Thursday, October 29, 2009

Poetry Game - Word Magnets

Time for another game! Go to Magnetic Poetry Online and choose up to 20 word tiles to create a poem. Leave it in the comments!!

Here is mine:

My prisoner
your sacred secret
I remember
or voice it
and embrace peace

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to Write an Essay or Paper - Point of View

Another literary tool that you could analyze for a literary anaylsis paper would be Point of View.


Simply put, the point of view is the perspective from which the story is told. First, you need to determine what point of view is present in the literature you are analyzing. Here are the common choices:

First person - the narrator is generally the main character in the book and tells the story as "I" (I did this, I said, I felt)

First person plural - more rare, with the story told by "we" (we did this, we said that)

Second person - very rare - the reader is treated as a character and is referred to as "you." This type of POV works well for some non-fiction works. For example, if I was writing a How-to article, I could use this to say "First, you take the paint brush and apply paint. Then you do this and this and this." For fiction though, this POV isn't used often.

Third person limited - the narrator is outside the story but focuses on one character at a time. (He said, she said). While the POV may change between different characters, these changes would be separated by scene or chapter breaks.

Third person omniscient - the narrator is outside the story but doesn't focus on one character. The narrator knows all, sees all, conveys all.

Once you know which type of POV is being utilized in the piece of literature you are writing about, you can analyze how the use of the POV works in the story. Some questions you might ask could be:
  • Does the POV work well?
  • Why or why not?
  • Would it work better told from another POV?
  • Why or why not?
  • If the POV is third person limited, is the story told by one character or several?
  • If told by only one character, would the story have worked better told by more than one, or by a different character than the one chosen?
  • Why do you think the author chose the POV they did?
  • Does the POV limit the story? Intensify it? Create mystery? Create confusion?
Go through every aspect of the POV used in the story that you can think of, analyzing if it works well or not, using specific examples from the book and outside sources to back up your statements.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Apologies

Sorry for the absence of posts this week! I'm battling an allergic reaction to a new medication and the medicine to get rid of the reaction sort of knocks me out :D I'll be back next week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Poetry - Magnet Game

Well, I found out how to make the magnets for this game, theoritcally, however, had trouble when I actually attempted to do it :)

But, I found another site where you can play this game. So! Everyone go to Poetry Game and create a poem using the poetry tiles. Then post what you come up with in the comments.

This is mine:

Your velvet voice haunts
A ghost of smoke
Devouring my fire
For eternity

Remember - if anyone has a question on how to write a specific type of poetry, hit the Ask Me button!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How To Write an Essay or Paper - Settings

The literary analysis is a type of essay or paper that every student will be asked to write at some point in their educational career. In fact, it is probably the most common type of assignment - at least in classes that involve literature.

Simply put, a literary analysis analyzes a piece of literature. Well, I suppose that is pretty obvious :)

But what types of things should you look at when writing a literary analysis? 

You've got your piece of literature, you know you are supposed to analyze it, but what in the world do you talk about?

While there are many ways of going about this, one of the best ways is to analyze different aspects of the book by looking at the literary tools the author has utilized.

What are these tools? 

They include things such as settings, characters, plot, imagery, symbolism and allegories, tone, point of view, and things like metaphors and similies (figurative language).

For today, we'll take a look at Settings. Now, some stories have more pronounced settings than others. In some books, the setting is more of a subtle background, the stage on which the actors play, while in others, the setting is almost a character in and of itself. Either way, the setting is a very important part of a story and as such, is a literary tool that is worthy of exploration.

Say you are asked to write a literary analysis of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Some questions you may want to consider when analyzing the setting of this book are:

  • What is the time period? Would this story have worked better set in a different time?
  • What is the location? Would the story have worked better elsewhere? Are several locations used in the story? Do they work? Would a specific scene have worked better in another setting? If all the scenes are set in the same location, would the story have worked better set in several different locations?
  • What season is the story set in? If it is set in winter, would it be better set in summer? Does the season echo what is happening in the story? (example: Do the love scenes occur in the summer while the trial occurs in the winter, or vice versa?)
  • What time of day is it when important events in the story take place? Do the sinister things happen at night while the happy things happen during the day? Why do you think this is? 
While the setting may seem like a simple part of the story, it can actually have a huge impact on what is going on. The events detailed in The Scarlet Letter either wouldn't have happened or would have happened in a very different way with a very different outcome if the story had been set someplace like the farthest frontier outpost or an indian village or in the southern states...even during the same time period.

The setting of a story, not just the physical location but everything about it (time of day, season, outside (forest or beach) or inside (and what type of building if inside)) can greatly impact the success of a story. Thoroughly exploring this literary tool can be a great start to your literary analysis.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursdays Haiku

Here is another one to tickle your inspiration :) Leave your beautiful haiku in the comments ;D