This week was our first week of year two. We learned what we are going to be doing throughout the year and what projects we’ll be doing. Such as we are doing a project based on educating children between the age of 5-11 on a certain topic and presenting it to them in a format that would interest them, such as a book. We also looked at the topics; Decluttering text, speaking voice and opinion pieces.


Decluttering text:

The first topic we looked at this week was how to declutter text in a quick and simple way. We did so by doing the task in which we looked at a piece of text and parts which we thought were unnecessary we put brackets over. Such as:

Orginal:

All writers (will) (have to) edit their prose, but the great writers edit (it) viciously, (always) trying to eliminate words which are ‘fuzz’ – (excess) words (which) are not adding anything of value. Zinsser compares the process of editing (outfuzz) to fighting weeds – you will (always) be slightly behind because they creep in (when you aren’t looking for them). One of my pet hates is the (word) ‘also’. If you search and replace all instances of this word you (will) find you can live without it (and) your writing will improve instantly. Likewise the word)’very’.

Edited:

All writers edit their prose, but the great writers edit viciously, trying to eliminate words which are ‘fuzz’ – words are not adding anything of value. Zinsser compares the process of editing to fighting weeds – you will be slightly behind because they creep in . One of my pet hates is the ‘also’. If you search and replace all instances of this word you find you can live without it your writing will improve instantly. Likewise the word)’very’.

Above you can see the original piece of text along with the edited version. In the original, you can see that I have put brackets around the words which I don’t think are necessary, doing this means that you are able to edit work in a more organised and professional way. In the edited piece, you can see that I’ve taken out all of the words which had brackets around them in the original version.  Doing this allows you to see the difference taken out the words does to the overall text.

Using this technique of decluttering text will help me when it comes to projects throughout the year including the FMP. This means that my work should have a higher standard as when it comes to proofreading I will be able to not use this technique.

Plus we also did the task of making the story of ‘Snow White’ into an article by only keeping the key parts, whilst using the key factors of writing an article.

Wicked Queen Charged Guilty.

It has been confirmed that the Queen is guilty of the attempted murder of her stepdaughter Snow White.

For years now the Queen has forced Snow White into be a scullery maid in hopes that she doesn’t surpass the Queens beauty. However, in recent times an acquaintance of the Queen confirmed that Snow White would become more beautiful than her. Causing the Queen to threaten a Huntsman to murder Snow White, however, the Huntsman refused to commit said crime, leaving Snow White to run for safety.

Reports later confirmed that Snow White found shelter with the group known as ‘The Seven Dwarfs’. White was safe in the cabin until accepting an apple from someone she believed was a kind old lady, however, later reports showed that the women was, in fact, the Queen in-disguise. White was pronounced dead at the scene. However days later a kiss given to White from a Prince known as Charming brought the young princess back to life.

The Queen has now been charged guilty of attempted murder.

You can see that I used the technique of opening 25 words in hopes to capture the audience to read the article. Overall I think this piece went well, as I was able to keep the story in the article and the main facts of the story without giving too much detail to make the article come across as a story.


Speaking voice:

We also looked at speaking voices this week, meaning we learnt how to write in a specific voice.

We did so by looking at a poem written by Simon Armitage called: ‘The Christening’;

The Christening

I am a sperm whale. I carry up to 2.5 tonnes of an oil-like

balm in my huge, coffin-shaped head. I have a brain the

size of a basketball, and on that basis alone am entitled to

my opinions. I am a sperm whale. When I breathe in, the

fluid in my head cools to a dense wax and I nosedive into

the depths. My song, available on audiocassette and

compact disc is a comfort to divorcees, astrologists and

those who have ‘pitched the quavering canvas tent of their

thoughts on the rim of the dark crater’. The oil in my head

is of huge commercial value and has been used by NASA,

for even in the galactic emptiness of deep space it does not

freeze. I am attracted to the policies of the Green Party on

paper but once inside the voting booth my hand is guided

by an unseen force. Sometimes I vomit large chunks of

ambergris. My brother, Jeff, owns a camping and outdoor

clothing shop in the Lake District and is a recreational user

of cannabis. Customers who bought books about me also

bought Do Whales Have Belly Buttons? by Melvin Berger

and street maps of Cardiff. In many ways I have seen it all.

I keep no pets. Lying motionless on the surface I am said

to be ‘logging’, and ‘lobtailing’ when I turn and offer my

great slow fluke to the horizon. Don’t be taken in by the

dolphins and their winning smiles, they are the pickpockets

of the ocean, the gypsy children of the open waters and

they are laughing all the way to Atlantis. On the basis of

finders keepers’ I believe the Elgin Marbles should

remain the property of the British Crown. I am my own

God – why shouldn’t I be? The first people to open me up

thought my head was full of sperm, but they were men, and

had lived without women for many weeks, and were far

from home. Stuff comes blurting out.

You can see that Armitage writes in the perspective of a Sperm Whale creating a humorous tone to the overall feel of the poem, along with creating some strong imagery throughout the poem. With lines like “coffin-shaped head” given a clear image of what a sperm whale looks like. 

After reading this poem we wrote our own based on an object or thing we chose ourselves.

The ginger cat.

I am a ginger cat. My fur is grommed everday, no part is out of place. Although I only have one bed for myself, the choice is endless. When I move I’m slient, the pads on my paws leave no trace. Whenever I fall I always land on my feet. I may look like a calm and beautiful creature, but I can be firece. Some days I go outside to rest, others I hunt. Tracking down my next victim as I prepare it to become my next feast. My family consists of 5 beings, whom share the house with me. I don’t like dogs, especially the small ones, they’re to loud. As someone who sleeps all day, I find them rude. I’m independent and really not a fan of water.

I think that this poem reflects the inspiration I got from reading and evaluating Armitage’s. Such as I used the same technique of imagery in hopes to create a better image in the readers head so they could have a better understanding of what the poem is about. If I were to extend the poem I would include a more imaginative part, like Armitage who creatures this humorous idea of the whale having a brother that ‘owns a camping and outdoor clothing shop’, which also makes the poem has a human tone to it which makes the reader forget that it’s actually about a Whale. If I were to do this to my own poem it would make it more humorous and maybe more mysterious.

We also wrote a piece based one person choosing a card and the other receiving the card.

Choosing:

Her birthday was only in a few days, I’ve left into the last minute again. It’s not that I forgot about it, it was always in my mind but I just keep putting. I didn’t know what to get her, so I would just keep an eye for something that she would like, finally deciding to get her a small necklace with a delicate heart in the middle. But now it was time to chose the card, see to most people the card wasn’t important but to her, it was the key part of any present. So I knew that it had to be personal.

Searching on the internet I found the perfect site, there it was the most personal card possible. With the simple ‘Happy Birthday’ written across the top, I filled in the gaps with photos we’ve taken. From the day at the beach to us at home. It’s perfect, with the personal touch and the elegant writing she’ll have nothing to complain about.

Receiving:

As I opened the blue enveloped, I slowly pulled the card out to be greeted with photos of the two of us. It’s perfect. The memories of the days we took the photos came flooding back. The photo of from the day we went to the fun fair bring back the taste of the candy floss as it stuck to our fingers. The day we drove all the way to the beach just to watch the sunset, reminded me of the love I have for this person I call my partner. To any other person, a card is just a piece of paper, to me, it is so much more it’s the recognition that someone remembers you and they care enough to write on a piece of paper.

When doing this piece I found it easier to write in different perspectives because I found it more straightforward than the poem. You can see that I choose to make this more personal and romantic with the use of the photos on the card and how much it means to the receiving person. Plus I was able to be more descriptive in this piece than the poem creating a more story like tone to it.


Opinion Pieces:

Plus this week we also looked at opinion pieces, doing so by looking at how you could write your opinions by looking at opinions that were all writing in different formats. Such as we looked at the poem by Maya Angelou ‘Still I Rise’, the lyrics to the song ‘System’ by Enter Shikari and a blog post by Annie Lennox, Each talked about different topics, Lennox wrote about Margaret Thatcher, Angelou wrote nothing being able to stop her and Enter Shikari wrote about the broken system.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
My favourite of the 3 is ‘Still I Rise’ because Angelou was able to write a very powerful and inspirational poem, whilst still including her opinion. She’s able to create strong imagery by using specific words that not only create a strong image but also I strong overall tone to the entire theme and meaning of the poem. It’s clear that the poem is expressing her opinion on the past that her ancestors had and that the fact nothing will stop her from doing what she loves no matter what anyone says or does.
After doing this I wrote my own poem based on a subject that I have strong opinions for.
Exams are an unnecessary evil.
The idea that your future could depend on an exam,
Is Ludacris.
We spend years learning all this fascinating knowledge in hopes you’ll remember,
And if you don’t you fail.
Learning should be an entertaining experience for everyone to enjoy,
But with the daily reminder that you have exams,
It makes learning a task.
But learning is the greatest gift that could ever be given.
You can see that I’ve written about exams, I wanted the poem to have a strong tone to it with it sounding too harsh. Plus keeping it short meant that I was able to create a statement that was powerful enough to keep it short. Overall I thought that it went well and I was able to get the points I wanted to across in a strong way. If I were to do it again I would try and use more poetic techniques so that I could further understand how to use them.

References:

  • Angelou, M. (1986). And Still I Rise 1986.
  •  

    Armitage, S. (2011). Seeing stars. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

  •  

    Grimm, J. (1812). Snow White and the seven dwarfs. 1st ed. [Place of publication not identified]: Classic Comic Store Ltd.

 

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