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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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