Three years ago, the idea of a CCA that explores and celebrates a diverse range of literature was thought of by a fellow peer and me. Now, this idea has evolved into the Fiction Writing Club, a CCA that presents an opportunity for its members to delve deep into concepts such as literary theory, while incorporating these elements into their own work. Each task presents a unique challenge that we must work around to produce works that are refined, expressive and cohesive.
In the past few months, we have worked on our authorial voices and developed a robust understanding of different elements of literary works. In the first semester, the members worked on two major writing projects, each with unique challenges. The first challenge was to draft an outline for a story, centered around a moral/ethical dilemma. However, this was not the end of the task. Oblivious to the writers, they were asked to exchange their outlines with their partners, and the partners would later write and finish the story based on the rough outline. Through this exercise, we attempted to answer the question ‘what makes a short story?’ The writers were also given the role of critics after they were done with their stories. We realized how much role the actual writing plays in a story. While the original author had written a robust outline, the person executing it had a different interpretation, which led to questions about perspective in Literature.
The second major task was a lot more complex and attempted to look at literature from a much narrower perspective. Unlike the previous task which focused on the story, this time, we focused on characters. More specifically, we looked at psychoanalysis and its modeling of the human psyche, to better understand the nature of characters. The second story was centered around a character model they made for their main character, while this task was a lot less restrictive, it delved more into questions of ‘what makes a character relatable or being able to root for.’ When it was finally time for us to critique the stories, the common consensus was that the more we know the character, the easier it was to empathize with them, and since stories only focus deeply on a few characters, it is a matter of perspective when it comes to ‘relating’ to a certain character.
To conclude, the main aim of this CCA is not just to write short stories, it is to explore various aspects of writing and in the end, figuring out ways in which you can delve into complex themes and issues. It is also about recognizing what it is that you look for in a writing, and how that can be translated into your work.
Avaneesh DP 2