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What To Look Out For <ul><li>In Your Writing </li></ul><ul><li>This Week’s Form </li></ul><ul><li>This Week’s Theme </li><...
3 Things to Think About in Your Writing <ul><li>“ Show Don’t Tell” </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract VS Concrete  </li></ul><ul><...
“ Show Don’t Tell” <ul><li>Dim Lady  by Harryette Mullen   </li></ul><ul><li>My honeybunch’s peepers are nothing like neon...
“ SDT continued” <ul><li>“ Show, don't tell” is an instruction to writers to write in a manner that allows the reader to  ...
<ul><li>Telling: Charlie Brown fell madly in love with the little red-head girl. </li></ul><ul><li>Showing: Charlie Brown’...
Abstract VS Concrete <ul><li>Abstract: “ Withdrawn or separated  from matter, from material embodiment, from practice, or ...
A VS C continued <ul><li>EVERYTHING! </li></ul><ul><li>This is very close to the difference between show and tell.  </li><...
A VS C continued <ul><li>A common counter-argument to this is: “Well, I can  be  sad and that’s a state of being. So how i...
A VS C continued <ul><li>This does not mean abstracts are forbidden! </li></ul><ul><li>It does mean, however, that mention...
Concrete <ul><li>Words that are concrete usually, but not always, come in two categories: verbs and nouns. </li></ul><ul><...
Concrete 2.0 <ul><li>The wonderful thing about concrete nouns and verbs is that they give you an actual moment, experience...
A Word of Caution <ul><li>Before I continue, I must tell you that none of what I am telling you is set in stone and/or eas...
Everything in a poem MUST do something! <ul><li>This bit of advice was given to me by Professor John Campion of the Englis...
What does it mean? <ul><li>“ Everything in a poem must do something.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word choice must have a purpos...
<ul><li>This is often called “economy of words” in English classes, but here this bit of advice seems more complex. Why is...
This Week’s Form/Homework: <ul><li>Short-lined Verse: </li></ul><ul><li>1 full page of verse, following the advice/guideli...
This Week’s Theme: <ul><li>Childhood, your imaginary world, and your real home.   </li></ul>
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What To Look Out For

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  • Transcript of "What To Look Out For"

    1. 1. What To Look Out For <ul><li>In Your Writing </li></ul><ul><li>This Week’s Form </li></ul><ul><li>This Week’s Theme </li></ul>
    2. 2. 3 Things to Think About in Your Writing <ul><li>“ Show Don’t Tell” </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract VS Concrete </li></ul><ul><li>Everything in a poem MUST do something! </li></ul>
    3. 3. “ Show Don’t Tell” <ul><li>Dim Lady by Harryette Mullen </li></ul><ul><li>My honeybunch’s peepers are nothing like neon. Today’s spe- </li></ul><ul><li>cial at Red Lobster is redder than her kisser. If Liquid Paper is </li></ul><ul><li>white, her racks are institutional beige. If her mop were Slinkys, </li></ul><ul><li>dishwater Slinkys would grow on her noggin. I have seen table- </li></ul><ul><li>cloths in Shakey’s Pizza Parlors, red and white, but no such pic- </li></ul><ul><li>nic colors do I see in her mug. And in some minty-fresh mouth- </li></ul><ul><li>washes there is more sweetness than in the garlic breeze my </li></ul><ul><li>main squeeze wheezes. I love to hear her rap, yet I’m aware that </li></ul><ul><li>Muzak has a hipper beat. I don’t know any Marilyn Monroes. </li></ul><ul><li>My ball and chain is plain from head to toe. And yet, by gosh, </li></ul><ul><li>my scrumptious Twinkie has as much sex appeal for me as any </li></ul><ul><li>lanky model or platinum movie idol who’s hyped beyond belief. </li></ul>
    4. 4. “ SDT continued” <ul><li>“ Show, don't tell” is an instruction to writers to write in a manner that allows the reader to experience the story or poem. </li></ul><ul><li>Showing is done through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>demonstrating a character’s actions, words, thoughts, senses, and feelings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>describing scenes, events, actions, characters, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Telling is done through the narrator's exposition, summarization, and simple description. </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Telling: Charlie Brown fell madly in love with the little red-head girl. </li></ul><ul><li>Showing: Charlie Brown’s heart beat raced as the little red-head passed him by. She dropped her pencil by his feet as she entered the class. He picked it up with a sigh and smiled. </li></ul>Original Example Time!
    6. 6. Abstract VS Concrete <ul><li>Abstract: “ Withdrawn or separated from matter, from material embodiment, from practice, or from particular examples.” – OED (emphasis added) </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete: “Hence, generally, combined with, or embodied in matter, actual practice, or a particular example; existing in a material form or as an actual reality, or pertaining to that which so exists.” – OED (emphasis added) </li></ul><ul><li>What does this have to do with writing? </li></ul><ul><li>??? O-o ??? </li></ul>
    7. 7. A VS C continued <ul><li>EVERYTHING! </li></ul><ul><li>This is very close to the difference between show and tell. </li></ul><ul><li>Abstracts, in poetry (and prose) tend to be intangible human ideas for states of being. They are NOT the actual act of being. </li></ul><ul><li>In this way, abstracts tell the reader something, instead of showing it. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: love, freedom, happiness, sadness, divinity, holy, evil, “metaphorical darkness,” hatred, indifference, acceptance, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you name some more that will fit into this category? </li></ul>
    8. 8. A VS C continued <ul><li>A common counter-argument to this is: “Well, I can be sad and that’s a state of being. So how is that an abstraction?” </li></ul><ul><li>To simply put it, it is (fortunately) rare to find someone who ONLY feels sad when they say they are sad. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you meet someone like this (who can only feel one emotion at a time) they are suffering from the dreaded Tinkerbell Syndrome! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Such an individual should seek professional help at once! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is another point about abstractions: they tend over simplify more complex and nuance facts of life. </li></ul>
    9. 9. A VS C continued <ul><li>This does not mean abstracts are forbidden! </li></ul><ul><li>It does mean, however, that mentioning them explicitly in poetry and prose tends to leave the writer with the burden of proof. </li></ul><ul><li>Prove/Show how Billy Bob loves Mary Jane. Prove/Show that the sun represents freedom </li></ul><ul><li>and so on and so on </li></ul><ul><li>To do this, you must ground your written world and thoughts in the tangible and concrete. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Concrete <ul><li>Words that are concrete usually, but not always, come in two categories: verbs and nouns. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verbs: to run, to swim, to sing, to dance, to fly, to step, to throw, to hit, to harm, to break, to build, to restore, to heal, etc. etc. etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nouns: Man, Woman, Child, horse, dog, cat, mouse, house, farm, chair, bear, phone, computer, printer, umbrella, bed, etc. etc. etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you think of any more? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you see what separates these words from the abstract examples? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Concrete 2.0 <ul><li>The wonderful thing about concrete nouns and verbs is that they give you an actual moment, experience, and state of being that everyone physically can related to. </li></ul><ul><li>Done properly, the use of concrete words will enable the reader to experience the abstract ideas/thoughts you wish to demonstrate. </li></ul><ul><li>By creating an experience, you create visceral reactions in the reader that stay with them long after they finish reading your work. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about your favorite book or scene from a book and what you gained from it. How did the writer create an experience for you? What words do you remember, that stand out to you the most? </li></ul>
    12. 12. A Word of Caution <ul><li>Before I continue, I must tell you that none of what I am telling you is set in stone and/or easy to do. Experience writers have always struggled with “show, don’t tell” simply because of the nature of our craft: writing will always be a form of telling. </li></ul><ul><li>Most (if not all) of this is to be used as guide-lines in your own writing. Advice passed down to me and which I know pass on to you. Use as you will. </li></ul><ul><li>With that said, let’s continue! </li></ul>
    13. 13. Everything in a poem MUST do something! <ul><li>This bit of advice was given to me by Professor John Campion of the English Department. </li></ul><ul><li>He specializes in poetry and teaches a class in creative writing each semester. </li></ul><ul><li>This advice, however, can apply to all forms of writing (from essays and assignments, to text messages and blogs). </li></ul>
    14. 14. What does it mean? <ul><li>“ Everything in a poem must do something.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word choice must have a purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Syntax must have a purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formatting must have a purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Images, symbols, character, etc must have a purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything you do and write must have a purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t know why you are doing something in a poem, don’t do it! </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>This is often called “economy of words” in English classes, but here this bit of advice seems more complex. Why is this? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of reasons for this, within poetry? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it possible to do something simply because you like the effects? </li></ul><ul><li>Should you be concerned about this when writing your first draft </li></ul><ul><li>How do you think you can make everything in a poem do something? What do you take this advice as saying? </li></ul>Discussion Questions
    16. 16. This Week’s Form/Homework: <ul><li>Short-lined Verse: </li></ul><ul><li>1 full page of verse, following the advice/guidelines given to you today </li></ul><ul><li>Each line must not exceed 10 syllables (5 metrical feet). One word lines are allowed. </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of assignment: to practice the economy of written language. </li></ul><ul><li>Essentially free verse poem (may also utilize any forms covered in class or that you happen to know). </li></ul>
    17. 17. This Week’s Theme: <ul><li>Childhood, your imaginary world, and your real home. </li></ul>
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