Drafting and Revising Your Project (AKA Super Late Post That I Completely Forgot To Do)

Alright so at this point in time, I have launched at the very least two Twitter accounts for the characters in my short story. I have been learning how to post different mediums thorough it, as well as what I can and can’t distribute through the site. There is such a thing as Twitter rules, and they are actually very interesting. (On my part the only thing thing that I really have to worry about is the possibility of offending someone and being reported by that person. The possibility of that happening through is rather low.) I have to be careful with videos as well, there may be legal boundaries that are at play. If any thing this will only impede the use of music(which I wasn’t planning on using anyway.

The account right now have only established where I left off in the story, and have yet to have any real substance added to them. I’ve been playing around with the used of re tweeting, which I haven’t really fully understood yet. I mean, at least I don’t know how I can use that to my advantage. It would only allow the accounts to be linked more closely, but other than that re-tweeting doesn’t seem to do anything. The use of this, along with the reading has got me thinking of ways I should connect the short story to the twitter accounts. I was thinking of making a simple website that will have the story, and then link the twitter account to the website, connecting the two together. I was initially thinking of posting a link in the Twitter feed, but the way that Twitter is formatted, will lead to this being a mess and nobody being able to find the link.

Looking back at the first part of the project, I can see that there needs to be a bit of change when it comes to continuity. Interestingly enough, it was the addition of the accounts that made me rethink parts if the short story.

Twitter is Weird

This may come as a surprise, but I’m pretty anti-social(and yes that’s the joke). Anyway, when I say that I am new to Twitter, that is no understatement. I had actually never been to Twitter before two, maybe three days ago.

Even so it seems pretty straight forward. I think that the only thing that will be slightly hard in this project will be emulating the voice of the characters through the Twitter format. I say character because I’m (stealing Shelley’s idea) of making multiple accounts for different character to make an online tweet war.

Something that I will need to research extensively is how to convert one character that I had in mind, seeing that he is…he’s complicated(racist) . The problem with this will most likely arise from the personifying of his ideas through a public outlet such as Twitter. I intended for him to support different organizations that are not so friendly(hopefully you get the idea), but I need to understand the pros and cons of that. I need to take into account the gain, as well as the possibility that it could horribly backfire. The very last thing I want is for my character to become a hate group’s personal mascot.

In terms of the reading, I don’t think that a story board is the best way to go, so I’ve been doing a mock up. Everything on there seems to point to fluidity in a website, which I am not entirely sure I can do that with Twitter, I still need to play around with it some more. If anything, the format of the site will stay the same, but it’s the content that’s important anyway so that shouldn’t hinder anything. I think that as long as the page is easy to follow by the Twitter standard(which I still need to figure out) it should be ok. Knocks on wood*.

Change of Direction

So I’ve decided to change topics for a variety of different reasons. Primarily, I wasn’t really ‘feeling’ my other topic. I think that while the homeless sure are an interesting population with stories worth hearing, my brand of writing and lack of journalistic expertise (or desire to do it), would do them much justice.

What I want to focus my energy on, for the semester is satire. One part of the project that I intend to work on is a short story that is satirical in nature. Then I intend to make a discourse about the various ways one can use the art of satire to amuse (or provoke) a group of individuals. I find the use of satire to be very new to me, however I also find it very interesting. I like that the us of it can be subtle enough for certain people to understand it, yet can be harsh enough to provoke change, or at the very least a lasting reaction.

To reiterate, the first part of the intended project is to be a short story that uses satire to demonstrate the realities of animal abuse. I’ll go further into detail with this as time goes on. I want to take this approach with the story to further develop my skill with satire, which to date I have none. Regardless of which, the short story will then develop into the second part of the project,which will be to illustrate the ways that satire is used effectively, as well as when it is appropriate to use it. I want to undertake this part of the project mainly in part so that I can better understand and identify when satire is at play. One thing that I have noticed with the use of satire is that it can go one of two ways. Either you do such a good job that it gets your point across, or you do a half decent job and manage to start Word War 3, (pun intended) through the internet, which I would very much like to avoid  if at all possible. While on the topic, I want to point to certain things that writers should avoid when writing a satire, as well as when satire differs from say, hypocrisy.

One thing that I do need help on, is the way that I go about doing the short story. While I have been exposed to short stories before, I have very little experience with them. If it helps, i was thinking of reading a bunch of short stories to understand the general flow of what is expected and how to direct my audience that direction.

Research Reading Problems

Allow me to preface this blog post with a formal apology to whom it may have harmed in terms of time, and to all other that this concern to. I am turning this in late for a variety of reason, all of which could branch out into a multitude of excuses, all of which would bore you. Main point, I had trouble with this particular topic. Needed some time to formulate some fresh ideas. To help out the people that need to read this and comment, I will let you know where you can skip in order to get the main point of this without having to waste your time reading it in its entirety.

To begin, I need to clarify the type of mentality that I use to have all the way up to my Freshman year(that’s a lie, I still do this) in this institute . Which conveniently can be summarized with the following image (kermit, the rarest pepe).rrc05

A bad habit that I have, is writing things that have a single person audience. When I write, I tend to do it with the assumption that my audience can read my mind. I know it sounds weird, and at this point you may be wondering if I skipped my medication for today, to which the answer is… actually hold on…

Deviations aside, I tend to write the way that I talk; assuming that at the same time my audience is reading, they could somehow predict what facial expressions I was using in that moment. This translates rather badly when trying to convey emotions. People get lost when they read my papers, and not for good reasons.

[ skip until you see resume here] 

When I was younger I wrote a paper to my teacher, in which I describe the funniest thing that I had ever seen. The context behind this is that she thought I was “a gloomy child”, mainly due to the fact that I would never smile. She figured that by making me do this, she would get an understanding to how she might (I use this word because she never did) make an effort to understand why I was so “gloomy”. I digress, the paper was rather simple. I began by introducing two characters, my aunt from Mexico, which at the time of the story knew very little English. The second character was that of my neighbor, a tough looking, skin head, drug dealing/growing, gang banger. I made a point to emphasis the way that this guy looked, because the funniest thing I ever saw involved this gentleman as much as it did my aunt. Now my aunt was new to Detroit, and one day she decided to surprise visit the family, which she hadn’t seen in years. Her brother, a tough looking, skin head that looks like a gang banger, was suppose to visit her the day that she arrived. So naturally when she saw a large, skin head, real life gang banger walking towards the general direction of our house, her most basic instinct was to assumed that it was her brother. Now, what I found funny wasn’t that she confused the two, it was how she planned to greet her “brother” that got me. She thought that it would be a good idea to sneak up behind her “brother”, tickle his love handles, and say “I got you you son of a B”, all in Spanish of course. When I tell you that this man jumped three feet into the air, I am not kidding. His jump with an indescribable shriek, and his first words of “MotherF-, GodD- PieceoS-” made me laugh like never before. He wasn’t really directing these words towards my aunt, if anything it’s a natural reflex most people in Detroit develop over the years. When he turned around he was angry, that much was clear, but I swear that he looked a thousand pounds lighter when he realized it wasn’t a cop or ‘something’ much worse(another gangster). Seeing my aunt react the way she did when she realized it wasn’t her brother didn’t help my fit of laughter. Her face was blood red with embarrassment, and she was trying to apologize in broken English, while cursing me out in Spanish. She kept looking back and forth, she would look at me and yell “Te voy a madrear con mi chancla!”, then look at the man and say “I’m sorry, so sorry”.  At the end of the day we looked a bit like this:

 

tumblr_nv8xatw35M1qgl3lmo2_1280(Luckily I’m my grandma’s favorite, so she couldn’t do anything)

 Long story short, my teacher never found out why I don’t smile. She returned my paper with nothing but “Ok…” written on the corner in red ink. The thing is, when I wrote this, I left out the fact that my neighbor was tough, and that my aunt was awkward about it. I assumed that because I got that reaction from seeing my aunt in such a situation, so too would my teacher. I failed to realize that since we had different up bringing, what I found funny, wasn’t funny to her at all. In fact I think that I managed to get her to sympathize with my aunt, more than anything.

[Resume here]

My mistake was assuming that my audience would be able to relate to what I experience as funny. The point behind this meaningless story is that I didn’t know what the opinion of my audience was. Her aim was to get something different than my usual “gloomy” story, and I failed to deliver. Not because I didn’t do what she told me to, but because she had a different view point than I did. I wrote not knowing what her definition of funny was, and in doing so I failed the jest of the assignment.  An assignment that is aimed to please isn’t suppose to make the reader more depressed, that would be like giving a deaf man a pair of headphones. It would be in bad taste. I think that is the point of the reading as well, as the writer, we have a certain responsibility to make the reading as painless as possibly, while allowing a little bit of ourselves to be let out of a cage. Writing should be a medium through which understanding is conveyed , but that won’t happen unless we manage it somehow.

 

 

Elwood Reid

Someway or another, this narrative always finds a way to sneak up on me, at least once every year I’ve been here. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I only skimmed through it when I was first assigned this by my first English teacher. Whatever it may be, a cruse or gift from the Gods, there is no denying that Elwood Reid can write, and pretty damn well at that.

I really admire his work, mainly because, actually I don’t know why. I’ve only ever read his quite famous piece My Body My Weapon My Shame. To be honest I probably thought that this was going to be just some other Football narrative about some guy that happen to be here. I was more  than likely prejudice towards him for being a big guy, and even more likely than that, I probably didn’t give this piece of literature the respect that it deserved on the first read thru. I want to make amends to my past by choosing this as my go to piece that I want to emulate. More so for the fact that it is so good than the fact that I feel guilty.

I think it took a second reading for something haunting to set in, a man that was beaten almost everyday, normally had broken fingers, and dealt with drug abuse writes better than I do. My little pedestal sat low that day, but it taught me a lesson that I had all to easily forgotten. One that I would like to flesh out in the first project.

What are Multimodal Projects?

Let’s pretend for a minute that I do in fact know what a multimodal project is (even after reading Ch. 1, twice) and pretend like this picture was all part of my grand scheme. rctpu

Something that I usually take for granted are the days in which I happen to run into my roommate at the fishbowl, which follows with the usual “You wanna grab a bite”, or the not so usual, yet occasionally heard “You wanna see some memes?” Memes, memes have taken over the internet. If I had to guess I would say that about a third of the internet is filled with memes (the other two thirds are an entirely different blog post). Memes are nothing short of an internet phenomenon, one that uses at least three of the modes discussed in the reading. The use of language is key, however so too is the picture and the gesture. The language provides a backstory, while the image, along with the gesture, allows for a certain feeling to be conveyed. The one above for example is used to not only describe my confusion, but display it in a bit of an exaggerated way.

The second application that I wanted to mention, was one that I use to regularly use when I still had free time. It’s called Steam. For all the gamers out there, you already know where I’m going with this. Steam is a free program that allows you to buy games that you can play from your computer. It’s basically a Gamestop on your desktop. The program is something that I never really looked too closely at, but now, I think that they have a genius marketing plan.  The visual aspect of Steam is stunning, it will make the user feel like they are in some command module. Communication is just as important, there is a community of gamers that rates games and writes reviews. Much like a magazine, there are different areas in this program that are each dedicated towards different audiences within the community. There is a forum for example that allows people to trade games, sell inventory, or communicate with other players.

Lastly, I wanted to mention a website that a good majority of people will probably know, but due to legal boundaries in the university is considered a big no-no while on campus. To provide just a little bit of insight I will say this, when I go home for vacation, and have the best internet known to man,  I’m essentially Blackbeard. Anyway, one thing that I’m sure is legal here on university grounds is Netflix. Netflix allows people to stay up to date with their favorite TV shows and movies, if that isn’t advertising, I don’t know what is. What I find pleasing to the eye about Netflix is that there is a selection of different thing that you might want to watch depending on your previously viewed media. Spatially there is order in this site, the best or most popular selections are on your right, and descend in order. Much like when reading text. The layout, which is similar to Steam’s layout, gives the illusion that there is an infinite supply of videos that you could potentially watch, all within a click of a button. The words used are just as effective as they are scarce. Bold titles display a category, which carry meaning decidedly on what your history is. Movie posters are also there to drag you into a world that can at times be immersive, which may or may not lead to a drop in your gpa (I know, I’ve been there).

Writing is like Drawing

A good majority of the people that I would consider close to me, be it an aunt, relative or friend, has shown interest in some form of illustration. Be it sketching or doodling, I always found the art very natural, so when I say that I was a fairly good sketch artist believe me. I was good.  Now this may seem a bit egotistical, but in High school I was the best when it came to portraiture[which if you come to think about it, isn’t really saying much]. The closest thing I had to a rival was a friend and fellow artist that focused primarily on animation. He stayed clear of portraiture  because he knew that I would step my game up if I saw that he was doing better than I was. What I find very interesting about my short lived career as an artist is that, as I slowly began to realize that nobody was out doing me, it became painfully obvious why that was. The first reason was that as there was no clear rival, there was no need to better the art of sketch. The once puzzling task of bringing life to a plain sheet of paper quickly became repetitive and lacked the essential spontaneity. The second reason was, nobody was even trying to best me because nobody cared. When there is no praise, or even worse, when there is no criticism, there is absolutely no room for improvement.

Now the reason that I bring this up is because my memories were jogged up when author Hunt mentioned Grandmother’s radishes. The last serious drawing I partook in was a few years ago, and I was defeated by my own creation. The lines wouldn’t line up, the shade looked shady, and the balance was, well you get the idea. Approaching the final stages of production, I would find myself ripping up seven hours of work every single time. I must have redrawn the same thing about eight times before I started to realize that I burned out.

I think the point that Hunt makes about momentum is absolutely true. While a good author will write as ideas come to mind, a great author does the exact opposite. The true can be said about the art of portraiture. Erasers are made for a reason, instead of ripping apart work that is decent, one can always go back to make it greater. While I could have worked on the initial piece of paper and made that drawing sing, I opted to make eight really bad copies of the same failed attempt. It’s been years since I’ve last drawn, if asked today, I wouldn’t be able to draw a stick figure. Never stop writing.