In Class: In-Process Reflection

When it came time to submit my repurposing draft, I was initially extremely concerned about how my peers would receive my work. I usually don’t share it for others’ viewing until I’m 100% confident in my work, but I had no choice but to hand over a shitty first draft. While I knew that I wanted to keep my piece in the creative non-fiction genre, I had no idea that the ending point I ended up concluding with would have even made it into the piece. What I thought would be a distinct expanded narrative based on a five minute segment of my life turned into a reflection about what brought me to that very moment, referencing several incidents over the course of my lifetime. While I ended up satisfied with the direction that it took, one that referenced events of the past, I definitely think I need to work on the narrative aspect more. This overall was the main critique I received from my peers; while they were moved by the overall theme my narrative represented it seemed more like a personal essay than creative nonfiction.

As the re-purposing project goes on, I want to really hone my skills on crafting a narrative that is true to my life, depicting how the events unfolded in as much detail as I can muster, perhaps even including dialogue from the other players that were present. While I certainly have a overall lesson that is hidden between the lines of my writing, I don’t want to make it too obvious to prevent it from being too preachy. It is in that sense that I hope humor or perhaps just a light-heartedness shines through. It’s not this sad, sad moment of depression that I want my readers to wade through but rather to find the humor in it, or just how I personally see it after that fact. Even in the face of daunting and depressing realities I was always hung up by the more superficial of problems.

The other advise I received was about deciding whether it should be humorous or more serious. I don’t necessarily think I need to decide one or the other, I think I can find a place for both if I do it correctly. I certainly need to work on my craft, amending my typical style to include a stronger narrative while also making sure my voice stays authentic. At the end of the day, what is most important to me is that once┬ámy reader has finished they conclude that no one else could have written my story but me. Hopefully as I continue to draft I will find my stride. I certainly want to expand on the original event depicted in my first two paragraphs while also temporarily shedding the spotlight on prior experiences that foreshadowed towards the ultimate battle.

Leave a Reply