English Awards + Fiction Writing + Analysis

(Author’s note: I had a Harry Potter movie marathon last night, more so, from 2 p.m. yesterday to 9:15 a.m. this morning, and am a little loopy. We took no breaks and kept on trucking for 19 hours straight. Don’t fret– I still know how to articulate. This post is for me to rant about what’s been on my mind for the past 27 hours I’ve been awake.)

As an english major with a concentration in creative writing, it’s apparent that writing is an important part of who I am. I recently received an email about the English Awards in which students can submit poetry, creative non-fiction, or fiction. I’m a fan of fiction writing, especially short stories thanks to my fiction class last semester in which we read short stories, discussed them, and then wrote our own.

In that fiction class, I wrote a story called “It Started With the Magnifying Glass.” I’ve just finished revising it today and it’s approx 14 pages. I think it’s outstanding, I’ve been told it’s ‘refreshingly odd,’ and its contents are so bizarre that I see it being the conversation piece that I want it to be. I think it could be a real showstopper.

On the other hand, before I even considered submitting the aforementioned piece, I began outlining a different story that I want to submit. It’s called “Emilio’s Teeth” (do you see the eccentric theme here– why is all my work outlandish? How does this keep happening?) It’s inspired by Breaking Bad in the sense that there is a drug deal gone wrong – also, is that even appropriate for this? I’m in the process of writing it, and really want to submit it because I’m in love with the title and how it plays into the story, but I feel the overall picture may be a little boring. Hopefully writing all this out helps me further this story, as it’s nowhere near done.

To summarize: What I want to do with this blog post is analyze both stories like a writing tutor would and like the writing tutor did in the video we watched for class. So, stay with me cause I’m quite quick. 5, 6, 7, 8.

“It Started With the Magnifying Glass”

  1. What is the topic of this piece?

The story takes place in Boston, in which protagonist Celestine quickly becomes weary of a new neighbor. This neighbor – I won’t even sugarcoat it – is a pyromaniac whom interests Celestine from the start, until she, as stated, becomes weary  and skeptical of him.

2. What are your three supporting facts for the topic – assuming we say the topic is that the neighbor is a nutcase

One: the protag thinks she “should’ve called the police the day [she] saw [her] neighbor cook an English muffin with a lighter behind a dumpster

Two: the story he tells on how he became a pyromaniac

Three: he disabled the sprinklers in the apartment building

3. Show me where it is in your story

One: the protag thinks she “should’ve called the police the day [she] saw [her] neighbor cook an English muffin with a lighter behind a dumpster (first line, page 1)

Two: the story he tells on how he became a pyromaniac (page 11-12)

Three: he disabled the sprinklers in the apartment building (page 6)

4. Let’s talk about the successful parts of the story (I hope this section isn’t pretentious of me)

Both characters’ eccentricities balance each other out. The prose is good and is used usefully. Rather than describing a whole room, writer only takes note of two to three things out of the norm. Celestine’s character arc is well-done. The ending leaves the reader astonished and wanting more. One scene is especially haunting. The dialogue is realistic and moves the story along. Overall, this is unparalleled work.

5. What can be improved? (Still pretentious isn’t it?)

Honestly, nothing. This is a final draft here, folks.


“Emilio’s Teeth”

  1. What is the topic of this piece?

The protagonist, Colin, is caught in a messy drug deal. As hard as he tries to distance himself from it, he can’t act as if he didn’t play a part.

2.What are your three supporting facts for the topic – assuming we say the topic is that Colin wants to distance himself at all costs

One: Colin states “[Emilio’s] death haunted [him] in several ways; the first being a week ago when — here’s where prose comes in.

Two: “You’re just as guilty as me,” Harvey said. / “I’m not, Harvey. Shut your mouth,” I snarled. Then, with a change of tone, “just… please. I have no part in this.”

Three: I literally haven’t written enough to get this far

3. Show me where it is in your story

One: Colin states “[Emilio’s] death haunted [him] in several ways; the first being a week ago when…” (second paragraph, page 1)

Two: “You’re just as guilty as me,” Harvey said. / “I’m not, Harvey. Shut your mouth,” I snarled. Then, with a change of tone, “just… please. I have no part in this.” (page 5)

4. Let’s talk about the successful parts of the story

How do I talk about something I haven’t written yet? In the writing center, if a student comes in with only an outline and no paper, then working with the outline becomes key. In my draft/outline, I’ve spewed an interesting backstory and some ideas about how to infuse prose. My characters seem intriguing (I hope) and their actions reflect what normal people would do – except for one part at the end which only adds to Colin’s strangeness and inability to rid himself of guilt – guilt that he truly needs to come to terms with. My storyline is unique and doesn’t seem to be something that’s been done yet, even though I’ve categorized it under ‘story about drugs.’ The story is more than drugs– it’s heavy on emotional remorse.

5. What can be improved?

I have to raincheck my own question.


Writing this out has been fun, and I like the intersection of fiction writing and writing center. By reading this over and telling myself this hasn’t been a waste of time, I’ve definitely been able to organize my thoughts a little better and decide which to choose to submit to the English Awards. No spoilers.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s