One buggaboo that boggles me is how to really explain to budding authors why it’s not stylistically adroit by ending any piece of writing with a statement such as “this is my story about and I hope you liked it” or “this is my paragraph assignment for today.” Yes, I do this, yes, I teach many lessons, model, set examples, etc., but why is this not an innate act? Perhaps that’s my real question: why do we communicate so differently, so awkardly, while we’re learning the craft of writing, than from our conversational tone?
Analyzing the act of writing itself perhaps provides an answer: young writers are disconnected from the flow of language, from the symbolic noise of speech to text in print (and I mean any type of “print” – digital or cellular). No one has ever lifted up the veil to show them that writing is talking…the toddler sitting on a mother’s lap, having “Itsy Bitsy Spider” meeting its tenacious but tenuous hold in a water pipe, or little piggies that must be counted to and from market, or other rhythmic, melodic speech patterns that exist in all languages and cultures, learns how to connect with humans in a most fundamental and sublime way. Those little piggies sure do work hard and create loving bonds as they wee-wee-wee all the way home.
So, I tried an experiment today: a mini-lesson that took all of five minutes, so it was truly a mini-lesson. Bite-sized. I explained to students that first, do not write those types of endings. Don’t. Sorry. Gotta give it up for style sometimes, folks. (I can forgive white shoes after Labor Day, but a girl’s got her limits!) I shared with students my insight into the development of language, and I pantomimed a phone call with my husband:
“Hey, sweetie, would you please unload the dishwasher? Oh, and thank you for listening to my phone conversation. The end!”
Or ending a text message: “Thank you for reading my text message. This text message was about this story. Then End! 3>!!!!LOLZ”
As a writer, we are in our moment, our thoughts, and we want to bring our readers there, too. Being intentional –do we choose obscurity, pop the bubble, or scratch the needle, or invite our readers in, is up to us. I guess I just want my students to experience that level of control in their voice.
Dear Readers, you may disagree with this blog posting and my stringent view of this stylistic misstep. This is my blog posting. Thank you for reading it. I hope you liked it. THE END!!!!
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