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Becoming the “Slice of Life” Memory Writer

Becoming the “Slice of Life” Memory Writer

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Becoming the “Slice of Life” Memory Writer

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  1. Becoming the “Slice of Life” Memory Writer EN100-722, Composition Dr. Thomas Eaton Southeast Missouri State University

  2. What is the “Remembering” style of Writing? • Much literature is made up of memory components. Within this style of writing, flashbacks, flash forwards (time jumping) Monologues, internal dialogue and even standard dialogue are engaged to outline a specific memory. • See Elizabeth Burg’s “What we Leave Behind.”

  3. So… How Do I Write One? • Be Specific in Time. • Be able to answer the “So What” question. • Create specific scenes. • Note Conflicts or changes – what made you different afterwards? • Connect your memory to life today. • Provide a learning or experiment theme. Did you know that a memory essay that doesn’t show how you have been changed by it will get a “so what” response from your reader?

  4. Specific in Time – Not a “What I did Last Summer” • SPECIFIC IN TIME means that you choose a component of a memory and “Scope” in on it. Try to focus on the events of an hour or maybe an afternoon. Keep it tight and narrow – this is just like a main focus of a paper. • EX: A hospital scene – choose the time where you learned something about life. • A romance – choose the time and place where you realized it was not going to work • A Challenge/fight. The moments it occurred and the aftermath.

  5. The “So What” Question • Your text is right – if you write about a memory that doesn’t matter to you, your audience will know. If there is no growth or no understanding, or if it is trivial, your reader will be bored. Saving a life at summer camp and how it scared you – Priceless… Burning a marshmallow at summer camp – “so what”

  6. Creating that specific scene. • Take me to the place you want me to go. Describe it to me. Not just “a room” – what type of room? Use details: colors, shapes, light (or dark) lighting, shadows, materials, smells, temperature – all of these will help me to “See” your setting. Did You know: Descriptors are actually adjectives and adverbs in grammar. A talented writer can “create” a real world through words.

  7. We Want the Dirt – Because True Confessions are Healthy. • A memory has to have some conflict to it. We want to know about your life – a reader is nosy. We want all the dirt – what conflict makes this memory one that you learned from? What might they be fighting about – I want to know  Did You Know: Hard academic writing often doesn’t have conflict – is it what you read in your spare time?

  8. LEARN from your mistakes or make them again • A successful Memory paper has to bring us from the point that it happened to where you are now. • What’s different in you • What did you learn • What would you do differently if you could do it again REMEMBER – Internal conflict is good too – you learn from it YES – You can have a happy memory. How does it make you happy now?

  9. CLOSING: TIPS On the Memory • Take me to the time. • Take me to the place. • Introduce people if they belong. • Take me to the moods of the people and the “mood” of the setting. • In the opening paragraph, let me know that this is an important memory. • As your scenes develop, so must the conflict and the resolution. • Entertain me by celebrating your SPECIFIC, scoped and focused memory. • Show me what you learned, both then and now. Planning Writing with passion