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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Writing Class~week 2

First of all, "My Sisters Keeper" is the BEST SOUNDTRACK EVER!!!! I'm listening to it now!

In case you missed it, here is a post from my writing class~ Week One.

Last night was my 2nd writing class and as usual, it was enlightening, challenging and inspiring. Shawn talked about our "narrative voice" and how it's sounds very much like the voice we use everyday; it's unique, sets us apart, let's US be heard as an individual. The ultimate goal as a writer is to be published....


kidding, that's NOT the goal, but many have focused on that instead of the TRUE goal which is to DEVELOP YOUR VOICE. There are several ways to do that, one of them is reading. Read to improve your writing. Not just picking up a book and reading the words, but reading the tone, the formation, the style, detail, sentence structure, pace. "Close reading can become one of my greatest teachers" he said. And you know what, I've never done that before. I know what I like to read, but I couldn't tell you exactly why. So, as part of our homework this week we are to read CLOSELY a few paragraphs by our favorite authors.

Our assignment in the first minute of class: Take 5 minutes and write about school recess:
"Freedom or bondage. School Recess.
The smell of fresh air, the freedom to run.
Girls in a corner, can I join in?
I'm twelve, but pretending to be sixteen.
Should I play or should I stand?
My growing self wants to stay little,
to not be afraid to shout, leap, sprint, cartwheel.
It's uncertain what is acceptable anymore....
freedom or bondage."

Next, we were to pick one character from that writing and write about them:

"It's rough being yelled at constantly.
Never measuring up, always coming in last
and being placed under the broiler of life~
never let's up. heat. intense. summer.
It's rough being yelled at constantly
especially when it's the voice
that first whispered your name
welcoming you into this world.
cold world."


And lastly, we were to take that character and write about their greatest enemy:

"It's not right.
It's not perfect.
It's out of place.
Her greatest enemy was waiting for her
when she opened her eyes each sunrise.
Was waiting for her when she cracked open the bathroom
door each afternoon, finger in throat.
Waiting patiently each evening, pen in hand and
homework strewn about.
Never ceasing when the needle penetrated her thin skin~
soaking the vein with relief.
He would wait, he would wait~

Perfectionism."

And now our homework is to write a scene where this person meets up with their greatest enemy. We are to include a scene, word or idea that our parents would be very uncomfortable with. I like this idea. Shawn spoke about how true writing began for him when he stopped worrying what his parents would think. When you care so much about what others think about your writing it becomes "sanitized." Very true. (And don't worry, I won't be dropping the F bomb anytime soon in this blog)!! I still care a little about what you think!!
Lastly, I'll rephrase a bit of advice from last night~

knock it off with the cliques.
no one wants to read them.
they have no meaning.
they don't get any attention.

3 comments:

Kara Stoltzfus said...

your little snip-its from last night have me wanting more. reading & reading them again. playing it out in my mind. i am drawn in!

so excited for you.

i also agree with shawn, "knock it off with the cliques"!! great advice.

Anonymous said...

Janelle,this is really good stuff! I'm excited for you...and Fan and Mom too!-Tom B.

Anonymous said...

So excited to know you are taking a writig class!! These excerises are really good... Keep developing your voice... You are the most passionate person I know.... Let the passion flow through the pen!! Great writing! Remember to keep your characters safe inside your heart until they are ready to be brought onto the page... Treat them like your hidden children, to grow and nurish in the secret place!! I can't wait to read more!!

Love you, Randi