Andie Kinstle

Gilding the Lily

The Scholar: Andie Kinstle

The Project: Gilding the Lily

The Essential Question: “My project is a series of short stories about two sisters with sort of a rocky relationship who come together for Mother’s Day to get their mom flowers. I decided to pursue it because I have an older sister who is very important to me, and one of our Mother’s Day traditions that we’ve been doing for as long as I can remember is getting our mom flowers. And while we don’t really have a rocky relationship like the sisters in my story, I just kind of wanted to explore that specific type of relationship—sibling relationships, but more specifically sisters, because I feel like that’s a very close bond. I was interested in exploring kind of small interactions with people and how like one person’s perspective differs from the other and how that can stop communication, or allow it and like help it further.”

Surprising Discovery: “I found that the writing process was much harder than I thought it would be. I had this idea initially in my head that I was super excited about, so I thought that writing it would go pretty smoothly. But it was actually very difficult and I think because I was so excited about the idea, that’s what made it hard because I felt like what I was writing wasn’t doing the sisters justice or doing the story justice. But about myself as a writer, I was pleasantly surprised with my ability to create a sort of unspoken tension, kind of tell a story separate from what’s actually happening and sort of express these important moments between people without actually verbalizing anything.”

Biggest Challenge: “It was hard to end the story. I had been working on this the whole trimester. I kind of got into a rhythm of just adding on and building the conflict between the sisters, and so to have to actually end it and like finish the project and flesh out this major conflict that divided the characters in the story that was difficult to craft it in a way that felt like it fit the story and like it wasn’t underwhelming.”

Tip for Future Scholars: “I would say don’t be afraid to take your story in multiple different ways and kind of follow a few different paths and see what works. I think I had a very linear idea of what I wanted my story to do, and so when I was writing and words would just come out that kind of sparked new ideas. I felt like I couldn’t really stray from what the plan I had. I would tell future scholar students to not be afraid to explore those sub ideas and just see where the project goes.”

Did you pick up any new writing habits during the course of the project? “I noticed myself of just letting the words come out. I normally, when I write, before I’d start working on this project, I would write like a paragraph and then reread it and edit it and kind of, it was very like, stop and go. But this, with this project, it kind of forced me to just let the story flow naturally, which is nice.”