Prewriting Previews

Prewriting Previews

Prewriting is both freeing and frustracting. I enjoy it because it leaves you free to do what you want. You don’t need to connect paragraphs and thoughts. You can pick up at one place and then drop your thoughts and move on. You’re allowed to be chaotic. But that’s also frustrating because all of these ideas that are being generated, how are you supposed to connect them later on?

I’m a personal fan of just making bullet points or making a web of things that would like to be included and then just start writing. A lot of the prewriting that I do, I tend to do it mentally. I’ll add a couple words onto a list and then go back and expand them. After I’ve found all of the thoughts that I like, I’ll start to form a rough outline for how I want the story to progress. At this point, I’ve only just started to expand on my thoughts and haven’t formed an outline or deepened most of my thoughts on the topic.

This week’s literacy narrative sneak peaks:

1. Ever since I was little, I was making up stories in my head. Whether it was with my toys or with my mind alone, stories were always happening all around me.

When you’re young, creativity has no limit. The shapes in the clouds could become this epic tale of courage, or the ants on the ground could become the ones to save the earth. There’s no end to it. When you’re little, everything has a story and I always took the time to hear them all.

When I knew how to write, the stories started to come to life. Of course my diction was limited and unrefined. And most of my stories never got beyond the introduction or the first few pages. Writing takes time and determination.

The first serious story I attempted, only made it to about 40 pages in an old note book. The next big one was to 10,000 words on the computer. And now my newest record of 33,000 words.

Time and time again, I seem to come back to writing. I can’t escape it, there are stories that I want to have written down, to see the ending to. But the words always seem to run dry. How does one find the descriptions to what they see? A picture is worth a thousand words? How it that possible? There is only so much that can be said without making the piece dry and lifeless. There should be mystery left to what is seen.


2. I remember when the rules of writing were lifted. Ninth grade. In my opinion, that was the first teacher who really taught. He took the old rules and restrictions, and tossed them out the window. Of course, none of us fell easily. But he didn’t give up either. He would throw strategy after strategy at us until we didn’t know the rules anymore. And by the end of it, all of us were surprised that we hadn’t realized it long ago. Writing is a freeform sport. There are no rules and guidelines that have to be followed to make a moving piece. And no real writer ever actually bends to the 5 paragraph essays that they smother us with early on.

We are free to write how we please. Elementary, middle, and high school are unfortunate places that don’t cultivate writing more. For the first few years as writers, they force us into molds and chip away at anything that falls outside of it. We write to please an audience instead of ourselves. Words are meaningless unless they have conviction. But how did we ever have conviction before we were allowed to be free?

One thought on “Prewriting Previews

  1. Thanks for the peeks into your evolving literacy narrative. It looks like there are some themes emerging. I’ll be interested to see how they come together.

    Can you also add some reflection on your view of prewriting to give us a glimpse into your writing process? How is prewriting going? Which strategies seem to work best for you? Which don’t you like? What do you value about prewriting? What’s frustrating or rewarding about it?

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