Lit Crawl: Missouri History Museum

Topic: Immersive Writing

As you all know I am a big fan of historical literature both fiction and nonfiction. I like to dive right into the past and follow characters of or learn new things about human behavior and habits. For each class, I like to do at least one immersive writing exercise using one or more historical events as the setting. Webster’s online dictionary defines immersive as meaning, “providing, involving or characterized by deep absorption or immersion in something (such as an activity or a real or artificial environment).” In web development, the term is used to describe 3D digital technology or images that actively engage one’s senses and may create an altered mental state, actively fooling the senses. In immersive writing, the author does their best to fool the senses of the reader by making them feel engaged with the settings or characters on the page by providing a 360 view of their world and time.

For today’s Lit Crawl you will have two options for activities during our breakout sessions:

  1. In keeping with the horror theme, you may pick on or more exhibits in the museum to construct a  fictionalized narrative about a place and time in local history. You may use our entire meetup time to write one complete story. It must be finished by the end of class. If we have time we will present them while at the museum but all pieces must be posted in Slack.
  2. For those of you who did not get to participate in speed journaling for the 1st Lit Crawl but still want the experience, you may use this class period to revisit the exercise.  For the 1st hour, use the prompts on the first sheet to compose pieces in 15-minute increments. At the end of each 15-minute stint, STOP, move to a new location, select a new prompt and begin again. For the 2nd hour, take the second sheet with shorter prompts and repeat the process in 10-minute increments. For the last hour select a prompt for the first list to develop using the five elements of story structure.

Assignment: I am requiring that everyone read and comment on at least two other posts. Give constructive feedback explaining: 1) What stood out for you about the piece, 2) Did you feel engaged through the writing, 3) Where might the story benefit from more or less detail?