Writing Both Fiction and Nonfiction Reflection Essay

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.....filled with confidence that I was going to impress people with what I had to say. Of course, when my first assignment received constructive criticism, I reeled. Since then, I have cultivated a sense of humility and a greater realism in my approach to writing. I think more about my goals with each piece, keeping in mind my audience. If my audience is hostile to my ideas, and I am writing to persuade them, I anticipate what they might say to counteract each of my points. Then, I start the process of outlining and jotting down ideas. What I used to find annoying, restrictive, and tedious I now find to be the most enjoyable aspect of writing. When outlining and brainstorming ideas, I do not need to worry about form and style, or tone and diction. All I need to be concerned about is the veracity of my statements, the organization of my composition or storyline, and flushing out all ideas. If I outline and pre-write well, I write much better, and this is the most valuable lesson I have learned so far. When I read other peoples' work, I appreciate a logical flow of ideas and clarity often even more so than clever turns of phrase.

That is not to say I do not appreciate masterful sentence construction or clever phrasing. My main point of weakness in writing is coming up with snappy metaphors. I envy the witty writers who can create meaningful analogies and metaphors and use them judiciously. I tend to fall into the trap of cliches, or I avoid metaphors altogether because I do not trust my ability to make one work. I believe that I need to practice the art of metaphor more in my writing. Since starting this course, I have become more aware of the importance of saying something a number of different ways: the metaphoric is among the most effective. I tend to write in a straightforward manner. My choice of words, my diction, can be admirable at times, but not my overall presentation. It is something I hope to work on in the future. In the meantime, I will focus on my strengths as a writer, which include not only diction, but the ability to remain stylistically consistent, grammatically correct, and succinct. If I can say something in one sentence, I will. I prefer to use as few words as possible, whereas many writers will spend a page to say what can be said in a paragraph.

Stuck Writing Your "Writing Both Fiction and Nonfiction Reflection" Essay?

In this class, I have learned how to be self-critical and cut out extraneous sentences and passages. Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I have learned in this class is in fact how to be a strong editor.

Yet being a strong editor ironically means shutting down self-censorship. Self-censorship has been my biggest impediment. That is exactly why I have come to appreciate the pre-writing and outline stages of the process as much as I do -- those are like sacred times for me, where I let my mind become loose and my thoughts unfettered. Whatever comes to my head, I write it down. The free-writing process liberates me psychologically. I might cut out 90% of what I jotted down, but the remaining 10% is far more valuable material than the material I would have come up with had I been dismissing every thought out of hand. I believe that the most important thing for me to improve my writing is to write as much as possible, whenever possible, and wherever possible. If I am waiting for a plane at the airport, I can write down observations about people or about security, or about something I just saw on the news. The more I write, the better I become at writing. This is true for both fiction and nonfiction. As I reflect on this and other courses I have taken, I also notice some of the differences between my fiction and nonfiction writing. My nonfiction writing tends to be stronger than my fiction writing. I have never been a good storyteller, but would like to learn how to be one.

I have progressed in terms of my command of different genres and subjects. I feel that I have the capacity to write about almost any subject, as long as I do some research beforehand. When I think about it, this class has shown me the value of research even in creative writing. I used to think that fiction writers simply started with a blank page and let the story flow. How foolish I was! A fiction writer needs to do as much research as a nonfiction writer. When a fiction writer develops characters for a story, that person needs to learn about every aspect of the characters' lives. If one character is a military officer, the author needs to interview military officers to get an idea of what they go through, what their thought….....

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