The Future of Storytelling // Assignment week 1

The first week of course for The Future of Storytelling – MOOC was very interesting! I recommend it to anyone who’s into storytelling – be it by graphics, writing novel or film making. We got to learn a bit about basics, not going too in depth but just enough to understand a bit about what makes a protagonist capture and retain our attention, what is the simplest way to structure a story, story vs. plot and we got to hear how a famous author writes her stories, develops her characters and finds inspiration, also how she documents herself. The assignment was fun to work on. Overall, I am very happy to have joined it and I’m looking forward to next Friday!

For anyone else that wants to join, here’s the link:

As you, our students, come from many different countries and cultures, but are still united in your passion for storytelling, your Creative Task for week 1 is:

Please think about which story you have read, seen, listened to, played or experienced has impressed you most in your life. … Which story can you still very well remember? Write down both, the summary of this story (what you remember of the story, not what Wikipedia says.. 🙂 and – on the other hand: – what made it so special to you that you can still remember it.

Retell this story by giving a short summary of what you can remember of it. (in less than 400 words)
Think about (try to remember) and write down what fascinated you most about this story. What can you remember best? What impressed you most? … Its characters? The locations? The plot? The style and voice of the story? Or maybe even the surroundings of how this story was told, maybe by your parents, grandparents, or maybe in your first self-read book? Tell us the story OF the story so-to-speak. (less than 500 words)
Your answer could be a simple text/essay … or maybe you prefer creating a story in itself, a poem, an info graphic,… about it. – Whatever suits you best!

And here is my answer.

I will not look very much behind me, because there are too many impressive stories I partook in. It is too hard to choose just one, so I will think of something more recent, as these past few year I haven’t had much time for stories.

One of the stories that impressed me in this past year is the Great Gatsby, the latest movie adaptation with Leonardo di Caprio as the lead. It may have come out a long time ago, I haven’t checked and I haven’t read the book. I saw this movie on a laptop, at my best friend’s house – the same best friend that made me watch the Notebook. But I diverge.
From what I remember of the movie, the story is told from the point of view of a young man called Nick Carraway who is suddenly thrown into a world of luxury and debauchery and partying that he doesn’t make any sense of. And then he meets the mastermind behind this all, his neighbour Jay Gatsby. Throughout the film, we learn that Gatsby did all in his power to attract the woman he loves to his side, the beautiful cousin of Nick, Daisy. Daisy is married, but that doesn’t stop her from returining to her old flame. However, Daisy is then forced to choose by Jay, and all goes downhill. Her husband’s mistress dies, and the husband of that woman is manipulated into killing Gatsby. Daisy and her family move without looking back or even visiting his open casket. The movie ends with Nick’s painful realisation that it was all for nothing, that no one trully mourns for Jay Gatsby in his death, and he is disgusted.

When she clicked the play button, I saw the exposition and the premise and I was prepared to not care about it or even hate it. I knew the name of the novel and that it is considered a classic, but really? All this partying and the sex and everything made me it look so cheap. I get superficial pleasure, some character depth but not enough, and that’s it?
And then, unexpectedly and against my will, I was hooked by all the tragedy around this man. Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) showed excellent acting skills, Leonardo di Caprio was brilliant as always, and the atmosphere just grew on me! From the moment Daisy was forced to make a choice, the movie became important to me.
And I’m not ashamed to say that I cried so much in the end, for the same reasons as Nick Carraway, and for the injustice of it all.
There is one thing that always irked me – how no one around you actually cares when you’re the one in need, or indeed, the one who died. They had all the fun at his house, but in the end not one of these strangers came to say goodbye, instead searching for the next meaningless way to spend the time, the next glittery party and the next rich guy they can leech off.
I can’t believe how much I have come to care about Jay Gatsby and the poor Nick Carraway – see, it’s even worse for the people that are left behind. Funerals are made for us, not for the departed. They are made so we can come to terms with their departure, to find closure, and for Nick this „solo” funeral will always be an open wound.
And, while I wouldn’t call Gatsby a great man, like Nick did, I will call him someone who has a lot to offer, because he managed to bore me, annoy me, make me pity him, make me root for him, made me hope…and thus grew on me in only 2 hours of film.


Creative Writing session

O tipa de pe FB, membra a comunitatii de HP fan fiction writers a organizat un prim „curs”, la care online am participat doar eu, si ne-a dat si tema pentru acasa (lol, de cand n-am mai avut asa ceva XD)
Tipa uraste songficurile, asa ca ne-a avertizat de la inceput sa luam cateva cuvinte sau maxim un vers intreg dintr-un cantec pe care ni l-a dat ea, si pornind de la ele sa facem mici drabbles. Eu cred ca e un exercitiu bun pentru NaNo si au iesit idei de aici ;))

Nu am sa spun ce cantec era. E posibil sa va prindeti imediat, pentru ca am ales 5 versuri din el – cele mai interesante, and it might sound familiar ;))
Dupa Trifecta, chestia asta a picat la fix. Si las si comentariul cu care am trimis tema, pentru ca in prima noastra convorbire, Ivana a accentuat rolul culorilor si temelor in scris – asa ca m-am bagat si eu un pic pe felie, sa ii arat ca am invatat ceva de la ea.

„It was a very interesting assignment. I’ve participated in the Trifecta Challenge a few times, but I like what I came out with here more. I have marked the drabbles that are original and the ones that are fan fiction works. I tried to use colors in the last one as an extra motif, and I tried for dark themes, because somehow the lyrics, taken separately, have managed to point me to „that way”. My characters just took the story out of my hands and I can’t be more grateful for it XD”


1. I’m limited (original)

I am afraid to look inside my self, because I know I am limited. And that is ugly, and by Gods, I wish you will never see it. I never knew it, not until I began to long for your eyes, and for your soft locks of hair burning in the weak September sun. And now I am doing my best to run away from myself, run to you, because I believe you have what it takes to make me cross that limit. But will you still look at me when you see the ugly truth? Will you accept to give more, and lose more of yourself, for this damned soul prostating itself before you?

2. (Like) a stream that meets a boulder (fan fiction)

Potter is at it again, Draco observes with a wistful expression. Day by day and even far into the night, Harry Potter trains for the final task of the Triwizard Tournament. Granger and the Weasel follow him everywhere, of course, and while Granger is somewhat useful, looking for all the right books, the Weasel is not even a decent sparring partner. Draco is everything Potter ever needed, but Potter will never see it. Potter wrote Draco off a long time ago.
Draco might be a stream that meets a boulder and looks for escape routes around it, but Potter is a stream that breaks down all boulders in its path, be it Voldemort, a Potions test, or…Draco’s only heart.

3. Halfway through the wood (fan fiction)

It starts with a tiny, little crack. He doesn’t even notice it. Why doesn’t he notice? it wonders, as more and more magic in forced through it and through her. The tiny crack wails and the wails crack more. The magic is strong, but the mind is not. Surely, he should know what he is doing, he, the unworthy one! But he does not; he keeps slashing, and tearing, and blasting the shields of the old fortress. And the knight in Golden armor is waiting for him, leading the army of children who fight for the bright future the adults have already given up on.
The tiny crack is walfway through the wood when the wizard realizes he has lost.
It is the wizard’s time to wail. His green light will wait no more.

4. (Like a) handprint on my heart (original)

How dare you? he asks the woman sitting with her back strainght in a chair, in front of him, arms folded gracefully in her lap, a cup of chamomille tea on a small table in front of her. How can you still stare at me like that, after everything you have done to me? You smile like you don’t know the torment you put me through, the nights I have stayed awake, clinging to a caress, a whisper, a whisp of your perfume. You smile like you don’t know that your long, red nails have reached so deep that I can literally see your handprint on my heart!
And yet you stand there and tell me, with a secretive smile on your face, that our little love story is done. That I shall see you no more. That I have lost you to a rival I can never compete with.
…that you have less than one month left to live.
You are evil, woman. You are heartless.

5. I have been changed for good (fan fiction, M/M slash)

Hello, Harry. Do you remember me? It must be awful, staying in that sickly white bed all day long, waiting for some nurse to come administer your medication and bestow colorful words of kindness upon that white canvass that makes your world now. It should be awful for me to stay here, by your side, and watch you frown in confusion every time you see me.
It is, and at the same time, it is not.

It is, because I love you. I should have told you this before you admitted your feelings, and before that despicable curse hit you. That girl with fiery hair that reminds you so much of your deceased mother, was she really your friend? Would a friend curse you with forgetfulness, with the inability to remember me and our love? No matter, her equally fiery blood has been spilt on your white walls a long time ago.

It is not, because I still see you. You still smile at this ugly, snakelike face, like you’ve seen an old friend. And your hand is as warm now as it was the first time I managed to steal a kiss. And I still can steal a kiss, every day. Even falling asleep next to your love and waking up next to a stranger is something that you will never deny me.

Look at the great Lord Voldemort, leaving the Ministry and the World behind, succumbing to curious green eyes and goofy, gryffindorish grins! Look at Lord Voldemort, leaving behind his crowns, his lockets and his diaries! Look at all his rewritten future and say that I haven’t been changed! I have been changed for good, haven’t I? Shouldn’t this scare me more? What an odd concept: Lord Voldemort, scared of himself. If only you could hear me now, my sleeping Harry.

Cum e?
Good? Bad? Ugly?