Archive for February, 2013

Free Write: Interview

Posted in Free Write on February 28, 2013 by jlineb10

Interview

The kind of person I want to interview would need to be either a high school English Teacher to further understand why they do not teach creative writing or a fiction writer. I would rather find an actual fiction writer to help me strengthen my own argument of how it should be implemented and how it can be graded. I still believe that Aaron Gwyn would be an optimal person to interview if, if, he ever responds to me. I did send him another email to interview him.  I feel like someone who both writes and teaches fiction writing would be an amazing well of knowledge since my argument is about getting in into school systems. I really need a good source of how to go about grading creative writing. In my current paper, I basically came up with the assessment solutions on my own.

Questions:

1. How did you get in to fiction writing?

I think their interest will stem from their enjoyment of reading just as mine did. The reason I ask this is to get a sense of what makes people want to write stories. I can implement this into my paper after the second question.

2. Why did you start teaching fiction writing?

I think the answer to this will be because they want to help struggling enthusiasts kind their niche and delve into the fiction world rather than abandon it. This can be hard as the thought of a full 250-600 page book can seem daunting. Knowing this along with how he got into fiction writing to begin with will help me understand how to get others to embrace fiction writing as well when taught in a  class.

3. How does he/she grade creative writing?

My assumption would be based off of how the plot line develops, how the scenery is described, and the amount of depth given to characters. I desperately need a firm answer on this question to be able to have a firm argument in my paper. Creative writing cannot be implemented if it cannot be properly assessed.

4. Are the attributes of creative writing all taught in a singular class or can topics withing creative writing have their own entire semester class? ( such as character development)

My first thought to this question would be yes without a doubt. Most of my paper is about how to assess creative writing but it lacks how to teach creative writing. Knowing how the topic can be staggered in a chain of classes would make it seem like less of a waste when picking semester classes in high school. I noticed many courses that only had one level to it were often thought of as throw away classes. Examples in my school were photography or Remember the holocaust.

5. How do you go about teaching a given subject?

I think the answer to this will be from personal experience more than anything. I want to know so that I can make it sound more plausible for a school board to create course content for creative writing classes.

6. What kind of tests do you give?

My thought to this would be take-home short story essays. I feel like even the shortest of short stories would take a decent amount of time and a very rapid thought porcess to write . It’s possibly too much for a classroom setting. Maybe tests are more about creating a part of a story with no ending or such.

7. Is there any reason you can give me as to why secondary education doesn’t already have creative writing incorporated into English or as a series of electives?

I feel like they wouldn’t have an answer but hopefully they do. I need to know the downside of my argument so that I know how to counter it in my paper.

_________________

This is off topic but I thought I’d share it. I was watching The Diary of Anne Frank today on Netflix and I saw close to the end where she decided that, rather than being a movie star, she wanted to become a writer so that she could share her own stories of her life with others. This is not fictional but it still gave me another reason as to why people get into story writing in general. I thought it was really interesting when I saw it.

Inquiry-Based Argumentative Paper, draft 1

Posted in Major Assignments on February 26, 2013 by jlineb10

FirstD

Draft1 John L

I think I have a solid conclusion and good information within my body paragraphs. I got a terrible headache while writing this which normally means that I wasn’t really into it. Hopefully that doesn’t show too much though. I am aware that I still need to find more sources and I also need to find better and more relevant sources. Since this is the first draft, I did not try and make an amazing thesis statement. I just wanted one that I knew got my point across. I think my current thesis does that but it is very blunt and could be more eloquent and interesting. I feel like I could go into much more examples other than plot and character development if I need to. I felt the need to source the youtube video about character development that I posted earlier as that is where I got a chunk of my knowledge on how to go about learning it. I did not however source it. I also noticed that I did a fair amount of compare/contrast in my plot paragraph which I was not supposed to do in the assignment sheet so I guess I will revise that later on. Overall I think I am on the right track to finishing the paper and just need to tie together my argument a little more with better sources. I need to find something from the creator’s of the SAT.

Reading Response 3

Posted in Reading Response on February 20, 2013 by jlineb10

Drafts

SFDJohnL

Academic Context:

I don’t always start with an introduction, or rather; I rarely start with an introduction. I do need a thesis statement though. After that I start stringing together points and sources that build volume upon my argument including all but the last sentence of my conclusion. Then I go back and write the introduction to compliment the bulk of my paper. The final sentence of my conclusion is always the hardest part for me as I need it to be something that neatly strings together everything I said previously. One other thing I do is trying and not let myself write emotionally. I don’t like it when my paper beings to sound like a lament or rant. Academic writing is a process for me and I cannot easily write the full length of the paper in a single sitting.

Creative Context:

I like to start from the very beginning whenever I do creative writing. In fact, I normally have an intro or Prologue page. I do not take much time to contemplate what I’m writing. There is a big difference between Academic and Creative writing for me. In Academic writing you are not the ultimate source of knowledge. You have to research or learn your topic and then attempt to write about it. In creative writing, I do not need to do this. Everything that happens in the world I create is of my imagination and needs no prior learning as the paper itself cannot stretch beyond my own knowledge. It is very easy for me to write 10 pages in an hour. Afterwards I will review it and rethink paragraphs or dialogue that I feel could be better.

Both:

I always write my first, second, and nth drafts as if they were my final draft. I’ve never really been one to outline beforehand either. I usually just let my mind free flow but I keep it organized and sensible. I’ve never been in a true situation where I had to write a second draft that was drastically different from my first one.

Below you will find the first draft of the first chapter of something I decided to write.

A little background:

Aven is a character I made up when I was about 11 or 12. I use Aven all the time in my personal writing. I also frequently use Aven as account names and it is the name I have always used in any kind of online gaming I do.

Aven

Inquiry Blog 4: A New Blog

Posted in Inquiry Blog on February 15, 2013 by jlineb10

InqBG

The CoP that I will be immersing myself with this semester is fiction writing with an emphasis on fantasy and murder mystery genres. I love reading these genres along with watching them on the big screen. My interest in reading has advanced into writing them in some of my free time. I have grown up always loving stories. I watched all the Disney movies 100 times over and began reading frequently at a young age. I even enjoy poetry sometimes, all from Edgar Allen Poe though. I can’t wait for my next book to arrive from Amazon as I do not have one to read currently.

My exploration of the CoP will be about how authors manage their character, setting, and plot development. In my own writing, I always feel that if I try and force myself to describe surroundings too much then it becomes mundane and boring. At the same time if I don’t do it enough then the story loses its footing. Character development feels like my strong suit right now as I don’t feel that I struggle too much with it. My plot development skills are ok but it always seems like…I know the story that I want to tell but I don’t know how to tell it. I hope that during my exploration I will be able to improve upon these areas of fiction writing.

I believe that my inquiry will help the thousands of other amateur writers who want to weave compelling stories from their fingertips like the major authors seem to do. There are other CoPs that can benefit from my inquiry as well. Storytelling does not simply exist in writing. It exists in filmmaking, as every good movie has a good script. It exists in music creation as well. Some of my favorite albums tell a storyline. In an abstract manner, storytelling also exists in the CoP of living. Every life is a story filled with pain, love, happiness, regret, and overcoming.

The main obstacle I see with my CoP is that it is filled with introverts. There are those who do not share their thoughts willingly with others in the CoP. I have to admit I am guilty of it myself. There is not a big discussion between them on any topic or issue. Those who do create discussion are looking for critique and advice on their work. Most discussion about the CoP comes are other CoPs entirely. In my research, this seems to be media sources and extremist groups.

Below is a video explaining introversion.

Inquiry Blog 3: Return of the Blog

Posted in Inquiry Blog on February 12, 2013 by jlineb10

Chpt1

http://fictionwritersreview.com/

This is a website I found where new emerging writers get interviewed about the book they have written and how they got started. You can also find reviews for these books.

 

http://www.writingforums.com/fiction/

This website is a giant forum for writers of all genres to get their work critiqued by others. I found it to be interesting what people can come up with.

 

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/06/13/mistakes-of-new-fiction-writers/

I found this to be very true as I over use(d) first names too much when I try and write.

 

^^.  I thought this was a great video. I’m going to watch more of her videos as I think she has very good advice about character creation and development. She has many videos giving writing tips, including one on fantasy.

 

I am having a hard time thinking of a topic or issue of interest in the fiction writing community. What could that even be for my CoP? There is a hierarchy of expertise in my CoP so large that I don’t think there can be a general issue or topic of interest shared by the CoP as a whole, or even majority, or maybe even minority.

Inquiry Blog 2: The Blog Strikes Back

Posted in Inquiry Blog on February 8, 2013 by jlineb10

The CoP that I have chosen to delve into was originally going to be writing, but I want to be far more specific now. The CoP that I am choosing is fiction/fantasy novel writing. I chose this CoP because I ready this genre assiduously and , from time to time, try to write it myself.

Here is a blog from someone who is a fiction writer:

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/blog/

This is an article with tips on fiction writing:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one

Finally, here is the latest book I’m reading:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Winter-Witch-Paula-Brackston/dp/1250001315/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360286407&sr=8-1&keywords=the+winter+witch

My CoP breaks the rules of any other kind of writing very frequently. The reason for this is because all other genres are bound by absolute realism, mortality, and past events. Fiction writing allows the author’s mind to flow more freely and opens the door for creativity. Fiction by definition is :

Noun
  1. Prose literature, esp. short stories and novels, about imaginary events and people.
  2. Invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.

Characters are not shackled by the common woes of real life. They can be more powerful, live in lands that simply are not plausible, and complete tasks that no character in a non fiction novel could dream of. I often find myself apathetic when reading non fiction as I usually know the ending already. Knowing the ending due to it being a historical event or what have you ruins books for me. I simply cannot finish a book if I find out the ending beforehand. Fiction writing is not required to obey these rules. Another benefit of the genre is that it can twist and distort historical events in to what ever you want. An example of this would be the popular growing “steam punk” trend found in novels, devices and video games. I am not sure if this is what you were looking for as an insurrection but I like it and hope you find it adequate.

5PE & DCACoP

Posted in Reading Response on February 6, 2013 by jlineb10

After reading “The Five Paragraph Essay” I was filled with painful reminiscent thoughts TEDDA and Writing Wednesdays in high school. Being locked into that format was so anti-intuitive that I questioned the merit of my English teachers.

“A student or a young faculty member can be punished for major transgressions from the norm, for attempting to move away from what the more established, initiated  members expect.  In order to receive a good grade.”

“As individuals within an academic community become more established and famous, they can become more anticonventional, in both their texts and their lives.”

Ann Johns’ idea seemed to be that you just deal with the rules so that you get your grade. If you ever become a published Author, then you can be as anti-conventional as you want. I sadly have to agree with him.

“yet, her insistence on the five-paragraph essay as a “basic form” for struggling writers creates a needless impediment to composing. Imposing an arbitrary format makes learning  to write just that much harder, and for no good reason.”

This quote from “The Five Paragraph Essay” is what I thought about my English teachers every day as we prepared for the 10th grade Writing Test. I was given the same prompt, “Define Integrity” 7 times that year. There were numerous other prompts I had to write about repeatedly in preparation as they ran out of new ones. I thought it would be over after 10th grade but then they began Writing Wednesdays. It was meant as practice for the 10th grade Writing Test yet all grades were required to participate. I believe that Ann had the ideals of a school system in his writings while John had the ideals of a student, which is why I enjoyed article vastly more.

An insurrection that I was part of happened in 12th grade. Myself, along with most of our grade, made our Writing Wednesday papers as terrible as possible for weeks. We would rant, go off topic, writ lyke wre 3, and not put our names on it. Of course the school hated it, as they had a Friday faculty meeting where they were required to read aloud the best and worst papers that each teacher had collected. The 12th grade teachers had no “best” paper. The school’s way of fixing the problem was getting mad at the teachers. Then the backlash would reach us within days. It didn’t stop and eventually I just stopped turning in a paper. The second semester of my 12th year, I had all 4 classes with the same teacher. She was my favorite teacher and I helped her everyday as a tutor/TA. She also doubled as a teacher and assistant principle. She agreed with me that it was a poor choice to force Writing Wednesday on 11th and 12th graders and did not care that I opt’d out of it. I don’t know how Writing Wednesday is now, but I can only imagine that it was removed.

I feel like teaching writing needs to be less formatted and political. Don’t ask for our opinion on something we don’t care about. I would not enforce five paragraphs, TEDDA (tedda can die), or any but the most basic outline. Prompts are another large detriment to writing. If you are going to assign a prompt then make it vague and not mundane. Better yet, let them write about whatever they want, as that is when you are going to see their creativity mold. A writing teacher needs to encourage the students talents and ideals, not impose their own upon the student. The 7th and 10th grade writing tests only show how good we are at pretending to know what we are talking about, they should be removed as well. My ideas to break and revise rules would probably be glazed over by the school but I do not feel alone among other students from my school. Their entire system was a mess and I think that they knew it.

I’m reminded of my 11th grade English teacher. We got to write an Editorial about anything we wish that we could change at the school. I was deducted 10% because she didn’t agree with me that Ipods should be allowed on campus.