Hi everyone, I’m Alex. I’m a junior majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology with other interests in bioethics, gaming, and music. Writing has always been one of my strong suits, and I’ve realized over the years that – regardless of what I’m writing – I can write for hours on end without growing remotely tired or bored. I’m planning on pursuing a writing career, with specific interests in Science Writing and Technical Writing. I hope the Minor in Writing program will help me explore different avenues of writing and determine what I’m best suited for.
I wrote my origin piece, “The Creation of Ryan Kitt,” for my creative nonfiction class last spring (ENG 325 with Professor Nichols). It’s a personal narrative detailing my experiences creating a ridiculously complex Dungeons and Dragons character. The piece is a little unusual in that it tries to explain the very technical process behind creating this character while also trying to be funny and entertaining.
There are two main reasons I chose this as my origin piece: 1) It covers or at least touches on a lot of different topics. It explains all the technical nuances of creating a character in general terms, it details all the decisions that went into this particular character, and it covers some of the in-universe events and backstory surrounding this character. This gave me a lot of potential ideas to tackle in my experiments without stretching too far from the origin piece. 2) I tried to accomplish two goals at once with this piece, and there were times where I felt like it would’ve worked much better as two separate pieces. First, I was trying to teach people who’d never played this game before how it worked and how to create a character. Second, I was trying to provide a humorous narrative about this absurdly complex character I’d created. Sometimes the two goals conflicted – I’d try to explain a rule really well but it’d make the passage feel really dry, or I’d try to make a joke but it’d make the rules more confusing. I’d like to at least tackle one of those goals on its own as an experiment this semester.
There were a few things I really enjoyed about this piece. The research was very easy – everything’s available on a couple websites and I had most of it memorized anyway. Additionally, I love taking complex concepts and trying to make them simple and understandable. I likewise love when I get the chance to throw some humor into a piece. The genre was probably the odd part for me. All my technical explanations felt a little off from a typical personal narrative and it made certain parts quite awkward to write. I remember rewriting a few passages over and over because they’d either be overly detailed and dry or oversimplified and confusing. However, I was glad I was able to do something a bit more unusual with the genre – I’d already written several traditional personal narratives before and wanted to mix things up a bit.