Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 20

English 101 Summer 2010 Day 20

  1. Bonus Points last round. (last night?)
  2. The writing process.
    1. Planning
      1. Assess the situation.
        1. Subject
        2. Sources
        3. Purpose and audience
        4. Length
        5. Reviewers and deadlines
      2. Exploring ideas
        1. Talking and listening.
        2. Annotating texts
        3. Listing
        4. Clustering
        5. Freewriting
        6. Asking journalist's questions
      3. Formulating a tentative thesis
      4. Sketching a plan
    2. Drafting
      1. Introductions and thesis
      2. Body
      3. Conclusion
    3. Revising
      1. Global
      2. Revising and editing sentences
  3. Personal Experience
    1. Rites of passage? When did you know you were an adult? (or not a child…)
    2. Road trips.
    3. Vacations.
    4. Moves.
    5. Hikes.
    6. Camps.
    7. How did you arrive in Yakima.
    8. Illness/injury.
    9. Accidents.
    10. Addiction.
    11. Depression/psychological.
    12. Divorce/relationship.
    13. Friendships.
    14. Moments of sudden growth
  4. Observation (Second hand experiences)
    1. How did your family arrive in Yakima?
    2. Grandparents/parents/siblings/relatives/friends.
  5. Imagination
    1. Invent your own hero.
    2. Take Scout, Jem, Boo or Dill on a second journey.

Exploring ideas

  1. Talking and listening.
  2. Annotating texts
  3. Listing
  4. Clustering
  5. Freewriting
  6. Asking journalist's questions

Narrative in Creative Non-fiction

  1. Characters (read 185-187)
    1. You become a character
    2. Major ones should be round, have more than one attribute, change over time
    3. My father was a great guy v. Mosquitos would not bite him (186 and 167)
    4. Five senses


  1. Say
  2. Think
  3. Do
  4. Look like
  5. What others say
  6. Their past
  7. Names
  1. Senses/Images
  2. He/She was the kind of person who... (five telling details).
  3. Consistency, Complexity, (these first two are in tension) Individuality

Dialogue (187)

  1. Short
  2. Vivid
  3. Believable

Tips on Dialogue

In two's: I'm sorry but…

  1. The first writer pulls out a piece of paper and begins their dialogue with the words "I'm sorry, but…". They complete the sentence and pass the journal to their partner.
  2. The partner, after reading the sentence,writes a line (or paragraph) of dialogue which heightens the tension.
  3. Keep passing the journal back and forth, trying to throw curve balls at one another without delving into the absurd.
  4. Try not to rely on dialogue tags to reveal how the character is speaking.
  5. In fact, don't use dialogue tags at all. Rely on your word choice and punctuation.

Movies with great dialogue: Tarantino, Juno, Linklater, Kevin Smith, Coen Brothers, David Mamet, Casablanca, China Town, Aaron Sorkin

Listen to how people talk to each other

  • Most of it is the weather.
  • He's like a bull in a china shop…
  • Eating out.
  • Bars.
  • Waiting rooms.
  • Cell phone jerks.
  • At the checkout.

More notes on dialogue:

Dialogue is not real speech, but it should sound like it.

  • Cut words and phrases that don't move things along

Don't use dialogue to provide exposition—keep it to three sentences or less

Break it up with action—remind us they are physical

Vary signal phrases, but keep it simple. Don't use elaborate signal phrases (she expostulated, he interjected)

Avoid stereotypes in dialect, but…

  • Huck Finn
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Don't over use slang/profanity. "Slang goes sour in a short time." --EH

Read a lot. Note good/bad

Punctuate correctly

  • Use quotation marks?

Start a new paragraph when changing speakers.

Setting (187)

"If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

–Anton Chekhov

  1. Time & Place (physical environment)

For example: Greasy Lake, Death of a Salesman, To Build a Fire, The Storm, Grapes of Wrath


5 w's


Point of view

  1. First Person
    1. Single character's point of view.
  2. Advantages of First Person
    1. maintain naivete or innocence
    2. Narrated out loud.
    3. Irony of narrator/Humor
      1. Also, unreliable/biased narrators
    4. Immediacy?
    5. Disadvantages
      1. Less flexible
      2. Can be contrived
  3. Third person
    1. Better for "hot" material.
    2. Flexible.
    3. Omniscient/Limited (All characters v Single character)
    4. Objective/Subjective: (No thoughts or feelings v. Thoughts and Feelings)
    5. Disadvantages

"Head hopping"=confusion unless handled right

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