Drawing this comic was a very enjoyable experience. I did not end up sticking to my original written narrative in part one. Instead, I took certain elements from the written narrative and weaved it into a different story. This helped in creating a more engaging comic because this new story had more visual potential than the recounting of events that led up to my writing style. The written narrative was more linear, and I did not think that it would make an engaging comic. When I came up with my idea for the comic, ideas started going off in my head, almost in a sporadic and non-linear way, which was the opposite of the original. This worked well for the comic medium because I could arrange my ideas spatially in two dimensions rather than the linear one dimension. My many ideas lead me to make a series of choices, but once they were made through the storyboard draft, it felt much easier to draw this comic than it was to write the narrative.
The first page is most similar to my narrative. It is almost like a traditional comic where you have three panels and images and text inside them. Instead of regular side-by-side rectangular panels, I decided to use overlapping puzzle pieces. This not only hints at what is to come in the comic, but also creates early conflict because the overlapping puzzles block the audience’s view of the scenes. I hoped this conflict would encourage the audience to continue reading and find the resolution of the first page in the last page, where a completed puzzle can be found.
A lot of what I am trying to do in this comic is to encourage the audience to read outside of the panels by going against convention. The second page uses squiggly rectangles as panels. This creates a connection to the bottom panel on the first page where I am thinking, but also echoes the traditional thought bubbles in most comics, in order to signify that I am talking about my thoughts. I also try to push the readers to look outside the panels by drawing a web that connects the second panel to the others. Thus, creating a story that is not bound by the panels.
The third page combines the puzzle piece theme and the squiggly rectangle theme, bringing some sense of resolution from the two drastically different panel styles in the two previous pages. Despite this, the worm’s eye view perspective of the scene highlights the difficulty of the task, which ultimately resolves in a nice fitting puzzle in the last page, concluding both the story in the panels and the story outside of the panels.
Overall, this was a very fun process. I think that this medium really brought out my creative side compared to the written narrative. If I had more time, I would probably try to incorporate some more detail and color. Right now, it is monochrome, and I don’t think there’s any particular significance in the colors I use. I wonder if using or adding different colors will change the meaning and story of the comic?
In my literacy narrative essay, I explored my infatuation with books and due to my upbringing and how moving to America drastically changed my relationship with reading and writing forever.
After brainstorming about several poignant moments in my life, it felt natural and easy to write about my memories and my happy childhood bubble filled with Magic Treehouse and Rainbow Fairy novels. The freewriting exercise developed into two paragraphs about how my love for books started. However, the troubles once started when I was forced to relive and analyze my sophomore year of high school. To have something you treasured just ripped away from you was extremely disheartening. Okay, that sounds dramatic, but it really felt like I had nothing after witnessing the wide gap between my abilities and my classmates’. I wanted to convey this pain of understanding that I wasn’t good enough at something I had so deeply loved, and that everything I had known about literature was quite amiss.
I tried using a contrast of sentence length to show my misery. For example, one paragraph states: “I was so, very terribly mistaken. And I never fully recovered from being wrong.”
In retrospect, despite the enormous difficulties I encountered when I decided I hated English, it was an important moment of growth. I would never be the writer I am today without the help of my English teachers in high school. Ms. Dolan moved away after my first year, but I will never forget everything she has done for me. I did find it surprising when I realized how much time I spent reading and writing before moving to America, considering how much I’ve cried and broke down over English courses. I honestly forgot about my devotion to literature. Writing the essay brought back many estranged and sometimes unwelcome emotions about my past, but by the end, I felt that I received closure. Crafting the last paragraph brought upon an epiphany about how I want to continue: I want to keep writing to show everyone my culture.
The free write was definitely helpful as a start for the essay. I have not done a lot of writing since the end of last semester, so writing about something personal and interesting was a great way to get back into it. The writing process for the two were similar. In my head, I planned out the style I was going to use and came up with a few ideas. After, It easily translated to paper. Before this assignment, I didn’t realize how much knowing the grammar rules improved my writing. It is obvious, but I never really gave it any thought. Nothing about either writing assignment surprised me. I think about those memories frequently. The most interesting sentence would probably be the last sentence, when I am talking about my brother. The sentence reads “How, under water, he is the same as anyone else, and, above water, he is just trying to be understood.” This is impactful and the heart of what I wrote about; therefore, I think it is the key takeaway point.
While writing my personal literacy narrative, I couldn’t help but use it as a time to reflect on the events that have sculpted me academically. Looking back, I think my past is an accurate reason for why I write the way I do. At first, I did not know which event to emphasize or which was the most impactful. Now that the narrative is complete, I can clearly see that all those experiences are to a puzzle, and my writing ability now is the result. Of course, I still have plenty of developmental phases ahead where I intend to grow from my current self.
As I continue to venture away from creative writing, I have less opportunity to express my creativity. This assignment allowed me to reminisce on my past while writing about the one thing I probably know the best in this world: myself. Both the creative writing style and the opportunity for creative expression will be missed as I continue to write more for my career and less for myself. As a result, my appreciation for any creative outlet form has increased.
This assignment made me feel several different emotions, among them some stress and realization. In my narrative, I wrote about one of the first books I ever remember reading, how I spent most of my time as an elementary student reading to keep up with reading logs, and how I feel like I barely have time to read for fun now. I also wrote about how I am not the most fond of writing since early on, especially when it comes to writing about myself, but yet will end up past the word limit and struggle with cutting back—which literally happened with the assignment itself and still went about 15 words over the limit…
I don’t know if it was because I did not find a way to incorporate my freewrite from the pre-writing exercise or if I simply did not have words to spare but that freewrite did not make the cut. The pre-writing exercise did seem helpful while I was listing out the memories and doing the 20 questions for one of them, but then the 10-minute free-write just did not feel like enough (or maybe I am just a slow writer, still holding back from just fully freewriting, worrying about how to word things). My freewrite did not go much past half one page and I think it was simply not enough detail including any of the information from the 20 questions, so it felt like a bummer and I felt like it was cheating if I went past writing for 10 minutes. Once I started writing my narrative though, I actually just ended up incorporating a few different of my other 10 memories I had listed, so in that sense the pre-writing exercise definitely helped.
Writing my literacy narrative was certainly an enlightening experience. Prior to this, I had never taken the time to ponder about the experiences that shaped me into the reader and writer I am today. The freewriting exercises really helped me in identifying the most memorable events from my life relating to reading and writing. With those memories in mind, I explored the origins leading to the birth of my view that reading and writing are a chore, an unpleasant task. I also examined the more recent discovery of my love for rhetoric.
Normally, I am not too self-conscious when I am writing, but this particular assignment made me realize that I have a bad habit of revising and editing as I write. I say bad because it really interrupted my thinking process. My mind would get stuck on one sentence or one paragraph, trying to perfect the diction and syntax. By the time I was done editing, I had already forgotten what I wanted to say next, so I had to waste more time re-brainstorming my ideas.
Looking back at my narrative, I believe the most eye-catching sentence is “Reading and writing are a chore.” I personally have never heard someone call reading and writing a chore, so I think a bold statement like this would certainly pique a reader’s interest.
I think this exercise, as cheesy as it sounds, made me realize new things about my writing style. Moreover, I think I gained insight in what kind of “learner” I am. I have realized that I have been more of a visual learner since my early years. My X-pages activity is full of many experiences of me discovering writing. After writing all of it down, it was suddenly very clear that the thing that they all have in common are that I have been inspired by experiences that involve world-building and the visual mediums.
My writing process for this narrative started by identifying the major “eras” where my attitude towards writing has changed. I mainly focused on elaborating on certain events with as much description as I can and adding my own analytical comments reflecting on those experiences. It was strange to do the freewriting exercises at first because I felt almost guilty with the amount of freedom I had with with the assignment. The free writing activity influenced the essay I eventually wrote because when I started writing the essay, I remembered to enter the mindset that I had while doing the x-pages assignments.
I think a reader would think that my statement about how the 5 paragraph essay makes us nearly identical “clones” in english class would be interesting. They may find that when they remember the times when they have read a peer’s essay on an assignment that the only differences are often word choice and order of arguments made.
Side note: I am really liking the “blog” format of many of our assignments because it feels less claustrophobic.
Please click on this hyperlink to be redirected to my literacy narrative 1 page.
When I was writing the literacy narrative, I kind of just poured my thoughts onto paper without really thinking about what I was writing. What caused this was the free-writing exercises. The exercises were great for brainstorming and was my first time trying it but definitely won’t be my last. To be completely honest, the exercises did not seem to help during the whole process, but when I was actually writing the literacy narrative, the benefits were shown evidently. A lot of what I wrote for my literacy narrative was from answering the free-writing exercises and I’m guessing its because the questions forces you to remember more details of the reading/writing memory I was trying to recall.
I learned from writing this narrative that I could write much faster than I thought. In high school, it would’ve taken me ages to write 500-700 words. I was able to easily write the same amount in a lot less time. Additionally, I had a lot of difficulty putting my thoughts into words, which hurt me in writing essays in high school. However, after doing the free-writing exercises and writing the narrative, I was able to clearly write down whatever was on my mind, it was like my fingers were on cruise control just typing away on their own. I realized in the process of writing this essay that proper brainstorming allows for a strong foundation and draft.
“I wrote what I thought was good to myself, instead of what was good to a high school teacher.” This is the last sentence of my essay and I think someone that is reading my essay would think this is the most interesting sentence because it can be related to anybody that went to high school and had to write in the “five-paragraph format”.
The X-pages warm up helped me to get into the writing mode, especially when I can just type with no concern of structure. It also made me realize that in high school I was never assigned to write narratives or write stories. It was always reading stories and analyzing. I enjoyed writing this way because it has been a while since I have before, but I look forward for other assignments like this.
I’ve always had trouble to organize my thoughts especially about what I want to write. There have been times where I would have written the major of my essay, and mentally, I would say, “I could’ve started the essay like this.” However, I would not have enough time to change my essay that drastically. My teachers have said that I start strong but stray off when I think of new ideas and perspectives. With this narrative, I was unsure what events I wanted to include. On my Google Doc, I would have multiple paragraphs of just a stream of conscious and not tie to any other paragraph. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about how I will put the paragraphs together in a cohesive way. I made sure to start relatively early because I expected myself to go back on what I wrote. The events that I choose were the most relevant to me because then I had a change in my perspective of writing. The reassurance that I can improve in writing, and it can be fun to write. I really just need to challenge myself more and be willingly to take helpful criticism. This narrative was a tad challenging because I wanted to make it light-hearted like adding small jokes but also not stray away from being serious.
I personally liked the line where I talk about writing about Minecraft in my main college essay. In though, I did not start to play Minecraft till recently. I can’t stop thinking about how I can relate starting from nothing to being successful enough to beat the Ender Dragon.
I feel very uncomfortable writing something like this, not because of the content of what you are about to read, but because I have never done something like this. I think starting with a free-writing exercise threw me out of my comfort zone, which translated to the narrative. The free-writing was a creative work, something far removed from the analytical writing I was trained to do. In my literacy narrative, you will get a brief progression of experiences that lead me to my current perception of reading and writing—analytical, puzzle-like. Though writing and reading started from an imaginative process it eventually become a bit mechanical.
Looking back at this narrative, I can see that this still holds true. I can see the seeds of creative writing elements in the stories I tell. There are glimpses of storytelling, but they are trapped behind a somewhat mechanical and segmented analytical style. Had it not been for the free-writing exercise, these elements may not have been present in the narrative. I hope to get more comfortable with this, and I want to see where this can take me. Perhaps I can rediscover that imaginative feeling.