conflict-goal-resolution to keep the plot moving? This is the stuff I've been longing to discuss and never had the chance. This is why I've felt so spectacularly out of place in my department. I'm interested in the stuff that goes along more with film theory than it does with literature.

I think that this series of essays won't just be fun for me to write. I hope it'll be an edifying series for aspiring writers, and maybe even some published ones.


Caffey said...

Hi Pepper! First thing I thought of was how you do all you do with schooling and writing too! I wished we had a Victorian Lit class! I love historical reads! I mostly read just romance and erotica romance, but have read some historical fiction but not much. I think for me, I learned to sign in college so I could finally understand and just wanted to learn everything. You really have some neat classes. What your degree going to be in (writing?)

Pepper Espinoza said...

Hi Caffey. :) I'm getting my degree in British and American Literature. At first, I applied for the MFA in Creative Writing, but when I was rejected from the program, I shifted direction and went back to my first love, Literature. That did the trick, it seems, because after garnering nothing but rejections on my first attempt, I got into the program I really wanted on my second attempt. :)

I don't know how I manage to juggle the school and the writing, honestly. I rely on Vivien a lot, and I cry a lot, lol. I'm really looking forward to the day I can focus more of my time on writing.