Write a personal essay about an early, powerful memory of an experience with a non-human animal.
Cultivate a sense of narrative structure using creative non-fiction prose, leveraging both the immediacy of direct experience and the resonance of reflection and synthesis to develop a compelling integration of both “horizontal” and “vertical” narratives.
Draw from the two in-class exercises and develop further the ideas you started working with. Reflect on what is the central question you want to explore in the essay.
Be sure to create a horizontal narrative and a vertical narrative. Remember:
- The horizontal narrative resembles the traditional plot line in fiction: it reveals your story through action and external events.
- Vertical narrative emerges from your internal inquiry. It mines the horizontal narrative for emotions, reflections, and insights.
You can use these prompts to get at the vertical narrative:
- When I think of this now, I realize…
- When I think of this now, I wonder…
- When I think of this now, I wish…
- When I think of this now, I imagine…
- What I really want to say is…
Use various techniques we’ve worked with so far: concrete description, questioning, figurative language (metaphor and simile), form, etc. Challenge yourself to not use abstracts!
You may find it tricky to integrate these two present-tense narratives—you can convert the “voice of innocence” into past tense, or come up with another solution.
- Length: 3-page maximum
- 12-point font, double-spaced.
- Number your pages.
- Include your name, group (“Chipmunk” or “Swallow”), title, and the date.
- This work will eventually become a part of your Animal Book.
- Due Monday of Week 6 by 4pm.
- Share with new peer critique groups via Moodle forum.
- Bring 1 hardcopy of your own work to class on Tuesday.
- Bring hardcopies of each small peer critique group member’s work to class on Tuesday, with comments.