If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has many meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric. ~Summer Ross

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Hello Bloggie friends,

I am exploring nonfiction right now due to my nonfiction class. I have written two short stories (woot) so far. We are going to be writing at least one more, but it will be a long one 10-25 pages, its our big assignment that we will revise through out the semester. But I wanted to share the experience of writing in the genre, since it is something I have not done much of in my writing endeavors. So here are two beginnings to the exact same story. 
 This first one is in 3rd person omniscient: it is an imitation of Truman Capote's style from the book of In Cold Blood (If you have not read the book, I'd recommend it).

 My first paragraph:From -A Few Drinks More-

“A few Drinks”
The city of Casper booms in the windy depths of Wyoming, a far west area that other Wyomingites call “windy city.” The vast open space stretches for miles with oil rigs jutting out sporadically like metal teeter-totters, except on the South side where Casper Mountain takes its rocky blue shape. Coming into the city buildings are constructed with the robust enthusiasm of 1964 and awaiting the arrival of newcomers. Along the streets snow races to the ground, many of the white flakes taking detours with traffic or have been pinned one on top of the other over homes, cars, bikes, and fences. 

In this next one I had to take the same nonfiction piece and write it as if I were a character in it, from first person point of view:

 My first paragraph from- Lessons-
My grandmother, Leona, always has fascinating stories from her life. I tucked myself into a chair beside her oval kitchen table set securely in the corner beside a blazing fireplace like an egg snug in its carton. She made us some hot tea to fight the chill from the wind.
“I’m going to tell you about our night with Santa Claus,” Leona snuggled into a chair in front of the fire. Excitement rose in my chest when I realized this was not going to be a piece of her past I’ve heard before. It was like I was ten years old waiting for her to tell me about her life. I took a sip of my tea, placed the recorder between us, and she began.

Its very interesting to see the way this same story took on different meanings depending on the way I wrote it. If you have not tried this before, I'd suggest doing it to play with it.

 Take a short story you have written in 3rd person and rewrite it like an interview
 Or take a first person story and rewrite it in 3rd person.


Elena Solodow said...

Personally, I like the first version better for a non-fiction piece. It allows the setting to speak in its own voice. Nice job, Summer.

KarenG said...

Love that opening on Wyoming! Now I expect to read about a horrific murder, a psychopath living next door, or something to chill my and keep me up at night. Can you tell I love these kinds of books? Just finished The Devil in the White City, a wonderful nonfiction piece.

Laura Marcella said...

Those are lovely beginnings to your stories! I love the image of the table "like an egg snug in its carton." I'm glad you're enjoying your nonfiction class!

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Really loved your first one. You did it very well.

L.A. Colvin said...

Loved the second one. I actually started my wip in 3rd and about 27k in I changed to 1st. I love it much more. It really works too if your stuck on a scene. Just write it in a different pov and see what opens up. Great post.

Margo Benson said...

What an interesting post. I liked both but really connected with the first one (I also like Wyoming, very much) I will have a go at the exercise!

Elaine AM Smith said...

I love your Wyoming piece - don't know why, never been there nor nothing - I think the wonder's in the word. That and the fact that you captured the voice. It lilts beautifully!

The city of Casper booms in the windy depths of Wyoming, a far west area that other Wyomingites call the “windy city.” The vast open space stretches for miles, oil rigs jutting sporadically like metal teeter-totters, except on the South side where Casper Mountain takes its rocky, blue shape. Buildings constructed with the robust enthusiasm of 1964 are awaiting the arrival of newcomers. Along the streets, the snow flakes race taking detours with traffic. Else they lie pinned, one on top of the other, over homes, cars, bikes and fences.

The Golden Eagle said...

I like the first one.

Interesting post!

N. R. Williams said...

Excellent examples both. Well done.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Old Kitty said...

I like Lessons! I like the personal touch - I like the obvious bond between Leona and granddaughter and the magical touch of Santa Clause!

Thanks for sharing! take care

Lynda Young said...

I do like your descriptions.

Jules said...

Okay being the non-educated writer hear I saw the both being the same story but from different places in the story. But I do understand. Have I told you I loved Wyoming? But you sure have big mosquitos out there :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jules said...

See I missed spelled hear, here :)

erica and christy said...

An entire class on nonfiction - gah!! Good luck, Summer and have, er, fun with it!!

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