Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nov. 13, 2014

Sometimes writing can feel like an uphill climb, like climbing a mountain and it takes all your effort to get over that summit. Keep at it! Nothing worthwhile has ever been easy. YOU CAN DO IT! And when you finally have it down on paper it is sweet victory!

Assignments due Nov. 13: You're first priority is to Fiction #1 and #2 and then start working your way through the poetry assignments. Ideally you will get it all done :) With 3 hours set aside each week for this class you should have time to do these assignments. Go for it!


1. If you haven't finished your rough draft, DO IT! Push through it and get a working draft done of your story. Make 12 copies and bring them to class next week. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! [Remember. This is the rough draft. You will revise and revise after this so don't be so concerned about getting it RIGHT. It won't be right until after several revisions. The important thing is to get a rough draft written so you have something to work with, and written in a timely way so that you have time to work through the revision process.]

2. Read eachother's short story rough drafts. Give helpful feedback. Tell them what you love, what is working and why, and also what isn't working as well for you and why. Write your comments right on the story copy. These are some of the things we are looking for:

  • Beginnings that catch your attention, make you want to start reading because it peaks your curiousity.
  • Characters that you care about, feel a connection to, and that feel real.
  • Effective use of showing and telling in their narration.
  • Dialogue that feels real, that creates character voice, and moves the story along.
  • Use of imaginitive words and figurative language to create a picture in the reader's mind.
  • Plot structure that has a beginning, a conflict, steps of action or suspense leading up to the climax, a climax where the character is at a win or lose crossroads, and a satisfying ending.
  • Successful ending: ties up loose ends, gives reader satisfaction for emotional investment in the story.


Since many of you weren't able to get to this last week, here are the first assignments in poetry to do:

  1. Poem Assignment #1: Tree Poem (We did this in class and some of you chose to write a poem about it at home).
  2. Write a list in your writer's journal of some of your personal, specific poignant experiences you've had, such as: walking in the rain, reaching the summit of a mountain, the death of a loved one, a time you were disappointed or felt heartache, a time when beauty has touched you deeply, a time you felt loved, secure, or affirmed, a time you felt exhausted, were struck with the starkness of a scene, or the grandeur of a scene, or the bleakness of a scene. It could be your expereince with something beautiful, ugly, stinky, stunning, scary, majestic, funny. You get the idea.
  3. Poem Assignment #2: Choose one of these Poignant Experiences and write a poem about that experience. Just have fun, playing with the words and trying to create an emotional experience for your reader. This part is so FUN! Find words that use the 5 senses. Play with the literary devices we talked about in class that make great poetry (picture below of our class discussion notes on the dry erase board).
  4. Poem Assignment #3: Write about another one of your poignant experiences, or draw inspiration from a picture, and write a poem using simile and/or metaphor where you compare your subject or experience to something else. Here are some tips we talked about in class for using simile and metaphor:

5. Read the following poems from your Writer's Workbook. Take note of the Elements of Good Poetry you see in them (see photo above). Actually take notes and underline right in your workbook on the poems, noting the devices you see the poet used to create a great poem.
  • The Hummingbird p.90
  • The Dream Deferred p.91
  • How Could Young Love Know? p.77
  • The Summer Day p. 80
Poetic Devices
Poetic Devices

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