Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

moment.03 || Descriptive Writing


My students always groan with the prospect of shifting their habitual writing patterns. Yet it remains important for writers to build stronger methods for their essays and research simply by changing their typical approach to assignments.


The following paragraph began as a class exercise to illustrate how to write with a stronger sense of descriptive words, plus avoiding passive voice. The prompt itself requires for you to describe yourself today, at this moment, with any type of classification that comes to mind. The main challenge: avoid passive verbs in the sentences utilized. The second challenge: minimize the use of the pronoun 'I'—but still maintain a functioning sentence. These expectations encourage a sense of writing and rewriting to create the "perfect" paragraph.


I see myself as a hand-bound, faded leather volume from the 12th century, Ireland. The edges of the vellum pages show themselves slightly dog-eared and worn-down from previous readings, but their colors remain intense, with vibrant reds, calming azure blues; mythical creatures spring out of the spine, move across the gutter of the double-spread folios in a masquerade of a never-before-seen menagerie. The figures hum, quiver, fumble across the margins and the burgeoning alphabet. They mingle with the Latin text, half obscuring the letters with their wings and claws, fins and gaped mouths. The complex calligraphy displayed on each leaf tattoos the page. The entire chaotic nightmare exists, created by a lost sect of the Catholic faith, their radical ideas lost in translation, lost in time.

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