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Revising My Segmented Essay

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by

Nick Kowalski

on 21 April 2015

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Transcript of Revising My Segmented Essay

Both letters and professor's comments suggested it
Might add clarity
Puts segment into context
Difficult to decide
Spell King Elessar Telcontar's Name Correctly
Change Aragon to Aragorn
Detail
Add more attributions to dialogue in some cases
Add some of my thoughts and some details among the dialogue
Add some context to the conflict
Add more details that show what you are feeling
Adding A Subtitle
Scene
I realized that the scene was clear in my head but not on page
Though I write like a modernist, its need some more words
Decided to break up dialogue with scene
Dialogue
I love writing dialogue...
...But this was a little clunky
I tightened it and used it to show the conflict a little stronger
Clarity
After rereading with everyone's comments in mind, I saw the conflict needed clarity
I decided to add a sentence to "tell" the conflict
I also added another sentence to "show it"
My Process
Reread without a pen
Reread with a pen
Reread without a pen
Add changes
Repeat
The Most Necessary Evil
I hate revising...
...But it's so, so, so important
Great writing is never great the first time
"Characters are sentences that need to careful construction," Zadie Smith
To get that "careful construction" revision is necessary
Class Suggestions
Rereading
I Hate Revising
A Segmented Revision
The Limits of a Taut Cord

It’s Thanksgiving of my first year at college. My sister and I are running the trail at Ridley State Park, with my parents far behind us. She tells me that she is an elf and that I am a ranger, like Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. We are acting as we did when we were children. We are trying to return to innocence.

But this is the last time we act like childhood friends.

“Remember when we were kids,” I say, “And we climbed that snow pile in front of the Grotto, pretending it was the Misty Mountains?”

The sun is burning my forehead, and I am tired, so I decide to climb a rock, and she follows. Lying with my face on the cool, granular surface of the rock, feeling each droplet of sweat on my body, I tell her my idea for a fantasy novel. I can feel her interest move across the warm air like a breeze. Her love, unbounded. I, smug in my prostration, feel only anger.

“Why did you make me join your choir?” I say.

“You wanted to.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“You never said that before.”

She paused, looking at the sun, hoping for the right words.

“I just thought it would be a good way for us to be together,” she says.

Still upset that she made me join it, treated me like shit when I quit, and got our mother involved, I am convinced this is all an act. If she loved me, she’d let me go. But love isn’t always right or just. Sometimes, it’s possessive, because the thing you love is impermanent.

“I have my things. You have your things,” I say.

“I know, but I thought this could be our thing.”

“It isn’t.”

“Then what?”

“I don’t know.”

“Promise me we’ll find something.”

“Okay.”

“Promise.”

“Fine.”

For a moment, I believe we’ll be okay as I promised. I believe we’ll still be close. But I remember it all. What she has done. What I have done. It’s too much.

Jumping from the rock, I decide to run without her.
Revised Text
Running the trail at Ridley State Park, with my parents far behind us, my sister tells me with short breath that she is an elf, and I am a ranger, like Aragon from The Lord of the Rings.

It’s Thanksgiving of my first year at college. The last time we acted as friends.

“Remember when we were kids,” I say, “And we climbed that sow pile in front of the Grotto, pretending it was the Misty Mountains?”

“We thought it was a mountain.”

We climb a rock, and I tell her my idea for a fantasy novel. She loves it.

“Maybe wait to have them take the capital,” she says.
“Okay,” I say.

“Why’d you quit the choir?”

“I never wanted to join.”

“You didn’t have to.”

“Never said that before.”

“I didn’t force you.”

“You did.”

“You had a choice.”

Jumping from the rock, I decide to run without her.
Original Text
Peer review is essential but can be challenged
Know what you want
Be patient
Be open to your voice
Steps
My Thoughts
Full transcript