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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 2 months ago

InlsFinalProject - initial notes

InlsFinalProject2 - 14-Jul, 15-Jul - generation

InlsFinalProject3 - 16-Jul - generation

InlsFinalProject4 - 17-Jul - generation

InlsFinalProject5 - 22-Jul - composition

InlsFinalProject6 - 23-Jul - cheat sheet PDF




Joan Didion: Usually I sit at the computer all day, until about 5:30 in the afternoon when I finally get a sentence down. Because I really don't know what I think until I get that sentence down. And I resist it every day.


Eric Clapton: "Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest."


el doctorow: writing a novel is like driving by night.


george plimpton: the first thing i do when i receive an assignment is to play tennis.


add above quotes during transitions during slideshow


the importance of ritual



    • base most of the talk on this
    • paramedic triage for prose
    • may not have time to do this
  • writing your dissertation in 15 minutes a day
  • bird by bird



  • les payne's writing clinic
  • creating your first draft with less pain
  • the (almost) painless writing clinic


OUTLINE--no, don't use outlines.


delicious links on presentations: http://del.icio.us/brownstudy/presentations


don't wait for the muse


the artist's way -- writing 3 pages/day in your journal. getting the writing habit. becoming more facile simply at the process of writing.


the anecdote about the pottery students, point of quantity over quality


write first and let the words find you

  • when you talk to yourself, and you're practicing what you're going to say to a friend or lover or roommate or parent, you rehearse the moment over and over, trying to get the words right, trying to get the word order right


divide writing into a discrete sequence of processes:

  • brainstorm


the goal is to squeeze out a first draft that you can then edit

  • shitty first draft, zero draft, vomit draft


mark forster's continuous revision process

  • will i have time to discuss this alongside the formal writing process?


intro: during the course of this course, we've had to write job descriptions, grants, disaster plans, etc. ideally, in the real world, you would have text or a template or boilerplate to base your stuff on. but sometimes you have to create something from whole cloth that doesn't exist. and then you have to sit down and write something that has never before existed in the history of the world.


write yourself little emails every day


write in a wiki that stores your changes


revising vs rewriting

  • two schools of thought
    • revising: who wants to retype all of that? it's much easier to tweak something you've already got, it could take an awfully long time to retype a long thesis or dissertation.
    • retyping -- I adhere to this one, if what you're doing means a lot to you. i do this with my short stories. lew shiner: you have to write it the way the reader reads it, one word at a time. for him, a first draft takes a 12-18 months. he researches, edits, and then retypes from the start: takes another 12 months.
  • what does the THINKING ON PAPER book say?>>they prefer retyping. rewriting is RETHINKING, so the value of retyping is that you're reacquainting yourself with your ideas, you're reading them now as a reader would read them, and you're now asking questions about them, adding marginalia to them, etc.


karen joy fowler--hates writing first drafts, loves editing


my nanowrimo experience -- 1,663 words/day in november. you can't get behind. little and often.


fred pohl would print out his first draft and then delete it from his hard drive to force himself to retype it.


write in complete sentences.


write first the scenes or passages you can visualize strongly or that you're most passionate about. no law that says you have to start from the beginning.


let the beginning emerge.


let the themes emerge. you want the process to be organic.


clip or copy/paste the squibs into paragraphs, group the paragraphs into sections. don't force anything.

  • robertson davies' writing notebook
  • or use a word file, a 2-column table: narrow left column is a sequential number, wide right column is the idea or squib. number the pages.


separate the articulation from the communication, separate the communication from the public performance.


little and often.


see the forster book on working a big project--some good quotes there.

portion control -- filling up a whole sheet of paper can be daunting. try to fill up a post-it or index card.


start small--play a game you can win.


when you're at the expressions stage: ask yourself two questions: so what? and specify. ask those 2 questions of every statement you make and see if that toughens up your arguments and examples.


give your pages a day to cool off.

break the 3-part process into thirds: generating, composing, expressing. break your time into thirds. today is Fri, 14 Jul 2006. i have 9 days until showtime. that means i should spend 3 days (maybe 2 days) just generating the ideas. give it a day to cool off. then the next 2 days, work on organizing and composing the ideas into groups. a day to cool off. on saturday and sunday, spend my time creating the powerpoint show and handout.

how do i want the slides to look?


a blank slide as the blank page


a slide crammed with sentences to show how your mind is locked up with words


a slide showing a neatly ordered set of paragraphs -- this outline, probably.


a slide showing many pots vs one big pot. anecdote about the pots.


i'd like the slides to be mainly words--that's easier to create. but maybe just one idea per slide. 30 pt.


maybe the interlocked arrows showing the successive stages of the writing process


i feel like most of my better examples are drawn from my fiction-writing world. don't how applicable that will be... ahhh, just go with it.


you need to write a lot, be profligate with your energy and your words. editing is easy. it's always easier to take out words than to add words. but you've got to get them all those thoughts out so you can see on paper the crappy and ill-formed thoughts from the stronger, more expressive thoughts.


you want to write more than you think you'll ever need. keep writing until you feel a sense of unhealthy repetition in what you're doing. are you turning the compost heap too much? when you feel like you're wasting your energy on it, that's the internal cue for moving towards expression stage.


in the corporate world, in my own professional writing, i want to spend as little time writing as possible. i try to copy and revise whenever possible. but this is tough to do with a new piece. so the answer is just to go spluh on the page and make sense of it later. the time to make sense of and revise stuff will come later.


hm. i need to stop referring to other books on how to do this kind of thing, like the HOW TO WRITE YOUR DISSERTATION IN 15 MINUTES A DAY. that will just distract me. just stick to this one book and explain quickly what it recommends, throw in my marginalia along the way. if there's time, discuss continuous revision, or just include it in the links on the handout.

put the puppy back on the paper


how many friendly homilies can this presentation stand???

the path of least resistance -- we'll always take the easiest path to pleasure, and with something like writing, the easiest path is procrastination pays it pays immediate dividends. so you need to play a game that you can win. to do that, you need to set up a structure that will deliberately move you toward your goal. the key is to think only as much as you have to (which is not as much as you're afraid you'll have to). so if you keep the writing jags short, if you can get used to turning off the internal censor in your head and just write, then you stand a chance of compiling lots of material. later, during the editing/expressing phase, you'll be better able to clean up your ideas and even generate new ones. so you have a mini feedback loop.



anecdote -- robert bly's morning poems--"i lower my standards"

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