My Language Use and Grammar
I don't have a lot of trouble with my language use and/or my grammar,
but I find myself becoming too conversational at times in my writing
style. Dr. Judith let me know this, and I could see it in my writing
after that. I tend to write formally, then interject something in slang
or conversational English, which doesn't ring true with the rest of
some of my writing. Something else I learned about my writing in this
class is that I can make it much more readable by putting quotations
and interesting description into each piece. I am learning how to do
that, and hope to improve more in the future. I also can get carried
away and launch into pages and pages of prose, which can really stymie
the reader! Most people just want to have fun with their reading My
overenthusiastic writing can be cut to a bare fraction and still be
understood. Still, I am not afraid to work hard, and have proven this
by my many drafts, reviews, and extra credit. This class has helped
me focus on making my writing more readable and interesting.
The Writing Assignments
I thought that reading stories by other writers helped me a lot, because
I was able to read high quality writing and analyze the reasons why
each story worked. I admire the bravery of some of these writers - they
looked unflinchingly at themselves, at their strengths, but most of
all, at their faults. They were human, and I identified with them. They
told their truth, and it resonated.
Writing the two main story assignments in this class (401 Creative Nonfiction)
taught me a lot about description and about dialogue and how to limit
my words on a piece. Each time, I wound up finding many other ideas
for stories that I can rewrite later. And each time, I was surprised
by the piece that my readers picked as a "final".
The first story I wrote (the Brevity
Piece) was so fun for me. The name of my final piece was "The Ladys-
Slipper". I wrote about a cherished memory of my grandmother showing
me wildflowers in the Ellison Bay woods by the Clearing. Unfortunately,
I didn't get a lot of feedback about it, but I received good advice
from the professor and rewrote the story to include a Native American
theme. This improved its readability and clarity. I rewrote it several
times and at last had something entirely different as my final draft.
The second story I wrote was one I didn't like from the beginning. I
chose it because it got the most votes from other people. It really
didn't like it very much. I tried to fix it by adding more words to
it, but that didn't help.When I narrowed my focus to one story (per
the professor's advice) I believe this improved it a great deal.
Why Writing Matters
I believe that a well-written story can last forever. A well-written
story, poem, or essay can affect others, touching them deeply or helping
them to understand things in a new way. Such writing transcends reality
and becomes art. Art is timeless - and people that create literary art
are doing the world a great service. They are explaining the human situation
and helping others understand their lives as well. My writing matters
very much to me. I want to write to the very best of my ability. I want
to be able to really say something, to know that I was understood.
My hope is to be a good writer. I believe that this class has started
me on a personal journey that will lead me towards achieving this dream.
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