Sweetland Writing Center

Last week, I went to my first appointment with a Sweetland counselor and found it very, very helpful.

Instead of jumping straight into my pieces, we talked a long time about background, the purpose of the assignment, and where I was coming from. Only after that did we begin to go over the pieces, in which he pushed me to think of all the different possibilities that a story could present. Wanting to turn my memoirs into fiction, he showed me ways the story could develop and allowed me to question myself on how much I wanted to develop it in certain directions.

He also gave an incredible tip in setting up characters. I was finding it difficult to write in new tones or voices, and he said sometimes that is most true for particular characters in a story. As a suggestion, he recommended basing those characters off someone in my life that I was very familiar with, someone who’s personality I understood quite well, and to use their thought process for my characters, allowing creativity to make its own changes. This was a way to build distance between me and my writing and to allow for the opportunity of multiple voices from one author.

The appointment allowed me to go back and revise my stories, radically, again. I think this repurposing assignment has been the single assignment where I’ve done such comprehensive, completely new revisions every time. My stories come out looking almost heads over tails new, but somehow, I’m not upset that it’s changed so much, rather, excited that I can see it becoming more well-rounded and can only hope that the development continues.

3 thoughts to “Sweetland Writing Center”

  1. Hey Beixi!

    I know I’m not longer in your blogging group, but I saw this and had to comment. I went to Sweetland for the first time last week too just before turning in the Re-purposing project and also found it super helpful. First of all, it was great because I could walk right in without making an appointment. Second, their hours are really convenient, and they have multiple locations. Third, they had me read my essay out loud which I thought was really cool. My peer tutor was really nice and helped me out with some citation issues. Hope all is well and that you’re dancing through today’s autumn richness in your pink coat!

  2. I really like the advice he gave you on developing characters based on people you know personally. I’m not a very creative writer, though I would like to be. I always have trouble creating unique, complex, interesting personalities in my stories and I think this tip will definitely help.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have never seen a Sweetland Peer advisor and this makes me want to! I am excited to see your final eportfolio so I can finally read all of your finished products after seeing the drafts. Glad to hear your progress with the short stories went well.

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