Writing for me is no easy task. In fact I dare say that most often than not it is a source of constant frustration and mental agitation for me. There may be rare moments that when I look into the fine literary works of celebrated authors I deceived myself into believing that to write is perhaps easy. Yet I had come to realize that it is entirely a different matter when I write my own thoughts on paper than by just reading the works of others. Attending this class had somehow helped me come into better terms with my writing competency or inadequacy.
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After this class, I cannot help but liken writing into building a house. No matter what kind of house is being built, essential materials or elements are always present: roof, walls, post and most importantly foundation. Without these elements the house will collapse. Like the house, to write effectively in whatever forms or styles, my writing must consists of correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and above all, coherence or orderly arrangements of sentences and paragraphs that conveys a single line of thought (New Standard Encyclopedia 73).
If any of these elements are missing, my writing will be considered a literary flop. I can fairly say that I need improvement in almost all of these areas but I had to focus more on the area of choosing the most effective word/s to communicate the suggestions of my mind in such a way that it will evoke desired emotional and mental responses from the reader. Let's take for example Shelley's use of descriptive words like "...bleak sides of the woodless mountains near", " ... yellow, watery and speculative eyes" and " ...the silence of the grave would quench for ever the transient existence of the hideous corpse..."(author of the book 13,17). These phrases had prompted my imagination to work resulting to aroused feelings of gloom and fear. To put it simply, Shelly's writing was effective in the sense that it successfully made me a participant in her ghost story as if I too had seen what she saw or feel what she felt. In some aspects it is necessary that in choosing an effective word to use I must also be able to recognize words which O'Hayre calls 'empty'. I observed that the empty words O'Hare was referring to are those words in the sentence that when removed will not alter the message the author is trying to convey. What O"Hayre was implying is that a writer should refrain from including in his sentences words that do not have any relevance to the message A prime example would be about a memo written by a solicitor to a state director of a Bureau of Land Management containing the following words"any such permit should be subject to cancellation and should provide for the right of the Unites States at all times to perform all necessary work". According to O"Hayre "The State Director and his staff issue special use permits as a master routine. They know what cancellation clauses and special- use provisions these have to carry" (author of the book 20). In short, the information provided by the solicitor was unnecessary.
I confess that like most people I know the greatest challenge I will always face with regards to writing are choosing a topic and ordering sentences and paragraphs in an unbroken chain of relationships that in the end successfully cover the topic in question. In this class it is and in the readings from the essay of Shelly it is stressed that the topic must be interesting not only to me but to the kind of reader I am trying to reach. Interesting does not mean that the subject is new or extraordinary but that even though it may be commonplace somehow it must be tackled in such a way that it provides fresh ideas to the reader. This in itself is very tough which is why I cannot help but conclude that choosing and identifying an interesting topic is mentally exhaustive. It will help if I have prior knowledge to the topic so that I will know what kind of theme I will be discussing. I sympathize with Shelly when she said, "I felt that blank incapability of invention which is the misery of authorship". This sentence describes the inner turmoil she was going through due to her inability to come up with a ghost story that would at least equal in literary beauty to the ghost stories she had come across in the books read in Switzerland. No doubt like the rest of us mortals she was hoping to write a story which will be impressive considering the fact that her husband believed in her talent. It was only after spending many agonizing days of mental stress was she able to come up with a story of Frankenstein of which today is regarded to be one of the greatest novels of all time (author of the book 15). Her introductory message to that novel had given me an impression that interesting stories are not a product of instant inspiration (although I suspect there may some instances that this could happen to some literary geniuses) but born out of careful contemplation. In this instance, clear thinking is a necessity. On the other hand, organizing my thoughts on paper in a continuous flow of ideas is what I judge to be the most difficult of all (unless I am writing a diary I can skip all these fuss). Organizing demands time for topic deliberation .Sometimes extensive research is needed(New Standard 73). And just when I thought I had it all figured out some ideas will just pop out of my head which may prompt me to revise what I had just decided upon. And after some stressful days
I may get lucky and end up with a satisfying finished written work. Both essays of Shelly and O'Hayre gave me an example of good organization. Shelley had to answer the question of how was she able to come up with such a terrifying a story as Frankenstein. She first proceeded to give some accounts of her literary background and her husband's encouragement to develop her inherited talent, which eventually lead them to get into contact with a literary genius that in turn challenged Shelly to write. On the other hand, O'Hayre drives his point home of the need to change present method of communication by giving an example that supports his arguments. (author of the book 12-23).In an article written in the Encarta entitled "Writing" it is implied there that it is not important how you approach the subject as long as they convey the meaning the writer is trying to intend(1).
Perhaps I can say that since I find organizing my ideas is the most difficult task for me, the knowledge of pre-writing strategies had become a new learning for me in this sense. I am not saying that I do not know about this before but this class had brought me to a whole new level of understanding the concept .I had come to realize that organizing my ideas is not so hard if I will try to develop questions based on my topic There are some helpful tips to use like brainstorming which will provide me with the opportunity to determine which ideas are relevant or not. . And then from there subdivide these topics until I will be able to have a detailed discussion of the subject. This is also a time for me to consider the kind of approaches I will adapt in developing my paper. The best way to do it is to put myself in the shoes of the reader since writing is supposed to be a form of communication between him and me ("Writing" 1). If I am the reader will I read this kind of work? Will I be able to understand the author in this kind of writing style?
However in spite of what I learned from this class, I admit that in my part to write correctly, effectively and clearly may take constant practice.
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