I’m trying to learn for my Writing class and I’m stuck. Can you help?
responses (four) should be substantive and thoughtful, but they need not be formal. They should be in standard written English, though, not text-speak. You are welcome to comment “I totally agree with you, Jane” or “Great point, Bill” but these will not be considered substantive enough for credit. Responses should expand on a point, disagree with a point, compare or contrast to another passage or text, or explore a new way to look at the craft point. Make sure you read all the responses before yours, and please refer to others who have responded before you by name when appropriate (e.g., “Although I agree with what Susie said about Wallace’s repetition, I think what he was really after was a sense of . . . .” ). Do not simply repeat a response that has been submitted before yours. This would be plagiarism.
The responses 50 – 100 words
1-In an attempt of describing how writers succeed at writing a riveting introduction, Boully (2012), suggests, “Or perhaps we get caught unawares: our ragged, disheveled, unsure, untidy, and ugly selves are what make someone else love us, for in writing there is always, inevitably, the ugly.” Boully (2012) suggests that catchy and effective beginnings are either the result of an author presenting the best versions of themselves or by writers presenting their real, ugly, disheveled, unsure, awkward, and often relatable selves. I think that the influence of a writer’s narrative in their composition makes readers want to “flip the page” and read on. A beginning that a reader can relate to that is created on honesty, transparency, and vulnerability often makes the reader relate to the author and want to see how the story ends for the writer. Are there any remarkable beginnings that hooked you to a book and made it difficult for you to put down the book you were reading? What do you think makes a beginning more riveting?
2-In The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction, Aimee Nezhukumatathil writes, “As a poet, I find sustaining a narrative for any length of time an extraordinarily difficult feat and am full of awe and admiration for those who so this on a regular basis.” I really relate to this because I have a hard time writing in the narrative writing because I have a hard time being creative. I really enjoy working on poetry because it allows for you to be yourself and just write. So my question for everyone is do you struggle with writing in narrative or is it easy for you to do that?
Guy responded with : Writing narrative, for me, is difficult for the simple reason being I’m not confident in that form of writing. A narrative voice (at least in a nonfiction setting) is something I am personally not proficient in, therefore I like to write more analytical, as in essays.
3- In The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction, Dinty Moore shows that “As storytellers, we may wish to bring forward backstory, wander into history and context, proceed into what happens next, next, and next.” As such, a storyteller can write using the structure of his or her own in a unique way. One can choose to mix the flow of a story by including flashbacks in the middle of the story. Using a continuous and regular flow of events can also be another way of designing a story. Although writing an event after the other in a story can be significant in maintaining its flow, it can be interesting mixing them up in a wise manner to trigger the reader’s alertness and imaginations. On reading the essay on Dogged, what did you find most intriguing in that essay? What are some elements that you can apply in real-life?
guy responded with : Although flashbacks or backstories can be cool and clever parts of the story, for me they can sometimes make the story more confusing. If there is a random jump in the story to a different time, I will often get confused or feel like I missed something. It helps if the writer can include a preview or some statement that helps explain that you are going backward or forward in time. That way you can appreciate the time change and still know what is happening.
4- In The Rose Metal Press Field Guild to Writing Flash Nonfiction, Nicole Walker writes, “As the writing gets closer and closer to revealing something the writer is not quite prepared to see, and therefore to say, the sentences spiral, the paragraphs break, the writer (dissociated even here as I think of watching myself write) changes the subject as fast as she can.” In writing personal narrative, I have struggled with this, but in a different way. I tend to stop writing and walk away to clear my head. By chance, have you experienced something similar to either what Nicole or I have and how have you dealt with it?
guy responded with : I have run into this issue before. Usually, I get really excited about sharing and rush through the buildup. To correct this, I try not to focus on the endpoint, but rather the journey to the point. I’d write about one moment, and then move onto the next, focusing solely on that particular part. That way I can write each area to the best of my ability, and not lose quality in one section because I was so focused on the next.