Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Writing About Literature

Your blog entries should try:

  • To compare and contrast the writing or the points of view expressed in criticisms and historical discussions of literary journalism. With the examples of literary journalism, this is where you want to give deep consideration to such things as the narrative or or the use of scene–by–scene construction and the elements of the scenes; the narrative arc and narrative thread; how the author handles movement through time; how the characters are tied to the action; do the characters change as a result of the action and movement through time; the use of foreshadowing; how dialog or interior monologue is handled; what are the status details; what is the point of view; and the rhythm and pacing.
  • To select a particularly well–crafted sentence from each of the examples of literary journalism we read. If you read three pieces of non–fiction, then you should have three sentences or passages. You should be prepared to read aloud and comment upon your selections in class. Note: Keep a copy of your reading reaction and bring it to class.
  • To identify and explain the literary techniques our authors employ in their writing –– and this could involve more than one technique.
  • To end each entry with a question that arises from your reading in totality. Be prepared to ask your question in class –– and others should be prepared to offer answers.

Here are some other ways of reacting to stories:

  • What was story paper about?
  • What literary techniques did the writer use and were they effective.
  • What was the point of view of story?
  • What worked well and why?
  • What did not work well and why?
  • What’s your favorite sentence or passage?
  • Where were you confused?
  • What did you want to hear more about?
  • What seemed out of place, too truncated, or went on for too long.

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