Re-write

Re-write:

For my re-write I have chosen to discuss feminism as the main theme of my storyline. I have decided to tie in a feminist poet, based heavily on Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton combined, to a ‘1984’ type society, in which the writer is constantly watched as a form of oppressing women.
For those that may not be aware of George Orwell’s ‘1984’, it is the story of the government’s (known as ‘Big Brother’) extreme power and control over civilians by constant reminders and posters that ‘Big Brother is watching you!’ and spying cameras installed in to everyone’s homes. Every member of society is expected to be the same and lead very similar and plain lives. The main character is then able to find a corner in his home which can not be watched by the government and begins writing of his thoughts on the topic of extreme control over society.
In my re-write, the control over society is limited to women and what is expected of them on a daily basis.
The main character finds herself having to submit to Big Brother’s sexist views, while keeping a diary of her thoughts, feelings, views and poetry.
Both, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, have written about the struggles of being a woman in their time and dealt with depression and suicidal tendencies, particularly over being treated as a mentally ill patient.
The re-write will be written in first person, as though it is the main character’s diary entries, and will also include scenarios which are based around Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton’s poetry, therefore I will also be including poems which they have actually written in order to give some truth to the storyline and to back up some of my ideas within the re-write.
I have decided to write about feminism and sexism as I am strongly for equality and my decision to merge Sylvia Plath/Anne Sexton’s poetry with a new take on ‘1984’ combines both of my interests regarding inequality and the government’s heavy power over society, even today in 2014.

Final Product: Comparing First and Last Chapters and Week 12

*Please Note: My reflection for Week 12 is under the ‘Reflections’ tab and I talk about and compare the first post I had written (Week 7’s post) to the final product (below) and what I have learned throughout this assignment. I discuss the difficulties I had faced and compare the skills I had used in order to complete these chapters*

 

JUNE:

I leaned over the grey prison table and whispered in to Marie’s ear,

“Marie, I’m going to die. We’ve decided.”

“What do you mean you’ve decided to die?”, The shock had set in quite quickly.

“She and I, we can’t be. Together or alone. Neither one of us can make it in this world with the other in it. You understand, don’t you?”, I smiled.

She cried; Jennifer sat up and crossed her arms. She threatened; I wondered when dinner was being served. She begged; Jennifer and I watched in silence. There’s nothing she or anyone could do about it. I am just as ill as my sister and more. Jennifer is weak but I am weaker. I couldn’t believe Marie didn’t understand this. Visiting time was finally over and the bells rang while Marie was escorted out by a prison guard. Jennifer and I were given our daily medications before each making our way back to our cells. The next few weeks went by in a cloudy haze. It’s funny how one tiny white pill can put you in such a zombie-like state to the extent of having no motivation for the one thing you love.

JENNIFER:

The 10th of March, 1993. That is the day that my one and only torment will die and I will be set free. That is the day that I will prove my dominance over her and she will fall back to the corner of my new-found mind, letting me live in peace. We’ve not yet decided how to go about this but I’m already counting the months, the days, the hours until I am set free from her shackles and can have my own life. I’m absolutely terrified of living without her and having to dive head-first in to the society that had abandoned us all these years but it’s for the best. I feel as though I am permanently at a cross-roads, having to share what is and isn’t mine all at the same time; I only half-belong somewhere. I’m only half-heard. I’m only half a person. The only constant? I’ll always be half a twin.

The passed few weeks have gone by quickly and neither June or I have written any note-worthy stories. I have been a shell and lived for nothing else but air. My dreams are on the other side of the prison bars and my brain has been covered in zombie-batter and fried until it can’t think anymore. June did this to me just as much as I did this to her and we should both pay.

JUNE:

Today is the day we leave this worn-down fish tank of a prison and are transferred to a psychiatric ward. I’ve never seen mother cry so much than when she visited us this morning. Marie told her what I had said and it is still a mystery to me how neither one of them could understand why I would sacrifice myself for Jennifer. Mother kept praying to Jesus for help us as she sobbed and Jennifer and I looked at each other in confusion. Jesus had turned a deaf ear all of those times she had prayed for us before so what made her think he would miraculously listen today? Honestly, sometimes I wonder why we are the ones being committed in to a psych ward.

 

*Week 7 Post: Rough (beginning of first) Draft*

DISCLAIMER: This post has been re-posted on my homepage due to comments made by other students

 

JENNIFER:
whenever i look in to a mirror, i don’t see my face, i see hers. Whenever I try my best to catch a glimpse of my self, the glimpse doesn’t last for longer than a few seconds. we are one and we will always be whether either one of us likes it or not. sometimes, when i try hard enough, i swear i can even read her mind and i worry that she can read mine too.
june and i dont talk to the outside world because we have each other and that’s enough- the alienation drives mother crazy, of course, but that’s just the way it has to be. no one understands me and even as i look at my sister sitting across from me, typing away on her type-writer, i know she feels the same.

School starts in an hour. June and I always find it difficult to pull ourselves away from our type-writers but the last time we cut class to sit at the park and write in our notebooks the Educational Welfare Services summoned mother to court in order to explain our many absences before a judge. Who knew that mother’s plump face could ever turn so red?

JUNE:
Lunchtime is supposed to be just about the only good thing worth attending school for but Jennifer and I have learned to keep our heads down, away from any of the white folk. Sometimes this plan fails miserably-like today.
“Hey you two blackies!”, an overweight boy with freckles and bad teeth called out to us.
“Why don’t you go back to your own country. We don’t want you here. Go back to Africa”.
Wrong. It’s Somalia, but neither Jennifer nor I dared to correct him.
“Yeah!”, Lisa Todd, an unattractive girl stuffing her mouth with a sandwich, chimed in.
“Oh hey, I have some clothes that need to be washed. Why don’t you make yourself useful like all of the blackies before you”, she continued the taunting.
Mrs. Goodwin watched, with her arms folded and a slight grin on her face in amusement. Although she had racism running through her veins, she has always treated us better than the other teachers and is probably my favorite, if ever I had to choose.
Jennifer grabbed my arm and we scurried across the tennis court and out of sight.

We found an empty corner in the school library and sat in silence. Jennifer pulled a blowtorch out from her school bag and the glassy look in her wide eyes made me feel safe.
“If anything happens to one of us then the other has to live a normal life. Merge in to society and live the way everyone else does”, she promised and I agreed.
“Let’s do it. Let’s make ’em pay”.

JENNIFER:
June may as well have begged me to put the blowtorch in my school bag. She wants revenge and I play along because I know those people deserve what’s coming to them.
We discreetly stuffed an undone roll of toilet paper in Lisa Todd’s fuchsia coloured school bag that hung on a hook in the corridor and set it on fire.
I grabbed June’s arm and we hid behind the corner of a wall as the smoke began to rise from the growing flames. The smoke alarms rang loudly and we watched in laughter as teachers attempted to calm the hysterical students.
“My bag! My bag! How did this happen?”, Lisa Todd screeched.

Short Novel- ‘Twinsanity: Her, Not Me’ Synopsis

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Synopsis:

Based on the true story of criminal twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons, ‘Twinsanity: Her, Not Me’ is about two mute girls growing up in 1960′s Britain with a passion for living in the fantasy worlds they’ve created in their own imaginative heads and writing about it all in their journals. The Gibbons sisters, shunned at school due to their African-American race, become socially withdrawn- only ever trusting and talking to their older sister, Marie. Never known to separate, June and Jennifer feel as though they are living in each others shadows without really ever having their own personalities and soon begin to act out by committing crimes. Marie witnesses a particularly dangerous outburst and writes about it in her diary, however, worrying for her twin sisters’ safety in an already racist society, she keeps her feelings to herself in an attempt to protect them. All three sisters keep diaries to share their point of views and for June and Jennifer, this proves to be more of a curse than a blessing. Their downward spiral to insanity leads them on a path to mental institutes, drug-induced hazes and eventual self-destruction. Together they are one- but for how long?

 

(Photo Credit: http://www.thelowry.com/event/speechless)

Brief 2: Weekly Plan

Week 7: Write a draft of the story (without planning) in order to compare first and final drafts by the end of week 12 using the rules and suggestions I have learned through the guideline web-sites.

 

Week 8: Look back at the first draft and see what needs improvement. Think about storyline more thoroughly, re-planning and including details or detailed situations about the characters.

Read more in to the real people that these characters are based on (June and Jennifer Gibbons) for guidance on their troubled lives.

Refer to http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/features/silent-twins-trapped-by-a-destructive-bond-that-was-broken-only-by-death-1-3880669

Week 9:

Develop characters personalities (mental problems?) more thoroughly through their personal diary entries. Refer to Chapter 6 in Ellen Hopkins’ ‘Impulse’ for imagery used to portray troubled personalities in the first person.

Refer to http://www.the-writers-craft.com/first-person-point-of-view.html  and http://thestorydepartment.com/dual-protagonists/  on involving all main characters equally in the storyline.on general tips and rules given by author.

Week 10: Include more detail regarding the main conflict in storyline, keeping in mind the entire story should have even minor drama from beginning to finish.

Refer to http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/multiple-lead-characters.html for tips on multiple characters and keeping their strong roles throughout the storyline.

Week 11: Edit: adding or changing final draft. Refer to Ellen Hopkins’ ‘Identical’ chapter 19 on intertwining multiple characters’ story-lines together.

Refer to http://www.novel-writing-help.com/multiple-viewpoint-novel.html for any additional tips that can help strengthen the character’s main purpose of telling their story.

Refer to http://www.justaboutwrite.com/A_Archive_WeavingSubplotsintoYourNovel.html for enhancing and weaving together dramatic scenarios within the story-line.

Week 12: Compare: reflect on the comparison between first and final drafts through what has been learned via guideline websites and Ellen Hokpins’ novels.

 

Side-Note:

I will also be  posting on an ongoing basis as part of my Reflective Practice, referring to Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle for advice.

 

Brief 2: Proposal Through Q & A

What skills do I want to learn/develop/enhance?

I would like to focus my attention for Brief 2 on writing a story from more than one main character/perspective and in first person. I have always found myself to stick to one main character from a narrator’s point of view, therefore abandoning the other potential perspectives in a storyline so I intend on challenging myself in developing these two skills.

Why?

I am currently studying Creative Writing as my major and have found that in order to advance in writing screenplays, I need to learn to see multiple points of views and perspectives and not just write for one main character. I feel that in order to better this skill, I will also learn to be more creative when it comes to linking characters in a storyline, eg. in Ellen Hopkins’ ‘Identical’, readers are able to read from two girls’ points of views and therefore seeing certain situations through more than just one character’s perspective. I am taking this brief as an opportunity to learn a skill of my choosing in order to help me with my major.

What skill-development tasks will I undertake in order to accomplish this? 

I intend on writing my story in different forms (‘diary mode’ and third person perspectives) in order to strengthen my character-building skills. This will allow me to not only put myself in the character’s shoes, but to also include actions and emotions that I could use when writing in first-person, (eg. ‘She furiously pulled out her gun as the fear began to set in’ vs. ‘He scared me so I pushed the gun to his head’. The first example portrays a reaction mixed with emotions in a clearer manner and is told by a general narrator with no particular stance on the incident, whereas the second example is a rushed telling of events from only the one character’s point of view).

What web-based resources will I use?

I will be using multiple websites not only to help guide my story, but to also help keep me motivated on a weekly basis (particularly if I feel that I am leaning towards writing from one perspective again). These include:

These websites each have very interesting takes on writing from more than one main character’s perspective and also offer great advice that I feel I can use to the best of my advantage for this brief.

How will I evaluate my progress each week in order to reflect on it?

I will refer to my weekly plan, which involves re-writing certain parts of my story in different ‘modes’ (eg. diary or narrative and third person), and compare what I have written to the rules and suggestions stated in my guideline web-sites (see above for list of guideline websites). Each website will focus on the goal that I have planned for that week as there are many suggestions that I can apply to my work.

Do I have a framework in mind on which to base reflections?

I will be comparing my work to specific chapters from two novels written by Ellen Hopkins, ‘Identical’ and ‘Impulse’. Both of these novels are written in first person and therefore make it easier for me to compare them to what I have written. What I feel also helps my comparison of these novels to my work is that the story-lines all revolve around troubled and harm-inflicting individuals, therefore hopefully helping me intertwine the lives of my characters more thoroughly.

Will the project involve enough ongoing work for me to reflect on each week?

I believe that the project that i have chosen for Brief 2 will provide enough work for me to reflect on each week, particularly as my intentions are to write a mini-novel/fake recounting of actual events. Although some weeks may be a bit slow when I am to edit or write a plan for the story, I believe that most of the weeks will take up much of my time and patience, especially whilst comparing my work to other writers.