Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I return, wounded

This is a photo of my nephews, dancing to what must surely be the most annoying song ever recorded (Crazy Frog). It wasn't supposed to turn out blurry but I quite like it like that! I also like how it looks like they're jumping out of the cabinet, rather like Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy out of the Wardrobe.

Well, I have submitted myself to the bruising critique of my Creative Writing classmates. It wasn't as bad as I thought it could be, at all! What a pleasant surprise. I already had some good vibes going from being one of the first to volunteer, and got a lot of leeway because we couldn't have a perfect view of how we were supposed to write it. So, in fact, that was a bonus. But I did get it wrong in that we were meant to enlarge it more from just straight dialogue into how you would normally write a short story.

The nice thing was that most people liked the dialogue a lot. My teacher wrote "What was at first a rather incoherent exchange becomes a lucid and intelligent conversation between a father and his daughter, a moment of bonding between them and of the father influencing the daughter with his beliefs. One has a sense of the connection between them, that they are friendly, that the daughter admires the father." And most people commented that it was very natural and unlaboured, that they liked how the characters came across so strongly despite it being only dialogue (especially the father), and that they liked the ending.

The main problem was obviously the lack of strong plot. I knew that would be what came up because I found it so hard to move from a conversation that was primarily about politics to an actual plot. Also I was unsure how far we were supposed to go in terms of changing the conversation. The most critical reading I got told me I was 'moralising'--which I suppose I was. But he also told me that the characters were a 'reactionary father and conservative daughter', which I dislike immensely, as I don't believe it's at all conservative to disagree with people insulting each other. I hate people who say that if you don't agree with something they want to do, you're old-fashioned or reactionary. I couldn't read much of his writing, he used silly terms like 'chronological inversion' (puh-lease, who knows what that means?), and he critiqued the original transcript, which I did not write, and this seems to me to go beyond the usual bounds of stupidity. Besides, he had silly hair. (I really hope he never reads this blog!) So I'm not going to take his more negative critique too seriously. :)

All in all, it was very helpful, although it's not like I'm going to use the dialogue for anything more serious that homework. It was a good exercise.

Hi Fraser Don, thanks for visiting my blog! Yes, I usually write way too much for essays etc, as you can probably tell from this blog--I just can't stop. How did you find second year Ling? What courses did you do? I'm quite disappointed I'm not having Kon for any classes this year. His anecdotes kept me sane. :)

1 comment:

Patty said...

I've only heard the song Axel F by Crazy Frog. At first I thought it was so annoying, but gave it a second chance because I love dance/beat music & I now like it. Not a song to listen to with a headache.

Cool photo & I like the comparison to the Wardrobe!

This was funny to read-the guy with silly hair. :)

Even though I consider myself very conservative, I agree you shouldn't call someone this when that someone just doesn't like to see people insulting other people. That's an intirely different thing.