Wonderbook Writing Challenge 2

I’m as happy as a clam reading this Wonderbook. I’m underlining and taking notes and completing assignments. It’s like school only better! Because it’s free and on my schedule.

Chapter 2 is called “The Ecosystem of Story” and it’s all about the elements of a story, like point of view, description, and style (among others). The second Writing Challenge focuses on point of view and style.

ImageFor this exercise, choose a subject (for example, mushrooms or dive bars) and gather materials related to that subject from at least four different text sources written in diverse styles and/or points of view, including essays and short stories. Identify the parts of each that could be used to create a two- to three-paragraph passage of description. Then collage those parts together without changing the words. Keeping as many of the original words as is feasible, rewrite the passage to smooth out any “klang” in tone, mood, or texture. Finally, rewrite the passage again so it reflects not just your style but also the point of view of a character (who may bring their own style to the description.

I choose the subject of Autumn because I don’t get to see a lot of that beautiful season anymore. My four text sources were A Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwayGathering Leaves by Robert Frost, a quote by Ray Bradbury that I found on goodreads.com, and an Essay on Autumn Season by Radhakanta Swain I found on publishyourarticles.net.

Here’s the first splice, where I just took sections from each and put them together. (I added two words and took out one.)

You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light.  Spades take up leaves no better than spoons, and bags full of leaves are light as balloons.

I make a great noise of rustling all day like rabbit and deer running away. But the mountains I raise elude my embrace, flowing over my arms and into my face. I may load and unload again and again till I fill the whole shed, and what have I then?

We have the beautiful Autumnal flowers in bloom. We see many kinds of lotus in ponds. They are white, blue and red. All the day they look at sun. Next to nothing for weight, next to nothing for use. But a crop is a crop, and who’s to say where the harvest shall stop?

That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.

But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. Autumn is decked with the beauties of nature. The dry clouds float in the sky. Most of them are white and bulging. They look like sail-boats floating on the sea. Sometimes clouds drizzle and sometimes they rain a few drops. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.

Image

Here’s my rewrite, with a first person point of view (“we”) and a fairly muscular/conspicuous style (according to Vandermeer’s Approaches to Style Chart).

We all expected him to be sad in the fall. Part of him died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. With his spades no better than spoons he takes up leaves, and bags full of leaves are light as balloons.

Still he makes a great noise of rustling, working to keep from running away. Without fail, year after year, the mountains he raises elude his embrace, flowing over his arms and into his face. We may load and unload again and again in an attempt to fill him up, but what have we then? Leaves light as balloons? No, we have the beautiful Autumnal flowers in bloom. We see many kinds of lotus in ponds. They are white, blue and red. All the day they look at the sun, drawing even his weary eyes upwards. Next to nothing for weight, next to nothing for use, but a flower is a flower, and who’s to say the drawing of our eyes upwards should stop? 

He lives in that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. He lives among autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. The people passing at night on the empty walks sound to him like rain.

But we know there will always be the spring, as we know the river will flow again after it was frozen. Spring will be, as autumn was, decked with the beauties of nature. With our eyes upward we watch the dry clouds float in the sky. Most of them are white and bulging. They look like sail-boats floating on the sea. Sometimes on the way to spring the clouds drizzle and sometimes they rain a few drops. When the cold rains keep on and kill the spring, it is as though he dies for no reason. 

I’m considering e-mailing all of my Writing Challenges to Vandermeer (the author of Wonderbook) and asking for a grade.

Advertisements

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s