Writing at the Beginning of the Semester
Personally, the last time I had been in a writing class was freshman year. Of course I had taken English, yet creative writing and academic writing are two extremely different things, with almost no correlation. I hadn’t written in a very long time. Reading my very first piece, “Obituaries”, you can almost hear the nervousness in my tone. I was rusty from lack of consistent practice. My vocabulary was elementary and I lacked the ability to provide concrete detail.
The quote “…sadly suffered from a fatal heart attack after seeing her favorite band live in concert” displays just how simple my sentences were. It lacked style and a voice because, frankly, I had forgotten what voice I had. Moving on from the first assignment, our next challenge was to write an open letter to some version of our past selves. I chose a touchy subject, hoping to evoke emotion and detail from the depths of my writing, yet on the first attempt I was left with nothing but dissatisfaction.
I knew I could do better. Writing had always been my thing. It was the one thing I could proudly say I was good at while I simultaneously enjoyed it. I went home after being giving the open letter assignment and revised, revised, revised. I found myself eating dinner while reading my piece and still revising little things. By the time I was finished, almost a week later, I was proud that I had finally found my writing style once again. That is still my favorite piece I’ve written within this class.
My main improvements have been located within the realm of poetry. Before this class, I truly had no idea how to write poetry. Sonnets, sestinas, and villanelles have certainly helped. These forms of poetry have most definitely been a challenge, yet I enjoyed pushing my abilities to the limit. I was overly content with the outcome. I found a keen liking for writing poetry, whereas before I only enjoyed viewing it from the sidelines, admiring poets from afar. My favorite poem that I have written was “The Patient”, a sestina based off of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. “Anger is an IV stuck in my arm; my emotions are no different from yours..” Trying to portray Plath’s insanity was a challenge, seeing as she was thoroughly crazy.
Along with this, my detailing abilities have remarkably improved. You can easily see this by comparing some of my first pieces to the ones I conjure up now. I almost have too much detail. I love writing vignettes now, because they are always packed full of detail.
She knew my facial expressions better than anyone, and as her comforting hand reached for mine, raindrops began to fall on the windshield.
Feet resting on the dash, the glowing moon shone down on my pink tinged face and cherry red, sunburned lips.
A metal smile and a simple nod intertwined and rolled her way before I allowed the bright blue to take me under, my lungs filled with nervous air.
I had torn various pages of prose and pretty words out of books, tacked them onto my walls, scattered them about and wrote them on my hands which begged to see sunlight. An earthquake erupted in her voice as she told me this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily, but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. I knew the quote well, fought the urge to find it among my bookshelves, and let the flick of her hand pull me up and push me into the blistering sun.
Moonlight crept through my windowsill and tugged at my eyelashes, beckoning me to come and see all he had to offer, the stars scattered around the clear sky like Dippin’ Dots.
Her hands ached and she silently cursed herself for writing long into the crisp autumnal twilight, her thoughts flowing like wine onto the pages, leaking without a sign of letting up.
These quotes all have one thing in common: detail. I love the way they ooze of imagery, the description providing a perfect picture within the reader’s mind. That is what I’m always striving for, and these are a few moments where I feel as though I’ve reached my goal.