The Early Stages

First off, I think I officially decided which of my two project proposals I’m going to do. Knowing me I’ll want to change my mind again, but I’m sticking with it. I’m going to pull from earlier pieces of writing I’ve done about seventh grade when I went blind in one eye. This was a year long traumatic experience for me, and it had a lasting affect on not only my eyeball, but also my family. They experienced the fear and anger with me, and they experienced their own fear and anger as well. So for this project, I want to retell the story from their perspectives, in order to attempt to discover how it impacted our relationships and why this was such an important event for me.

My first step of research was to dig up my old essays about my eye. The two that I could find were from 2012 and 2014 (Junior year of high school and freshman year of college). Reading through them was actually really interesting- it was cool to see not only how my writing ability progressed and improved over the course of two years, but also how my ideas and thoughts regarding this specific topic changed. The second essay I focused much more on how the experience affected my mom, because she blamed herself for everything and probably went through more distress than I did.

Beyond looking at these essays, I’ve started trying to search through the Atlantic and find articles that are similarly structured (told from multiple perspectives). One that really caught my eye was about the benefits of writing from perspectives other than your own. It is written from the perspective of an author who recently wrote from the perspective of a poacher in India. Throughout the article, he shares how challenging it was, and also the tricks and advice he learned about the best ways to embrace the character. As he says, it is most important to focus on the tone- not what that person would say, but how they would say it. That’s something I had never really considered, and it made me both excited and a little scared to attempt this- I think it will be rewarding if I can pull it off, I just hope I can.

I’m looking forward to continuing to explore the Atlantic and hopefully find some articles that are actually written in multiple perspectives—that will be the next stage of this research.

Here’s the Atlantic article for anyone who’s interested:

3 thoughts to “The Early Stages”

  1. Looking in the Atlantic for similar essays was a great idea. I always like having something to loosely model my writing off of. That way, you can see what parts of the two perspective thing worked and what you want to do differently when you write yours. I think the perspective idea is just a good idea in general because it is a good way to repurpose and will allow for your essay to be less biased, because you are taking into account other people’s feelings. I’m sure that if you keep looking through The Atlantic you will find essays that are written from other perspectives besides the first person.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hey Jessyca,
    It sounds like you’ve hit on all the important aspects of the research process so far. First off, I think you should stick to this idea. It might be tough to write from someone else’s perspective at first, but once you get the hang of it, it could turn into something pretty incredible in my opinion. You should definitely use the second essay (about your mom’s perspective) as a starting point. Look at what worked well and what didn’t and try to carry that over into each perspective you’ll be writing about. Finally, the Atlantic article sounds like a perfect example of how you could go about this…long shot but maybe try emailing the writer, you never know if he’d be willing to answer a few questions about how he wrote it.

  3. Hey Jessyca! I’m glad you finally decided on your topic. If you can do everything you plan to (which I know you can), then I think this piece is going to be extremely interesting. I feel like I have read books told from multiple perspectives, which you plan to do, and they are always exciting. So far it looks like you’ve done all of the basic research on your topic, which will be very helpful when starting your first draft. The Atlantic article sounds like a great piece to base your structure on. It sounds like your piece will be a similar, creative narrative like the one that you found.

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