Posted by Sara Devoe, GD Managing Editor for 9.1
When writing fiction, we travel into a world with no limits. The writer is both the navigator and the passenger on a journey to which they may or may not know the destination. This destination most always, though, starts with a character. Most writers of fiction, including professor Rachel Hall with whom I took a workshop focusing specifically on writing characters with, will tell you that plot comes from characterization. A character must want something in order for there to be a story. But this raises the question–how does one go about writing a character? Sometimes, we can mine our lives for characters, but other times, the story calls for a character who is unlike us or who has experienced different things than we have. Continue reading
Posted by Jamie Henshaw, CNF Reader for 8.2
Fiction is my jam. There’s usually a story, character, or idea occupying the synapses of my brain like the roots of a blossoming flower. Or a sturdy tree. …and sometimes an errant weed, to be honest. While this might make it sound like I have ideas just pouring out of me – and that’s often true – a lot of it is rubbish.
To add another metaphor to this discussion, I’ve learned that you have to be good at gold panning to be a good writer. You have to sift through a lot of rock to find the little nuggets of gold. You have to remember that gold is just a valuable kind of rock. You have to understand that good writing takes time and effort; the best writing requires exponential levels of time and effort. In fact, Malcolm Gladwell, Canadian author and journalist, says in Outliers: The Story of Success that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to be an expert. Let’s see… that’s 416 days of really, really trying.
That’s not something I’ve achieved, personally.
Not even close.
Posted by Grace Gilbert, GD Creative Non-Fiction Section Head for 6.2
“Poetry is always about my life. It’s a way to express how I feel,” sixteen-year-old Grace muses dramatically, holding her doodle-laden spiral notebook close to her chest after third period study hall. Sixteen-year-old Grace has been utterly heartbroken approximately 2.7 times. She is assured that she has never been, and will never be, “seen” (whatever that means). She is still too embarrassed to buy maxi pads at the supermarket, but thinks she really knows the world for what it is. She wants to share this with you. Sixteen-year-old Grace un-ironically likes the Dave Matthews Band. She eats triple cheese Lunchables on the bus ride home from school, and as she stares out the window, she pretends she’s in an indie film, preferably starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as her boyishly awkward but spellbound love interest. Sixteen-year-old Grace makes sure to document all of these things with an unmatched melodramatic flair, always with a mechanical pencil that she probably borrowed from Lexi during Algebra II and never returned. Continue reading
Posted by Ariana Miller, GD Poetry Co-Section Head for 6.2
Last semester, fall 2018, I was student teaching in a 9th grade English classroom. Teaching responsibilities were immediately and entirely handed over to me. My cooperating teacher, or CT, said that if I taught the curriculum she usually did that time of year, I could do whatever I wanted with it. It just so happened that I would spend four out of the six weeks of my placement teaching George Orwell’s Animal Farm. My CT wanted me to focus on one major theme of the novel—leadership. Naturally, as a Creative Writing major, I decided I would have my students write a poem about a time when they acted as a leader. My project spanned the four weeks we were reading Animal Farm, and was interspersed with my teaching of literary techniques Orwell used in the novel.
Posted by Madison Wayland, CNF Reader for issue 6.1
So, uh, what are you going to do with that?”
This is the response I often receive from—well-meaning, and for the most part understandably confused—internship coworkers, peers in a new class, old friNeuWriteends I run into at Wal-Mart, as I answer that standard what-are-you-doing-with-your-life question every college student receives at Christmas dinners. I tell them I’m a double major, biology and creative writing, and watch their faces slowly twist as they try to comprehend the combination. Continue reading
Posted by Kallie Swyer, GD Poetry Editor for 5.2, Former Contributor for 4.1 and 5.1
As a part of the Geneseo Literary Forum, translator, novelist, and poet Idra Novey came to our campus to discuss her books with in-class visits and a reading. I was lucky enough to be in one of the classes that she visited, where we got to discuss her latest novel Ways to Disappear, and her recent poetry collection Exit, Civilian. Continue reading
Posted by Isabel Keane, GD Fiction Reader for 5.2
“In the dark times, will there also be singing?
Yes, there will be singing.
About the dark times.”
-“Motto” by Bertolt Brecht
Do you remember when you were younger, learning history in school and thinking, “If I was alive then, I would have…”
You’re alive now. What you’re doing now is what you would have done then. Donald Trump was inaugurated into office a little over a month ago, and already the arts are in danger. Continue reading
Posted by Heather Molzon, GD Public Relations Manager and Fiction Reader for 5.2
Are you looking for a sign to submit your work to Gandy Dancer this semester? If so, consider this it! Gandy Dancer is now officially accepting submissions in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and visual art until February 17th for Issue 5.2.
D.W Winnicot once said, “Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” This couldn’t be a more relatable statement because as college artists we are often plagued by doubt when deciding whether or not to share our work. Continue reading
Posted by Erin Carlo, GD Public Relations Manager and Fiction Reader for 5.1
Dear SUNY students,
Gandy Dancer wants to publish YOUR work! There are only 5 days left to submit, but it only takes a few minutes to do so. Go to https://gandydancer.submittable.com/submit now and bring your fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork to students and humans all over the world with Gandy Dancer.
With love always,
The Gandy Dancers of Issue 5.1