The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

Archive for the ‘Writing Arts’ Category

The End of Creative Writing

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So, today is the last day of my creative writing class. I have to say, I am glad I wasn’t planning on going in that direction for my Writing Arts major. I don’t know if it was the teacher or me, but my spirit has been broken when it comes to writing creatively. I don’t like sonnets, or found poems or sound poems, and I don’t want to force my creativity by writing 3 journal entries a week. It’s not my style. But still, I did get some good feedback with my work, and also some not so amazing feedback, which also upset me. A teacher shouldn’t tell you the RIGHT way to write descriptive. Every writer has their own style, and if they and their readers are happy with it, that should be enough. Today’s writing style is a new way to write, not the only way to write. For your viewing pleasure, here are some links to 3 of my pieces.

The first piece is a project that I previously spoke about in my blog. Here is the very long comment I got on the back page of my paper:

“The End” is crossed out.

There is no trigger for the dad to change his mind. Maybe the art teacher brings over Lizette’s portfolio, or he misses her and goes into her room and sees copies of her application materials- the artwork, the letters, the resume- and realizes that she is really talented. Maybe someone else in the art field tells him how talented she is. Then he has to acknowledge that an MD was his dream, never hers.

It would be nice if there were a symbol of Dad’s change of heart- maybe he tells her on the phone that a surprise is coming, and its tickets to the Picasso show opening at MOMA.

You’ve done what I told you, and put in lots of action and dialog tags. However, some of the action is mundane and should be skipped over. Do we need to know the woman went into her should bag, pulled out a manilla envelope and handed it to Liz? Why not just she handed Liz a manila envelope. All of the extra actions drag the story. Use your details for meaningful actions.

Also, group your actions and dialouge tags. Sometimes when you have an action, you don’t need the tag.

I crossed out all the interruptions (ok, well,oh,yeah, and names). You’ll find the text reads fine without them. They become annoying to a reader. Ok for spoken but not ok for written conversation.

Don’t tell the reader how or why the characters do things. Part of the fun of reading is is figuring those things out. Show how through actions; show why through context.

Liz and Jane are overly cheery sometimes, praising each other. You could do more with Jane’s financial situation (her reaction). Mrs. Holinday is clueless.

You use setting well to advance the plot and show character.

Voice is overly wordy (narrator). Simplfy. Liz and Jane could be more distinguishable from each other.

I don’t think the scholarship should fall into her lap. Besides that, the trigger and the symbol, plot is effective.

I think you’re still feeling your way with new techniques and haven’t quite found the right balance yet. This is keeping your writing from sounding light and natural. Ease up a little and trust your natural voice a little more.



Written by augeregua

December 10, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Posted in Writing Arts

Tagged with , , , , ,

It’s Been Interesting

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As the semester winds down, I sit here procrastinating through production oddly enough. I should really be tending to one of my three gigantic projects / portfolios that are due next week. I should be getting more things accomplished around the house with my vacation time from work. But I counted my blogs and I fell short by one somehow so I am tending to a more immediate assignment.

I’ve never written so much in my life over the course of one semester. Three writing intensive classes are not to be taken lightly with a full work schedule. I haven’t take a single test all semester, but I oddly feel more drained than the days of Bio 101 and Abnormal Psych.

But there is a lesson to take in all that we do in life.

As I tend to do with all major transitions in life paths, I dove in head first with the first stretch of my Writing Arts major.

I can’t swim for the life of me, but I always dive in and see how long I can stay afloat before I start to sink and my lungs fill up with water. I usually stop treading water and wait for the better option to leap from it’s tall white chair to come save my stupid ass.

This time out, I feel like I’m getting the hang of this floating thing. If I survived this semester, I can survive the rest. Granted, I may ease my foot off the metaphorical gas pedal, but at the end of the day I’m still driving the car.

This semester, and this module specifically, have provided me with an opportunity to write for an audience outside of myself and my professors. By expanding the audience to a more public forum, I have started to become more comfortable with expressing my thought with my words.

Hopefully this semester has given fellow students something to take with them in the sense of learning something about themselves. College doesn’t just have to be about learning what the books and teachers tell you to learn. If you allow it to, it can provide an excellent opportunity to learn something about yourself when you look back and reflect on your experiences.

Written by cor24leone

December 9, 2009 at 10:14 AM

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A piece I wrote for CW1.

After the Closing

After the last of the library’s patrons have left and the harsh fluorescent lights have been extinguished, the books give a collective sigh of relief.

They have survived another day in the oily hands of the public, who have once again shown a complete disregard for their physical state.

The new books shift their chapters in irritation from the breaking of stiff bindings, and the bending of too-fresh pages.

The classic, most loved books bristle with indignation over highlighted passages, words written in margins, and dog-eared pages.

The old, worn tomes sag like the most weary of elders as glue crumbles away, and missing pages are mourned.

Others simply lean against one another, envious.

Written by augeregua

November 17, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Posted in Writing Arts

Tagged with , , ,

Feeling Un-creative in Creative Writing I

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In my Creative Writing I class here at Rowan University, we have been assigned the task of writing a story. It will be eight to ten pages long, typed, and must have all of the dynamics of a short story. This includes but is not limited to an antagonist and protagonist, there must be a conflict. My main character must want something externally that is obvious, and then something internal which is harder to spot.

My beginning must provide background, establish a dramatic question, and drop the reader into the middle of the action. There must be three conflicts in the middle of my story, and there must be a trigger event, a bleak moment, and complications. In the end of the story, My character must learn a lesson or make a discovery, and then there must be a resolution or change in my character.

Besides the fact that these requirements are not the ONLY way to write a short fiction story, I do not think my professor should enforce this assignment on all of us. Not every single creative writer is a short story writer or even a story writer at all. Poets, novelists, children’s stories. We should be able to write what we are comfortable with writing… but I am required to write this farce of a story for a grade, so here is how it is going to go. Feel free to critique. I came up with the plot in a matter of 10-15 minutes, and it is rather cliché I am sad to admit.

My character Lilith Harrison is a smart girl living in the upper middle class neighborhood of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Learning comes naturally to her, and there is nothing she cannot accomplish once she sets her mind to it. Still, her father Gregory Harrison III has pushed her to go to school to become a doctor, and she has been accepted to enter college at Penn State on a scholarship. Her sophomore year of college, she is dorm-ing with an art major named Jane Fitzpatrick. They become fast friends, and as their relationship becomes solid, they discover that Lilith’s talents extend to include that of an amazing artist. All she would need is tutelage. Lilith decides to switch her major from that of medicine, to art. Only when she tells her father, he is livid. He wants her to become a doctor, and a doctor she shall be. For a while, she gives in to her father’s wishes, but soon grows weary of her classes. As the year progresses, she must deal with her father’s disapproval as she continues her love of art on the side, Jane’s apparent jealousy of Lilith, and the enterance of a well known artist taking an interest in her.

Let me know what you think. It’s a load of bull simply spewing out of my mind at the moment.

Written by augeregua

November 13, 2009 at 5:34 AM

Higher Education? For Who?

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So, this is a blog by writers for writers, correct? I mean, I know it’s just a collaborative experiment for those who haven’t experienced blogging before, but why not use the medium we’ve been given to say something real… something unrelated to class assignments and reading responses?

Yes Doug, I used the word “medium” in context… it is a fantastic word is it not? Maybe it’s not so fantastic. Maybe it’s boring even. Regardless, it is a word and as writers (or shall we say, aspiring writers), words are our weapon of choice.

But what will we do with our weapons when we graduate college? What exactly does this college degree give us as writers other than “experiences” and “knowledge” to take with our mound of debt into the bleak world of struggling to adapt to the times?

I’m going to be honest. I haven’t learned a damn thing this semester that I didn’t already know, couldn’t have learned on my own, or plan to take note for future use. My notebooks are filled with pages of useless nonsense that I use to wordle away my boredom.

For the record, I think “wordle” is an excellent word to equate to doodling with words. So I’m stealing it from the person who created that website.

I took three classes on top of my full-time job and the only thing I’ve learned since September is to never take three writing intensive classes in the same semester ever again. I have no time to do anything but school work. I have no time to read anything outside of assigned readings that do not provide any inspiration to write upon. It’s detrimental to the development of an aspiring writer.

Work, school, homework, sleep, repeat.

I’m becoming a drone.

I think that I could possibly learn more from a yearlong road trip across the country and take more experiences from it than I will over the course of attaining a degree, in writing. I could buy an RV for the price of this degree and sell it back at the end to recoup some of the money invested into my career. What college offers that option?

All we do in these classes is read and write. Read and write. Do we really need to spend thousands of dollars doing that when we could read on our own and write on our own? I don’t think we do, but society begs to differ. I think we would benefit much more from attending workshops with experienced professionals.

I’ve heard more people tell me over the last month that nobody can teach you how to write and it’s becoming painfully obvious that a writing degree is a waste of money.

Are we wasting valuable time and keystrokes?

Who’s to say? All I know is, 1.) I’m asking a lot of questions and 2.) as standalone Writing Arts majors, we may be doomed to a life of struggle and catching up.

Maybe I’m just bitter today and overly frustrated, but this has been overwhelming my motivation for weeks. I’m just past halfway through my first semester as a transfer at Rowan and I’m about to walk out and go buy an RV. So… who’s driving?

Written by cor24leone

November 13, 2009 at 2:30 AM