Dec 22

Wow, was this rough. I really thought this class was going to be a walk through the
park but I was sadly mistaken. I HATE writing, especially essays. Having to
analyze a book I have no interest in really annoys me. Having to write about a
topic of our choosing as long as it followed the writing format of the week of
poem, blog, story, is a different story. I use to do it all the time as a hobby
so I could easily do it for a class. In high school, I had taken a creative
writing class and breezed right through it. I don’t know what happen from then
to now but I seriously lost my touch.

I was waiting for the moment
till we got to the assignment of writing our stories. Out of all the
assignments, I thought I would excel at this one. When it came time to finally
begin our stories, I was surprised to go completely blank. I had no idea what
to write. The exercises we did in class to help give us ideas for our story, we’re
fun to do but unfortunately whatever I came up with in class didn’t inspire me
to write a story from it. I tried but to start a story from some of the things
in class but I would end up writing a page and then deleting everything because
I just didn’t like it.

The first story I wrote ended
up being my short story called “Smile and Wave”. Figuring out what to write was
such a long process. I literally sat in my house all day with a notebook trying
to come up with something. I had ideas from creating an alternate universe
where dogs ran the world but that was a knockoff of planet of the apes so that
was thrown out. Another was a Lord of the Rings world where there was a romance
between two male elves and they had to run away from the only life they knew so
they could stay together which I thought was cliché. Reminded me of the all the
young lovers that couldn’t be together like Romeo and Juliet except…the
characters were just gay. So that was out the window as well. It was because of
my sister that I finally chose the idea of alcoholism for my story. She saw
that I was having trouble starting my story and told me to just “write what I know
and leave at that.” Many Hispanic men are alcoholics and so I have seen it a
lot in my world. I chose to write about a friend of a friend’s that had passed
away and just morphed it. The lines of poetry I used in the story was icing on
the cake for me. I had been reading those poems for another class and I thought
they would blend in perfectly in my story and I was really proud of the
outcome.

The longer short story was
just a complete headache. The idea for the story actually came very quickly to
me compared to how long I took deciding on the first one. I wanted to write
about a girl that was in an abusive relationship that finally decided enough
was enough and killed her boyfriend/husband when he was going to attack her
again but the reader wouldn’t know that till the end. What I had in my head
complete did not translate right on paper. I couldn’t get my wording right, I’m
not sure the point of view I chose for the story fit, it was just a mess. After
going back and forth, I probably would have done what Margarita did in her
story “Responsibilities”. I really liked how she used two narratives in her
story instead of the usual one. I felt like it flowed really well.

This class was very frustrating
for me. Although I had not written actual stories and poems since high school, I
really considered myself a good reader. Having such difficulty in thinking
about a topic after topic for the blogs, poems and stories, I started thinking
was I even good in HS. Knowing my writing would be seen by the class made it
even harder for me. It’s one thing for my teacher to see my work, that’s one
pair of eyes. It’s a whole different story when there are thirty pairs of eyes
looking at your work. This class has helped me pushed myself as a writer.
Before actually posting up the assignments I would go over them time and time
again to see if it was good enough for the class. Was the idea good, does the
setting work, does the name fit the character? Many thoughts went through my
head before actually pressing the publish button on the dashboard. I entered
the class thinking I wouldn’t be learning anything new and that it was going to
easy peasy. I learned so much from my peers and the assignments we did in
class.

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1 comment so far

  1. 1 jenny abeles
    9:58 pm - 1-3-2012

    Hi Monica.

    You know that college courses should be challenging and difficult, right? If it’s easy and you don’t learn anything, then there’s really no point in paying the money for tuition. So, I take it as a good thing that you felt challenged, and I’m glad you felt you pushed youself. I sympathize with your feelings about posting your writing for the whole class to see; I would’ve been sensitive about this, too, although I think overall it worked out really well this semester.

    I liked “Smile and Wave,” and the painful theme of substance abuse is tried and true—it’s not a problem that goes away and the story changes depending on the individuals involved, so I think it was a good choice of topic.

    The format of posting the other one, four sections going up in one day, made reading a bit confusing. I think the story could be improved by revision and careful editing, but it’s a promising start. The contrast of this character’s huge smiles and dead boyfriend is affecting and could mean many things—is she just relieved and truly happy, or is she psychotic, damaged pychologically even tho’ she’s assured the well-being of her body? This is an intriguing fault-line to experiment with.

    You’ve done much good writing this semester, tho’ much of it was posted late, which subtracts points from your overall grade. You earned a B for the course, so I would consider it a successful semester overall.

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