Don’t forget that you’re expected to arrive in class tomorrow with your red pencil sharpened and your thinking cap all lit up to talk about C.J. Chivers’ Pulitzer Prize-winning story, The Fighter.
Here are those elements again from Jack Hart’s “A Writer’s Coach” that I asked you to look at:
- Force (from verb choice, in particular)
- Brevity (from verb tense, by avoiding depleted words, too)
- Clarity (by using shorter sentences, defining terms, re-identifying characters)
- Rhythm (through the music in the words, the alliteration, the cycles of sound, the “rule of three” and by pacing)
- Humanity (through scenes, anecdotes, vignettes, that perfect quote)
- Color (through the well-chosen, telling details and broader description)
- Voice (oh, that indefinable imprint, that combination of all the others, that makes each of us unique as a writer, if only we could clear away the pomposity, the clutter, the bureaucratese).
And the last criterion for evaluation:
- How well does the story justify its existence? This should get you thinking about the context the story provides, not just in the form of the good-ol’ nut graf but in other forms. How well does the writer re-connect the specific facts to the broader issue?
Finally, don’t forget to look at the structure. What do you notice about how it’s put together?
See you tomorrow.