Discusion3. Week 3: Elements of Craft
Having begun to mold your short story with an outline, an opening scene and the use of the development techniques of setting, plot, and time, this week you will further develop your story, incorporating the elements of the craft of creative writing. How do different authors approach these elements in their short stories? How do point of view, tone of voice, characterization, and dialogue give a story its shape, weight, and tangibility? You will learn to apply these elements to carve out the story you wish to sculpt from the progress you have already made.
This week, you will develop the point of view, tone of voice, characters, and dialogue in your story to revise your first draft from Week 2, revealing your story more fully.
By the end of this week, you will be able to:
Compare and contrast elements of craft in short stories
Revise creative writing to incorporate elements of craft
Discussion: Elements of the Craft of Writing
The narrator’s point of view is the reader’s window into the soul of your story. Combined with the tone of voice, characterization, and dialogue, these elements of the craft of writing give your story believability and interest. How can you combine the elements of the craft with the elements of the short story and the techniques of development you learned about in Weeks 1 and 2? In this Discussion, you will understand point of view, tone of voice, characterization, and dialogue and examine how other writers use these elements of craft to improve their work.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review the assigned portions of Chapters 3, 4, 6, and 7 in Shaping the Story.
Review “Revelation” by Flannery O’Connor, “Mericans” by Sandra Cisneros, and “Why I Like Country Music” by James Alan McPherson in Shaping the Story.
Reflect on the voice in the assigned stories.
How would you describe the voice in each short story?
How do these voices demonstrate what the authors are saying about the main issues of each story?
Reflect on the similarities and differences in the ways that the authors use dialogue to establish character presence.
Consider the issues that each story discusses. How do these issues shape the characters and affect the light in which they are seen at the beginning and the end of the story?
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post: 2 to 3 paragraphs comparing and contrasting different approaches to two of the following elements in two of the three stories in the Week 3 reading.. Be sure to cite at least two specific examples from your readings.
Point of View
Tone of Voice
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
Ask a probing question.
Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
Offer and support an opinion.
Validate an idea with your own experience.
Make a suggestion.
Expand on your colleague’s posting.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
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