Upon reading wordcraft what stuck out most to me was when to add yourself into a story. Personality isn’t something that can be forced. It naturally comes out of the writer after they become familiar with the “language” and become more experienced writers. This makes sense to me. I feel like staying in the background is necessary unless you are confident with writing and feel putting yourself in the story would actually make it better. Another thing that sticks out to me is “Show, Don’t Tell”. This title explains itself. We need to use words that give our target audience the experience of using their imaginations to feel and see what we are writing about themselves.
Author Archives: lavenueclifton
Make ’em laugh; make ’em weep.
I’ve heard a good story educates and entertains. You feel smarter after reading it. It reminds you of something you knew before, but forgot or it will teach you a something you never considered. It will make you laugh a little, or cry a little, or simply feel as if the time you spent reading it was a worthwhile decision. Upon reading “What exactly is a feature story?” I learned that a feature story is expected to connect with the audience on a deeper level than average news stories. When I practice feature writing, I remind myself to take a step back and think how does this connect with my target audience. I think this is something simply, but very important every writer should practice.
Those shoes don’t match. IV
I’ll start by saying I lost my copy of “telling true stories”. Distraught, I scoured the internet looking for an online version where I stumbled upon Kobo. I bought the book there for $13, and downloaded Kobos person library. I highly recommend it. I’m able to make annotations much easier than with E-reader and I can change the coloring (I concentrate better with background color or multicolored words). Also, I was able to buy Sheryl Sandberg’s new book “Lean in”. I guess I know what I’ll be doing with me weekend.
In telling true stories IV Debra Dickerson reiterates the importance of misquoting someone or failing to understand the situation correctly. Speaking from personal experience I can understand how aggravating it truly is to be misquoted or have what I’m trying to explain taken the wrong way, especially in arguments with a certain someone.
Debra gives a perfect example of being misunderstood, and it actually changed her the way her character was perceived to readers in IV:
The Washington Post published a big spread about my first book, An American Story, and about me. It was extremely positive but included one quote meant to illustrate—as the writer noted—my immaturity.The problem was, the writer had misinterpreted what I had said. During the interview in a café, I looked out the window and a woman walked by. She wore a very hip dress with the most hideous shoes. There was no way that someone with the sense of style to choose that dress had intended to wear those shoes with it. I wondered to myself, “Did she just have a fight with someone?” I was thinking of a time that I fought with my boyfriend and then left in a huff. When I got home, I realized I had put my dress on inside-out. As I was thinking all of this, I said out loud, “Nice dress.” I looked down, stared at her feet, and said, “The shoes don’t match.” He printed what I had said as if I were judging her. Actually, I was empathizing with her.
In this situation Debra was actually empathizing with this girl on the street not judging her for the shoes she wore, but the writer failed to understand the situation properly. He could have avoided this by asking Debra more questions. He could have made a response to her statement, and then she would’ve had the opportunity to explain her true feelings which would have made for a more personal piece than simple assuming it was her immaturity.