Thursday, April 20, 2017

Writing a Narrative and Writing Well

I started off this week’s readings with “Writing A Narrative” from the textbook Everyone’s An Author  by Andrea Lunsford, Michal Body, Lisa Ede, Beverley Moss, Carole Clark Papper, and Keith Walters. Immediately I could tell that I would like this passage, as it was an easy read that confirmed a lot of what I already knew about narrative writing, and inadvertently gave me vocabulary to use when teaching my students.
The text meshed academic descriptions of narrative writing with an actual narrative writing which I enjoyed thoroughly. The text also lists the steps to take when writing a narrative including: A clearly identified event, a clearly described setting, vivid descriptive details, a consistent point of view, and a clear point. The text also gave suggestions for what to think about when writing a narrative including: Think about your stance, think about your purpose, consider the larger context, and consider your medium. I thought the part about the medium was very interesting. I never gave much thought to how much font, or images, factor into making a narrative more effective. Sure with graphic novels I have, but I haven’t thought about adding images or design to the ideas I already have rolling about narratives I want to write. Annd yet, now that prospect excites me just as much!
The second text, by William Zinsser, was from his seminal book entitled On Writing Well and the section was titled “Writing About People”. The text begins by discussing the importance of interviewing and how it is so much more than facts. One part I found particularly interesting was when the speaker was discussing how they were given transcripts from the original five judges for Book of the Month club. The writer was doing a write up for the 40th anniversary of the organization and this was in 1966! I find this so fascinating because I am a member of Book of the Month club and would LOVE to be a guest judge at some point!
This text dealt with interviewing and the art of collecting non fiction narratives. It goes in detail discussing different variations of interview procedures and the benefits of them. For example, the benefits of a tape recorder and hearing dialect along with being able to replay the tape, versus handwritten notes where the speaker talks faster than you write and seeming to mess up speech. The author also discussed the importance of correct punctuation, especially where quotation marks are involved. I found this rather funny, as I teach my students the importance of grammatical errors!  

Whatever your way, the author reminds you to ask yourself the following question: What about your obligation to the person you interviewed? This made me think about the previous article and I reminded myself that when writing narrative writing, I must keep in mind the following question: What about your obligation to your audience? What is my purpose for writing and am I doing that justice?

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