FIRST ASSIGNMENT (BASED ON READING)

Lesson
Materials

Please read the attached text, Afterward to “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler, and p. 1-2 of “Bloodchild” (available under Materials)

After you’ve read the two excerpts from “Bloodchild”, please follow these consecutive steps:

  1. Analyze your own culture and choose a common saying, or an emotion or fear that you think deserves more attention.
  2. Play some or all of the games described below and
  3. Write a detailed description of a monster relevant to your own place and time and culture.  (max 1 page)

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR SURREALIST GAMES

If possible find a partner and play each of these three games to warm up your brain, just as my partner and I did in the video. In each game one person will play the role of The Writer and the other person will play the role of The Director. Then you’ll switch!

Note1: The games are similar to “20 Questions” where you try to guess a secret object or emotion, but instead of the yes/no questions in 20 questions, the director should try to ask questions that will provoke interesting answers and help the writer envision their story.

Playing all the games is helpful, but if you’re pressed for time, you can skip every game but the last one. You should come away with a detailed description of your monster.

Game 1. Personification

Writer: Thinks of an object, but doesn’t tell the questioner what it is.

Director: Asks the writer: “Is there any human character in your story that you’d like to explore?”

Writer: Answers.

Director: Asks questions about the object as if it were this person.

Ex. Who’s its best friend? What music does it like?

Writer: Answers.

Director: Writes the answers down. Tries to guess the object or gives up.  

(Switch places)  

Game 2. Fears to Monsters

Writer: Secretly thinks of a fear.

Director: Asks is there a type of monster you have in mind for your story? Ex. vampire, dragon, slime ball, magical fog.

Writer: Answers.

Director: Asks questions about the fear as if it’s a monster.

Ex. Does it have teeth? If so what size are these teeth? What does it eat for breakfast?

Big claws or little claws? Big wings or little?Lucky dragon or not lucky? What color?Where does it store its horde of gold? How big is its horde?

Writer: Answers.

Director: Writes the answers down and tries to guess or gives up.

 (Switch places.)

Game 3. Emotions to Objects

Writer: Thinks of an emotion, tells an object in the setting. .

Director: Thinks about this object. Creates questions that would be asked about that  object.

Ex. a crayon. What color is it? Used up or new?  Would the paper still be on it? Would it be in a box or in a drawer?

Writer: Answers the questions.

Director: Writes down the answers, probably doesn’t guess the answer but presents person 1 with a lovely detailed description of the emotion transformed into a very specific object that can be used to show the main character’s emotions.

Ex: Love is a worn-out blue crayon with most of the paper peeled off of it, but it colors beautifully bringing all kinds of swirly decorations to an otherwise dull page.

Switch places.

Please upload your first assignment by 2 p.m. BG time on 16.11.2021