I had my first writing class today and it was more informative than I had thought it would be. There was a discussion on the language of texing on cell phones and how it changes with education and maturity. The young kids still think texting is a new thing which is funny since I was texting in 2003 long before there were actually texting plans(these kids today think its such a new thing and there pros at it). But we discussed how you would use full words and sentences when texting…lets say your boss or parents but when you text your friends you will use short words such as U for you and 4 for four and what not. Emma my writing professor explained that almost all the professors in the writing dept that do text use full words and sentences and NOT the short cut words and phrases because they have some pride in how they write even over text. however, She also brought up the subject of facebook and what people but on there as far as there status and whatnot. She explained that generally facebook friends are friends of some sort and family so using bad grammar and spotty spelling is acceptable because its considered informal writing and isn’t looked down upon when in comes to writing in general since generally your not friends with your boss. She used these examples when talking about CONTEXT. And explained that what is acceptable for one professor may not be acceptable for another when it comes to writing say a college paper, research or otherwise even for the same subject and class. She explained to us the importance of knowing who your writing for and your audience because it does and should affect how you write so they will understand it and so your writing will make sense. Since she knows I am a fiction writer she said if I had a character that was a child and he or she is speaking I would not use proper English grammar and phrasing in the dialog since a 6 or 8 year old doesn’t use proper grammar when speaking(and neither do most adults when speaking with friends), so i if did use proper grammar more similar to an adult… the reader would have a hard time believing the 6 or 8 year old to be that age and it would not make sense and the story would be suspect and thought to be badly written.
I found out that the 5 paragraph paper that we were taught in high school and Jr high is a thing of the past and we were told that if we did use that form we would in fact fail the class…..i’m fine with that, 5 paragraphs is never enough for what i have to say lol. She also told us that the use of “I” in college papers is in fact acceptable but ” I think” is not except for occasionaly, she explained why although I never realized it was such a big issue.
One thing that I did enjoy hearing is that she feels people that outline there papers are generally worse writers than people that just write. She explained that when people have this rigid outline that they adhere too when they write that they are so foccused on following the outline they made that the structure and writing suffers, things get unsaid or left and she the flow seems cold and obviouse and its boring and lack feeling. Her thought is that whether its a fiction piece, poetry, journal, report or research paper its better to do your research if needs be and then just write and write and write and then go back later and EDIT your story or poem and REVISE your paper( there is a difference it seems). According to an article we read in class, for some people writing is very hard and they cant just sit down and write and that’s why some outline, they lack the ability to think creatively on there feet and need rules and structure to guide them. She feels that when you worry about the RULES of writing as your trying to write something it takes away form the quality and creativeness. She said “worry about the rules later when your going over it, just get down on paper what you really want to say”
She explained that writing is fluid and the ability to do it and read something that is written depends on allot of things, one of which being a persons preconceived notions on the subject and then the author, and style. She explained that for someone reading a fiction piece who is used to reading and writing college research papers, or research papers and journals in general would have a hard time occasionally with reading a fiction piece and especially writing fiction. The reason is because its not rigid and formed and based on facts and structured to a specific way, its creative and there not used to being creative in there writing and prefer more realistic and fact based literature. And for some one (like me) who is used to writing and reading fiction generally, may have a hard time reading and writing a college research paper or journal because we don’t like the structured rigidness of that kind of writing and don’t see it as creative at all. Emma said quite often people that are first type tend to look down on the fiction writers and readers because in there mind they see it as of less quality and not good literature, something she said is not true at all and mark twain is a perfect example of why its not true.
All in all it was a good start to a good class I think, minus the annoying young kids in the class