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The Rule of Write About a Pebble

January 21, 2011

R2B; W2D

"Say it, no ideas but in things."

--William Carlos Williams

"Pebbles"

(first draft) Nathan Bonyun A minniral a rock a quiet inocent little thing that comes in all shapes and sizes. that you find on the beach outdoors or on your floor You think it's just another ordinary thing but if you think hard it's something thats special. Where would all the beaches, sand, and gravel driveways be if it werent for that one tiny quiet inocent ordinary pebble.

Nathan said he decided to write about pebbles because "pebbles and blades of grass and small things we don't think much about and take for granted are neat." The problem with this draft is that a reader isn't convinced that each pebble is important, that each small thing matters, because we can't see or hear or feel these pebbles. Why write about this? No concrete details bring pebbles to life. The meaning that Nathan intends isn't there. Nathan went outside, got a pebble from the gravel drive, brought it back inside and observed it with his senses, then wrote about these observations. His final copy demonstrates his revisions with attention to detail that is observable, sensory, and specific.

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The Rule of Write About a Pebble

"Pebble" --Final Copy

Nathan Bonyun

Now I'm not talking about any pebble-- this one I mean-- that's polygon-shaped and has a rough yet gentle surface, that I can roll around in my palm, that I can throw up in midair and catch in my hand, the one that dropped on the table makes a click, rattle,

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click, that's so light I can balance it on my thumb. Now, I hope I'm not asking too much but can you look closely, like I did at this pebble, then find your own special thing in the world?

The Rule of Write About A Pebble

Don't write about a general idea or topic; write about a specific, observable person, place, occasion, time, object, animal, or experience. Its essence will lie in the sensory images the writer evokes: observed details of sight, sound, smell, touch, taste; and strong verbs that bring the details to life.

Don't write about ______________. Write about A _________________.

(pebbles) (pebble)

Don't write about fall. Write about this fall day. Go to the window; go outside. Don't write about sunsets. Write about the amazing sunset you saw last night. Don't write about dogs or kittens. Observe and write about your dog, your kitten. Don't write about friendship. Write about your friend, about what he or she does or has done to be a good friend to you. Don't write about love. Write specifically about someone or something you love: these are the greatest love poems. Don't write about sailing. Remember and write about a time you went sailing. Don't write about babies. Write about your baby sister, your baby cousin. Don't write about reading. Write about your experience reading one book. Don't write about pumpkins. Write about the pumpkin you carved last night, the pumpkin you grew from seeds, your family's jack-o'-lantern that the high school boys smashed on the road.

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