Journal Entry #13

In class we went over several different readings which incorporated the idea of creating a compelling situation. For our assignment which we brought in, we created our own compelling situations while sharing them in groups. I had the chance to read other classmates’ compelling situations, and they were entirely different from mine (not just in terms of the topic, but also the approach they took). Some were short but descriptive, but another was lengthy but compelling. I learned that there are different approaches to creating compelling situations. Sometimes a writer does not need to specify or directly state certain things in a story, for example in metamorphosis, Kafka, creates a compelling situation which isn’t directly about the character turning into a bug but about the character’s change in personality and view on the world. Kafka also made sure to remove any possible anticipation at the beginning of his story, by stating that the character has already turned into an insect, the reader can no longer anticipate what may happen, but how it happened. This is interesting to note because I never knew a writer could do this when creating a compelling situation. In Bullet in the Brain, the character was viewed as a nuisance, and the author wanted us to feel sympathetic for the character but we couldn’t until we understood the character’s thoughts and emotions. I learned that a compelling situation doesn’t need to be specific, but how you get to the situation is what matters the most. Providing enough details without directly stating can build up the situation. I felt encouraged after this class session to finish my piece. I also feel more motivated and determined to create more compelling situations and scenes and I look forward to learning how to build characters and an ending and finish my story. I think what I learned from class can help improve my writing through the various readings we read for class. A thing such as removing anticipation is one method I attempted to use and hope to fix in my final draft of my short story. Another method I’ll attempt to use is building up a situation through general details rather than specifying every detail I have in my short story.

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