Thursday, May 1, 2014


What Is Revision?

A change or a set of changes that corrects or improves something.

Steps For Revision

  • Find You Main Point
  • Identify Your Readers and Your Purpose
  • Evaluate Your Evidence
  • Save Only The Good Pieces
  • Tighten and Clean Up Your Language
  • Eliminate Mistakes In Grammar And Usage
  • Switch From Writer Centered To Reader Centered

For More About These Steps About Revision: Go To: 

Three Revision Techniques:

1.  Start On One Page- When going page by page this allows you to catch typos, and to study your characters as well as the plot.

2.  Circle Passive Words And Eliminate Them- Writing passively is common for writers, but it slows down the story and makes it less exciting for readers.  The more passive words you can eliminate or make them active, the better your story will be.

3.  Delete All Cliches- Cliches are over done and easily caught when revising.  Some authors may try even rewrite these cliches in order to enhance them.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Writing & Workshopping vs. Blogging & Publishing

Writing & Workshopping vs. Blogging & Publishing

Writing & Workshopping:

     From the beginning of this class to know. I have been able from the help of my peers, in workshop, as well as my professor to add much more detail, in order for my story to come alive.  I also was able to show versus tell the reader what I wanted them to know.

 Below is my writing from my story, Distance, and it shows my writing in different stages of editing. 

Old Version of Distance: 
     Mark and his family lived in Connecticut so a two-hour drive South would do him some good.  Seeing white sand, soaking up warm rays of sunshine and listening to the waves crash, would do anyone some good.  He booked a hotel for two weeks, packed up the car and left. 
     This was surely a test for Mark, being away from his family, since he had never been that far away before.  The drive was quick and easy and he soon checked into the hotel, unpacked his items and headed to the beach.  Mark didn’t want to waste any precious time that he had away.

New Version of Distance:
     Mark and his family lived in Connecticut so a two and a half-hour drive south would do him some good.  Seeing sand, soaking up warm rays of sunshine and listening to the waves crash, would do anyone some good.  He booked a hotel for two weeks, packed up the Jeep Cherokee with the basics and left for I-95. 
     This was surely a test for Mark being away from his family since he had never been that far away before.  The drive was quick and easy, with little traffic, which was unusual for this time of year.  He checked into the hotel, which was two blocks from the boardwalk, unpacked his items and headed to the beach.  Mark didn’t want to waste any precious time that he had there.

Blogging & Publishing:

     It was helpful, in my opinion to blog since it was really out of the ordinary writing. It was still text that had to be proper since other people can view what you wrote. Blogging would be very useful as part of the writing process when you are not in a classroom setting.  For example, if I wanted feedback from others on my writing, I could just post my writing to my blog and others could comment on what I wrote.  So essentially it is like a workshop.  Blogging and Publishing are very similar due to the fact other readers could constantly see your work.  Blogging would not cause as much of a fear to writers than actually publishing their work.  Both, are very scary parts of the writing process.  I do no think I will do either with my work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Flight Behavior By Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior By Barbara Kingsolver


     This book starts out in the perspective of a young woman's narrow experience in life and is thrown into the force of raging fire. Kingsolver inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence.  The characters and the readers are carried beyond familiar territories and thrown into the unsettled ground of science, faith, reason and conviction.

     Dellarobia Turnbow is a farm wife, who had to give up her life when she discovered at the age of seventeen that she was pregnant.  After a few decades on the failing farm, she settled for permanent disappointment but now seeks money from flirting with a younger man.  She hikes up the mountain road behind her house and encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley which looks like a lake of fire.    

From Dellarobia telling people of the lake of fire this causes a spark of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders and the media.  The community lines up to judge Dellarobia of the miracle she has found.  Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, and the larger world, in a flight towards the truth that can undo all she has ever believed.  This fiction novel takes on the subject of climate change along with the motives that drives denial and belief in a dangerous world.

Big Essential Questions Of This Novel:

What is the significance of the novel's title?  Talk about imagery of flight.  How is it represented throughout the story? 

    This question was discussed in depth when attending the Flight Behavior Reading.  As stated above in the summary Dellarobia is in flight toward undoing all that she has believed in her life.  She feels that there is so much more to life and what she has learned was not what she wants to believe in anymore.  She wants to explore more into science, faith, reason, conviction and she opens her world up to it.  It is a parable of catastrophe and denial that how the complexities we encounter in life leads us to believe in our chosen truths.

Barbara Kingsovler Biography:

To Read About Barbara Kingsolver's Life and More About Her Other Novels:

"The writing of fiction is a dance between truth and invention." -Barbara Kingsolver

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Point Of View

Point of View: 

Definition of POV- is a particular way of considering a matter

Different Forms of Point of View:

  • First Person Reliable
  • First Person UnReliable
  • Dialogue Only
  • 3rd Person Close
  • 3rd Omniscient / Authoritative
  • Other (Opening with Lists, Menu, Etc.)

Examples Of These Different Forms:

1.  First Person Reliable- All I wanted was someone to love me.  I have always wanted a relationship just like my sister has.  I want to be loved and make someone happy.

2.  First Person UnReliable- I'm going to make a profile.  I do not care that I broke up with Johnny two days ago.  I want it.  I want a relationship, so I am going for it. No one is going to stop me.  He is the one who broke up with me anyways, so who cares.

3. Dialogue Only- "Mom!  What do you think of this for my profile.  The question is how would you describe yourself?  I wrote a caring individual, who is outgoing and who loves to help others but expects the same in return.  Is that too harsh?"

4.  3rd Person Close- I have heard success stories but I am not sure what to do? I am sick of being alone but at the same time is this a waste of my energy?

5.  3rd Omniscient / Authoritative- Jane scanned the computer screen wondering if she should punch in her credit card digits.  She wondered if this was a scam or could she actually find a compatible person on this website.  Jane bit her lip as she contemplated on what to do. 

6.  Other (Opening with Lists, Menu, Etc.)- Reliable, loving, enthusiastic, caring, passionate, fun, energetic, hardworking.  (Characteristics that are added to a dating profile)


This was one of the most challenging exercises I have done.  It was very difficult on changing point of views and I struggled with this.  To me, I worked hard on my story, so by changing perspectives I felt that I was ripping apart my story.  Overall, it helped me see that if I wanted to change my story and give it a different spin, I could do it easily now.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"The Pink Institution" Versus Other Novels

"The Pink Institution" Versus Other Novels:

     Saterstrom has a unique approach to show four generations of women in a Mississippi family. Saterstrom divided the book into five sections, which included old photographs, excerpts from the Confederate Ball Program Guide, as well as decades of poverty, abuse and alcoholism.  This novel interweaves prose poetry along with historical images and texts.  This is very unfamiliar to most novel readers due to the abstract poetry, lists, excerpts from real or imagined documents and photos to sublimely build a miserable family story.  A fuzziness is created in the beginning of "The Pink Institution" because of how abstract it is.  Some pages only have a few words, but as the book goes on, and the years pass, the text becomes fuller, more descriptive and more directed to standard prose.  
     Unlike most novels, "The Pink Institution" does not follow a standard format, which has paragraphs, full description and text throughout the entire book.  Since this book does not follow the standard form, this does not mean that the book is hindered, instead it makes Saterstrom's novel unique and to me very enjoyable to read.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Pink Institution by Selah Saterstrom

The Pink Institution

     The Pink Institution by Selah Saterstrom is filled with historical photographs, images and texts that are interweaved through this book.  Saterstrom traces four generations of Mississippi women from their ruin down towns and plantations during the Civil War to their modern day trailer parks, where these trailer parks hold the youngest generations.  This book is divided into five sections which encases experts from the Confederate Bill Program of 1938, this book reveals decades of poverty, abuse, war, violence and gives a ransacked type of feel due to her writing style.  This allows for large spaces and gives the feeling that bits of information were lost or swallowed.
     For example, when Saterstrom introduces Abella who is a "women who enjoyed socializing and thinking about restoration projects" she gets married to an alcoholic policeman named Micajah.  He abuses and beats Abella which later has an impact on Azalea when she goes and marries Willie.  In section two in the portion named "Bracelets" it conveys what Willie's and Azalea's four daughters witnessed in their childhood.  These girls saw violence and barely survive their childhood.  Aza repeatedly attempted suicide as a child, and the daughter of Aza is know seen as the unnamed narrator throughout the first few sections of the book.
     This novel is written in a style that is in poetic prose with historical references and texts.  It shows the life style and how war, violence, poverty and abuse has an affect on the people living that lifestyle. From this book it explodes the mythologies of Southern femininity.


     This book offers a spare language which adds to the fragmented aspect of Saterstrom's writing.  From this style of writing it shows forever life altering moments in the lives of the multiple generations of women in this book.  It shows how not one of the women in this work was able to escape suffering.

     "Willie called his daughters into the dining room.  He picked up a dining room table chair and threw it into a closed window.  The window shattered.  He said, "That's a lesson about virginity.  Do you understand?" to which they replied, "Yes sir."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Blog

The Blog

     While investigating, I noticed this website has essays, reviews, interviews, advice, music, film, poetry as well as comics.  It is based around pop culture and is a place where people can be themselves.  There are various types of writers on this site.  From being on this site, these authors are able to speak their mind, be expressive, artistic and allow, us, the reader to engage in their thinking as well as their work.  From browsing the website, I stumbled upon an advice column called Dear Sugar.  I clicked on this column due to the name, finding it intriguing.  Due to this action I found a question posted and the Dear Sugar advice column answering it.  It is called, Dear Sugar, The Rumpus Advice Column #98: Monsters and Ghosts.

Dear Sugar, The Rumpus Advice Column #98:  Monsters and Ghosts:

     This article is about a man asking for advice on how to move past terrible experiences in his life and how he can have a happy and normal life again.  The person who is looking for advice is named, A Man's Home Can't Be His Castle If He's Living In A Haunted House.  He is haunted by the past from his mother's alcoholism and how that damaged his life causing him to feel guilty for not reconnecting with her, before she died.  He was upset with his mother but says, "My mom was a difficult person to love, a dry drunk capable of being terribly awful and mean.  She was also incredible intelligent and could be very loving and sweet."
     Sugar responds to his question by giving great advice for all, even if this lifestyle does not personally apply to you.  Sugar responds by saying, "But we can't erase our lives.  We can't change what our mothers or fathers or step parents were like or what demons or gods ruled them or when they died or how.  We can only change who we are in relation to them.  We can revise how we narrate those stories of our lives."  Sugar does not only give personal stories to help the person who posted the problem but also advises him to keep going in life, because it is the only way to beat his feeling of guilt.