Fastwrite: What technique or assignment from Kenneth Goldsmith might you borrow or adapt in your own teaching? Your own writing?To what ends? As always, try to ground your writing in a specific passage from the text.
Moment of Zen
The Apotheosis of Uncreative Writing: David Shields on Stephen Colbert
Spend about 20 minutes per project. Authors should walk readers through their projects, with the aim of getting advice in response to specific questions.
Fastwrite: Write a quick draft of your cover memo for your first draft next Tuesday. Come up with a title for your project, a quick description of its form (and platform), a summary of your argument, and some questions you want to ask your readers.
First Drafts and Responses
- Tues, 4/29, 11:59 pm: Post your first draft with cover memo.
- Thurs, 5/01, 4:00 pm: Post responses to your group members’ drafts.
- Fri: 5/02, in class: Workshop first drafts.
Our current plan is to spend about half our class time next Friday sharing and thinking through “proto-drafts” of your digital essays.
We’ll work in groups of four. Each of you will have about 20 minutes to walk your readers through your essay as it now stands—notes, materials, plans aspirations—with the goal of getting some useful feedback as you put together your first “real” draft of your piece, which is due on Tues, 4/29, at 11:59 pm.
No advance posting or reading is required. But we agreed that each of you would come to class with something like:
- A one-page overview of your project (probably a Word document, and it is probably a good idea to bring print copies);
- Some version of the frame or format of your piece, however rough or tentative. That is, if you think you’ll end up presenting your work on a WordPress or Tumblr site (or Prezi, or iMovie, or whatever), create a mock-up of what your essay might actually look like.
- A list of the important texts or materials you’ll be working with. I suspect that , again, this might be most usefully formatted (for both you and your readers) as Word document, but I can imagine it taking other forms (links on a WordPress page, for instance).
- Anything else. Actual materials, notes, drafts, outlines, video clips, etc. I have found it useful, at the start of similar projects, to create folders labeled: Videos, Audios, Images, Texts, Notes. But you should create and work with whatever taxonomy makes most sense for you. One way or the other, though, you’ll want to be able to walk your readers through the “stuff” of your project and to describe what you hope to do with it.
This is, in one sense, a low-stakes assignment, since it will not be graded and, in fact, I may not even see it. But, in another sense, it’s a high-stakes moment, since this is the first time when you are being asked to move from idea (“I’m thinking about . . .”) to text (“Here’s what I’ve got so far. . “). Take advantage of this moment. My hunch is that doing so will help you formulate your first draft.