These classes encouraged abstract ideas. On top of that, we had a strict deadline. Abstract ideas are what my stories used to thrive on. In Crafts II I created a handmade pamphlet with the twenty-one rules of being a Lunar Rider (professional supernatural hunter). In Crafts III I made a story vessel depicting the return of a massive alien dinosaur to his wife. Now that was fun.
See, Crafts (I, II, III) taught me an important lesson on plotting. I never consciously thought about it until now, when I'm struggling the most with new stories. The lesson I've learned on plotting: KEEP PLOTS SIMPLE, BUT EMBELLISHMENTS ARE OKAY. Take a look at Of Poker and Fairies. I wrote this in junior year English as a three page autobiographical introduction.
The plot is very simple. My brother I are playing poker, waiting for dinner, while vacationing at Mammoth Caves, Kentucky. The only embellishing details I added were hints that Annie was some kind of monster, and fireflies were actually fairies. The only reasons I didn't add my sister into the story are; 1) I don't remember what she was doing that night, and 2) I had a three page deadline to keep.
My own restrictions started a long bout of writer's block. Now that I am embracing illogical situations and absurdity. Manny will be an embellished human story. I've recently went back and looked at the old handwritten pages I told you about in my post Manny and Mr. No Face, and got a different point of view on the story. In doing so, I acknowledged my mistakes. I believe Manny and I just needed to take some time off from each other.