Draft Development Mini-Assignment: Remember, Research, Write, Repeat

One thing that writing the introduction made me realize was just how compartmentalized the research of my piece is. This seems kind of ridiculous to say as it is very hard to have truly universal research that is relevant to all pieces of a project, but I feel it is very true in the case of my project. I realized in writing the first two vignettes (which I am considering analogous to the introduction) that so much of the research that I am going to be related discretely to only one vignette or maybe a handful of them. For example, in writing the first section I really didn’t use any of the content research that I had done up until this point. I can see where it will be relevant down the line but with respect to my introduction they weren’t really relevant.

What was relevant as far as research goes for the introduction was a research into my own past. I found myself having to rack my brains and try to remember what was going on in my life at the time that this moment happened and try to remember accurately what had happened. This is a form of research too which is hard to frontload at the beginning of a project as well as you generally don’t think about these things until you are sitting down to write them.

While writing these two sections I didn’t really feel inspired to look outside of my own experiences to what other people had experienced although I do not think this will always be the case. Some sections I have already included are motivated explicitly by external sources and I expect this may be true with many other sections as well. As terrible as this sounds though I think that with many of them I won’t discover these outside links until I am trying to write about that particular portion of the story. I think that this is in part because of the nature of what I will research. I am not looking up research articles and facts to support arguments that I am making aren’t really the kinds of things that I am looking for. The things that I have found myself researching are stories of the experiences of others and plotlines or stories in fictional books, movies, or TV Shows that touch on similar subjects that I am discussing and working through in my own memories. Thus, when I reach thinking about that topic it triggers me into thinking about that story or experience that I am remembering someone else talk about and I am compelled to look up and explore again.

Thus, I think for me a key component of research that I am now realizing might not be cramming all of my research into the beginning so that I have a full understanding and knowledge of what is going on might not be effective. What would be more effective is working along and trying to keep an open mind and not rush as I work through my experiences and the different vignettes that they are translated into. So, research for me may not be front-loaded but instead interspersed equally throughout my experience of writing the paper. In order for this to be viable though that means that I need to not dawdle in really starting to try and work on my paper. It will be pivotal that I start writing and working through my paper while others are still researching in order for me to fully do it justice as my research may come later.

I think I have laid some good researching groundwork especially with respect to form, where it is really necessary at this point. I have narrowed down what I want my piece to look like and seen a couple of different writing styles in this form as well so I can pick and choose between what I want it to look like. This, I think is where my research really came through in writing the introduction so far. I had a good idea of how I wanted to write these sections and have them look even though it is a more non-traditional writing style due to the amount of research that I have completed already.

The End of the Beginning

I have had a lot of fun in the gateway course this semester. This has all culminated into one final piece that we needed to have complete: the E-Portfolio. Now I am done with that and there is really nothing else to be said here. The projects are complete, the workshops are complete, the discussions are over, the E-Portfolios are done and now the blog posts are being completed as well. There is nothing else to say other than to share what I have completed, my E-Portfolio, and to say I guess that we shouldn’t be too sad because this isn’t the beginning of the end but only the end of the beginning.

My E-Portfolio

Tyler’s Totally Trustworthy Tally of Tips

It seems like just yesterday that I was beginning this class by reading the advice that the previous sections had given to future sections. Now I seem to be expected to impart some wisdom onto future students myself. I don’t know what made them think this was a good idea but I guess we will have to trust the all-powerful being that is T.

Tyler’s Totally Trustworthy Tally of Tips

  1. Trust Yourself

You need to have confidence in yourself in order to be successful in this class. This involves trusting yourself with both your own work and the work of others. In this class you are given a very loose prompts for all of the projects and you need to be able to trust yourself enough to decide what to do for these projects and to decide the course for the rest of the semester. This also applies to the works of others and trusting yourself enough to have opinions about their work. Of course don’t be mean and overbearing but trust in yourself enough to be able to give advice with confidence and a good intent.

  1. You Are A Writer

Become comfortable with calling yourself a writer. This is kind of related to the first piece of advice but important enough to be on its own. I know that you probably have some anxiety about calling yourself a writer because that word has such a connotation. A connotation with knowing exactly the right words and having the best and most insightful ideas. But let me tell you everyone in your class has those exact same uncomfortable feelings with doing so. That person in class halfway down the table from you who you are already kind of resent because they seem like a capital W ‘Writer’ and sure of it has those exact same thoughts and feelings. Trust me we all have no idea what we are doing but that doesn’t mean we aren’t writers.

  1. Keep On Top Of Things

This class is planned out well so that if you follow the schedule you will never be overloaded with work at any time for this class. There are certainly busier and slower times but the workload is never totally insane. However, if you fall behind this can all go out the window. Trust me this isn’t a class where you can throw something together last minute and it will work out fine. Always try and keep on time as far as the big projects go as otherwise they will become overwhelming very quickly.

  1. Play Well With Others

Work with your groups when you are assigned to do so in class as they will be the best feedback that you will receive about your project. Unless you do manage to get it workshopped work groups really will be your most consistent and the easiest way to get someone else to look at your work. (Your professor will always be willing to meet with you as well if you want it.) So this means that you need to get the most possible out of it. Have questions ready and don’t be afraid to really guide them to what you want help with. This works in the opposite direction as well. You represent the exact same thing for their project as well. So try and ask good questions and pay attention to what they really want feedback on. Give the quality of advice on their project that you want to receive on your own.

  1. Stay Calm

This Is Fine Dog

This will be you at least one point during the semester. You will be buried in work, your project draft will not be where you want it to be, you won’t know what to do or how to proceed, something, anything or everything will happen that could possibly cause you to stress out about the project or life in general. In times like this you just need to stay calm, trust yourself, have confidence in your abilities as a writer, stay on top of things as best as you can, and listen to the help others are offering you. Everything will work out in the end (Hopefully?).

I don’t know. Was that helpful?

Progress on Project III

My Progress in project III still is not good enough in my opinion. I have started to figure some things about but I still don’t have enough work done. I am doing a video and in order to start the project I had to learn how to learn new software which did take a while. I have figured out a lot of what I want to do but it is just a lot of work to set up even though I know what I am doing now (for the most part). Now though It is just a lot of repetitive work because I can’t seem to set up the presets so I have to repetitively do the same thing like 9 times for every piece that I want to add which is really annoying.

I haven’t even started voice-overs yet and the few that I tried before didn’t go well. I don’t know how things are going really for the project in general. Things could go really fast now as I get more efficient or they could continue to stagnate as I continue to try and work ahead slowly. Who knows. As far as the script for what I want to say I have a draft done but who knows how that will fare once I actually try and speak it.

So I guess what is my progress? Meh with a future prospect of meh and a lot of hard work.

Pet Peeves: Don’t make me take the lead

Created using the most dangerous writing app.

I don’t know what annoys me right now. I think that pet peeves are one of those things that you don’t know annoy you until they happen. When you try to think of them out of context you cannot but once it happens you know immediately that you hate it and that it is not just an isolated case but something that is much more general. I guess something that annoys me is when people just seem to assume that silence needs to be awkward or a bad thing. No silence can be good. Silence can be comfortable. Embrace it! Also I think what can annoy me is when people try and act nosy which is ironic because I can be very nosy at the same time. I don’t know really what else to say as I am just rambling now. I tend to do that which can annoy me. I think what also annoys me is when other people do not understand that I don’t want to be a leader. I don’t know but for some reason I always end up in group projects where I need to be the leader. Which just annoys me so much. Because that is not my personality. Aren’t there people who are supposed to want to control everything? Where are they? Why am I never grouped with them! I am more than happy to let them sit back and control things. They must all end up in the same group because I always end up with 3 other people who just want to let someone else lead. It is so annoying. Then I end up having to lead just because I don’t want things to get completely derailed. I guess that is a major pet peeve for me seeing as I have went on about it for a long time.

I ramble on about me and cats…

Written using the most dangerous writing app.

I think that if I had to describe myself as an animal that it would have to be a cat just because that fits my personality the best. I share many characteristics with these animals in my personality. For example I am generally better left by myself, unless I want people then I will force myself on them whether they want it or not. But if I want to be alone I will be very annoyed at you for disturbing me. I am generally a very inexpressive person who will not show my emotions a whole lot. Cats I feel are similar and on the outside appear very indifferent to most things. But just like cats I think on the inside I do care and if there was a problem I would try and help. Also like cats I am a person who likes to be very comfortable. I would rather have a room be colder and be forced to use a blanket than have the room be the correct temperature and not need one. Also I like to sleep a lot. I don’t know I thought that writing these would come easy but it really isn’t. It is a lot harder to thin of these things on the spot than to try and think of them just off-hand. jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj I really don’t know where to go from here. I thought I would have a lot more but I don’t really know where to go from here. jjjjjjkkskskskskskssksksks I don’t know I guess I am just a cat kind of person. I think dogs are too happy and expressive and outgoing for me. I am a cat kind of person who silently thinks that you are cool and cares for you but doesn’t show it on the outside.

As a reward for making it through this here is one of my favorite cat .gifs and my reaction to a lot of things in life:

 

http://i.imgur.com/A5ASDAg.gif

 

E-Portfolio Stuff

If you want to know how I started to work on this blog post here is a good idea…

Blog - Eportfolio Post 1

I randomly and recklessly just opened them all and started clicking through them all randomly. Moving from one page in one seeing if I like it, move to a different blog and go to a different page there. Probably not the best method but it is what I decided to do.

The first thing that I noticed was that I gravitated away from blogs that used a background that had a lot of pattern or stuck out and I was expected to read off of this. Blogs like this included Sara’s, Hannah’s, Julia’s, and Jake’s. I don’t know it just kind of bothered me. If there were boxes to buffer it like with Maya’s or Will’s it didn’t bother me as much as it did when I was expected to read directly off of this background.

I did enjoy how Cameron used his own photography as a beautiful background to his site although I did find it was a little odd when after a couple of pages it just stopped being used though. It seemed then that I was looking at two different sites. One with these beautiful scenic backgrounds and another that was plain white.

I also enjoyed how Brendan’s E-Portfolio and liked how constant it seemed compared to some of the others. With many of the others they constantly were changing formats or designs for the pages and it sometimes seemed as if no two pages were alike. With Brendan’s though they all seemed like they had the same simple format and structure which to me was nice.

Finally I wasn’t really thrilled with the setup that Maya was using for her eportfolio. It was confusing not to have all of the pages listed in the top menu for easy access.  Although I did notice that there was a ball bottom in the former this was not immediately obvious and it took me a moment to notice it. I liked how in most of the others it was  lot more clear how to get to each page from a single menu at the top and to me this navigation didn’t really work.

Project III Idea – Video Essay

For Project II I wrote a satirical guide on how to write young adult fiction. For Project III I have decided on doing a kind of video essay about this topic. I think that I will try and keep the same satirical tone for this video essay and will probably try to incorporate and adapt the pieces that I created for the written piece of Project II into my script for Project III. In my original piece I don’t really name specific examples of books or series where you can see these elements and I think that this is something that I might try and bring in with this video. As far as format goes I am thinking of probably doing a voice-over paired with visuals to help guide this narration and maybe also to add some humor into it as well. I am unsure the length I am really aiming for right now but am hoping to keep it from being obnoxiously long.

A Little Work Done, A Lot Of Work To Go…

I have had pretty good success with my Project II thus far. I haven’t really had any mishaps per say and things have went pretty smoothly for what I have done. I am pretty much done with a majority of the research that I will probably do for the project. So far I have been able to plan out what I am going to write for most of the project and have a rough outline of where I am headed. I have also written around 3,300 words or around 5 ½ pages of the project thus far but have yet to really edit any of it. So even though those parts are written that isn’t saying a lot as I will probably need to significantly change some (or lots) of what has been done. Also I have pieced those pieces together over quite a period of time so I don’t know if the tone is consistent or even the tone for which I am aiming. Also I am worried about the length as I don’t know whether what I am writing is too long or not.

It may seem that I am ahead of the game with what I have done but really I am not. The only reason I am this far is because I have put off doing things which are now very pressing (like two exams later this week) so all progress has pretty much stopped now and won’t pick up until spring break.

I have enjoyed the experience writing thus far though and it has been pretty fun. Unlike normally in writing I don’t have to tone down any sarcasm or sass that I may want to put in the writing. Sometimes I can even lay it on a little heavier than I would normally which is a lot of fun.

So I still have a lot of writing and editing to do before this project is even close to being complete. Although I am happy that I have completed a significant piece of it so far as it will make moving forward a lot more manageable.

Research for Project II

Did you know that there is a Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies? I didn’t either but now I do. For research I have been looking at a lot of online articles written about Young Adult Fiction and how to write it. These articles vary from being actual serious guides on how to write young adult fiction to interviews with authors who write young adult fiction to lists of advice from writers. Most of these articles are housed on websites and blogs that are devoted to writing and are written by writers to help other writers and to share their experiences. This was the kind of place that I was thinking this piece of writing could really reside. So I guess my research has thus been two-fold: I have seen what already exists in this space where I am thinking it could be placed and also seeing what other people have already said and are saying about this topic.

Two pieces that I have found specifically helpful are the articles found HERE and HERE. I just loved both of these pieces for different reasons. I love the tones of them both and think they are both biting in their own different ways. The first one in some ways fights against the second one but I think that they are both important for me to consider while constructing my piece. Because my guide is satirical it will tend to be much closer to the second one in content and message. However the first one was one of the pieces that I read early on which convinced me that my piece was even possible. It refutes arguments that I would make in my piece and is in itself a validation of why the piece of writing that I would write could exist.

In any case it has been fun doing all this research and it has certainly been some of the most enjoyable research that I have had to do for a class.