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This is about 9,000 words/20 pages. Enjoy!

RememberingCollapse )Kelly :)

Looking Ahead

I'm a firm believer in looking back in order to look ahead. So, in looking back on topics over the course of this class, I find certain topics sticking out to me. I remember discussing characterization, tension, and the narrative arc/plot the most. I think I remember these three the most because they were the topics that I was most interested in. Talking about round and flat characters really helped me out. I found out that it's okay that not every character be equal in the eyes of the author or the readers. There's got to be a leading character in the story somewhere. I think I also learned the boundary between a perfect character (no flaws) and a really flawed character. You have to find the middle ground. No one is perfect in real life, so why would a character be, even in fiction, and if a character has too many flaws, you might as well give up writing them. I also learned that character flaws can play a part in the plot and move it along through the 'tragic flaw', the flaw of a character that ultimately leads to his/her downfall. Through the tragic flaw, a writer can figure out the plot and narrative arc of a story and then the flaw can also lead into tension. I also learned that not all tension comes from suspense.

Reviewing Others' Writing

I chose to review Alicia's blog to find out more about her writing style. I really like her ideas and I like her straightforwardness. She doesn't really beat around the bush, just gets right to the point. I really like her "Chatting Up" post because she really introduces her characters, their flaws, and I can tell where the story would be going if she continued it. I could also relate to her "Characterizing Myself" entry because I thought about writing almost the exact same thing, but because I changed it to the rejection letter, our focuses are almost completely different. I also agree with Alicia's concept of characterization.

Reflections on Group Writing

I found the experience of group writing a short story to be so-so. There were definitely some frustration and tension, but after my group got into the swing of things, I feel like it went pretty smoothly.

One major frustration occurs when you have a group member who simply won't post and won't respond to emails or what you say to them in class. What was really bothersome was the fact that he read the posts, because as soon as we decided to kill him off, HE BROUGHT HIMSELF BACK! Ugh...that INFURIATED me. Sorry, had to do a little yelling.

Another frustration was dealing with everyone's different styles and different comfort zones. I was very apprehensive about what our plot was meant to be and was glad when I spoke up along with another teammate and finally brought the sexuality level down a notch.

I really enjoyed working with my group mates though and had a fun time writing our short story. I feel like the project went a lot more smoothly than previous projects that I had done like this in my high school writing classes and I know it went more smoothly than I anticipated. I learned a lot while working on this project. Not only did I learn collaboration skills, but I got some constructive criticism, learned to roll with the punches, and learned how to compromise even on issues that I felt strongly about. It wasn't the best project I've ever done, but I would certainly do it again and I did learn a lot.

Kelly :)

Plot Synopsis #3 (Remembering)

Remembering is the title of my third ever short story. I plan on working this into a longer piece once I have the time, so I'm anticipating difficulties with length.

My story starts out in the present, with a girl driving to an airport after a funeral. The funeral was for a man who she considered to be her big brother, a person that she grew up with a cared about. The man was only 37 years and had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The girl relives the funeral scene as she's driving, after remembering a time that she had gone to the grocery store with him when she was five. Then the story jumps back to when the girl first found out that one of the people she cares about most is dying and that there is nothing she can do to help him. The story unfolds as she follows him on his journey to right his wrongs and come to peace with the life he has already led, and the life he will never have.

This is a little blurb that I came up with randomly at one a.m. I thought it was pointless, but I looked it over in the morning and decided to go with it.

Remembering...Collapse )

I sat at the window once again, waiting for that letter to come in the mail that I definitely wanted to see. I had submitted my first short story to a magazine about a month ago and I was anxiously awaiting their reply. My friends had loved it, my writing circle members had liked it, and my family was behind me 100%. I was positive that I had hit the nail on the head with this one. I saw the mailman pull up in his Bronco and smiled, my stomach clenching with excitement. He waved to me through the glass of the window as he pulled away and I rushed outside and down the sidewalk, smiling widely. It had to be here! This had to be the day.

I pulled the door down to the mailbox that looked like a little barn and gasped as I saw the letter, laying right on top. I squealed and couldn't wait to get inside to open it, so instead I tore it open right there on the side of the road. I unfolded the letter, my eyes darting to the first line of the actual letter and my stomach dropped. My eyes stopped and I sighed. Guess I hadn't hit the nail on the head. My shoulders drooped and I walked lethargically back up to the house.

I met my mom at the door and shook my head. I wasn't devastated, but the rejection letter had definitely taken a chunk out of my confidence. I handed her the letter to read and then walked over to the office supply cabinet in the office and got out a folder. I'd keep the letter. I was one of those people who became more determined when told no or that I wasn't good enough. I had known that writing would be hard, knew that being published would be difficult. I had just expected rejection letters to come from publishers later one when I had finished my novel, not from a stupid magazine for a simple short story.

Memorable Movie Scene

Movie: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Scene: Dumbledore's Death/Students Mourn

I have a lot of memorable moments--real life experiences, books, characters, TV shows, and of course, movie scenes. When asked what scene was the most memorable to me and why, I had a lot of problems deciding on just one. So, I picked one that had, had a lot of emotional impact on me. I know, I know, it's Harry Potter, but I grew up on these books. I started reading them when the first came out when I was in third grade and ended the series my senior year. When I closed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it felt like I closed a chapter of my life, my childhood. Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of the fictional wizarding school Hogwarts was one of my favorite characters. He still is. When he died in the book, I cried, read the chapter again, cried again, and then set the series down until just this summer. It seems only fitting for me to cry at the theater, when the scene was acted out right there in front of me on the big screen. However, Dumbledore's death itself wasn't what sparked emotion in me the most, it was the students and teachers lighting their wands over his body in tribute to him that made me feel hope. Hope is a more powerful thing than tears. I felt inspired by these brave people, even though I knew they were fictional. Somehow though, over the many years that Harry Potter has been a part of my collection, the characters in Rowling's books have become meaningful to me. They all seem so real, even though we don't learn that much about them. I went back to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince when it was showing in the HUB, thoroughly expecting to feel nothing at Dumbledore's death. I was wrong however, I cried more than I did the first time and felt even more inspired less than five minutes later. Dumbledore's death is a great moment. It hurts the reader, the watcher, but it also lifts them up, turning the short moments of darkness into the light of hope.

Reflections on Writers

The writer that I was most surprised about was James Michener. I remember discussing him in class because I asked the question: Is it possible to go too far with research? I had to read an excerpt from one of Michener's books aloud and it was one of the hardest things that I have ever read, only second to my Educational Psychology textbook. However, when Samantha presented on him by using one of his Chesapeake short stories, I was a little taken aback. His use of dialogue to introduce characters was what got me the most. I suppose though since it is a short story, the use of dialogue to introduce two opposite characters would be a wise choice. I definitely liked this version of Michener better, but I don't believe that I'll ever read him for enjoyment. Even with something interesting like character development, he seemed too..so...stereotypical.

Informal Presentation

Topic: How Does Margaret Atwood Achieve Tension in Her Novel, The Handmaid's Tale.
To view the slides from my presentation, click here.Collapse )

Chatting Up

(Follow up kind of to Complications)

Using Dialogue ExclusivelyCollapse )



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