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Reflective Essay on Fiction Writing

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Reflective Essay on Fiction Writing

I’ll be honest. I was worried about writing fiction up until I realized that fiction is just nonfiction exaggerated, nonfiction with a wider allowance for artistic merit, and nonfiction with the gaps filled in. And fiction doesn’t have to be as imaginative, in a fantasy sense, as I had thought. It’s still very real, or at least mine is.

For the nonfiction essay, I wrote a string of memories, anything I could think of and that I could potentially expand upon in a longer piece, and I did this early on. For this fiction essay, I am doing something similar; I made a list of character types and wrote some sketches of ‘characters’ I’ve come across in my own life. I used one of these character types for my extraordinary scene, and then sought help from the king of making the ordinary extraordinary, William Carlos Williams, to fix the character in a scene. Using the character type worked for me this time because I was merely observing her; there was some distance, and I didn’t have to get inside her head so much. In general, though, I find that I shy away from the character types, at least for our assignments, because they require a lot of work on my part, and I didn’t have enough time to get to know them well enough to do them justice in a story. So I stuck to the characters I knew more about. For my short fiction, I worked off the framework of a story that I knew happened. But my knowledge of the event was very limited (it could be told in one sentence), so I filled in the gaps and made it fiction by telling my version of what might have happened. For the longer fiction, I worked off of something that one of my real life ‘characters’ said jokingly, but I built a fictional story around it being said in all seriousness.

Overall, I’m happy with my extraordinary scene. I like the picture I created. It’s satisfying. I like it on its own, but I also wonder what more I could do with it. I think I could work with her character, maybe bring her up against some trouble. We discussed this in conference, but I really think that I should think up some trouble for my characters. I think I have developed and even embodied my characters well, but my stories don’t push any limits because they lack tension and urgency.
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