Justin Wilcher – Skankhunt42
Journey log 3
Habits of Mind being Used: Planning and Replanning, Arguing
This week I dove into my second raid, doing preliminary research on my villain. After learning more about the importance of research and planning before writing I decided to write this raid a little differently. I started off by asking myself, “What do I need to know?” So I sat down and brainstormed the best descriptive, juicy villain adjectives could think of and I came up with Power, Persuasiveness, Decisiveness, and Intimidation. From here I had four different roads to travel down and left my options very open from this point on. Next up in my planning was to just sit down and watch House of Cards and jot down notes that would connect his actions to those four characteristics I listed. Some actions observed would draw me to two or three different characteristics, this is where the four roads intertwined. Like this DC metro map,
This was a reoccurring theme, for example I would tend to find situations where Frank Underwood may have used his power to persuade or intimidate someone. I made sure to make it clear in my writing when this occurred. At that time of doing so I still had not written anything yet, a method very new to me in writing. “An outline shows you where you plan to go and keeps you on track so you don’t get lost in the thicket of irrelevant details.” When I read that sentence from the Planning and Replanning Habits of the creative mind PDF, I instantly connected that to my experience with my planning. My outline is very similar to the one of Rebecca Skloot, who made a road map using three different colored note cards that represented each story line. She then laid them out and saw how the three story lines jumped around but also connected with each other.
This is almost the same exact thing that I did but instead of the three story lines I had my four characteristics. This method helped me stay focus on the important details and not just ramble on about the little things that were happening in the show, which was especially important when I had a maximum word count of 800 words. Now usually I am the one to only look at the minimum word count and not the maximum because I don’t ever dream to even write that much, but when I started writing this raid I had so much information in front of me I actually found myself having to delete the least relevant thoughts.
After reading the Arguing habits of mind PDF and about how Kolbert really dives into her research before actually creating an argument in her writing inspired me to become a different type of writer. My whole life I learned to pick a side and argue that side with facts within the writing, but I learned there is a different and better way to do it. Most writers, like Kolbert, actually experience their argument before making one. For example, the PDF talked about how she visits an Alaskan Village, Shishmaref, where global warming has made a lasting and devastating impact on the community. With my raid I feel that I could have dove into my research a little more before actually making an argument. By presenting and laying out all the facts in front of me and to the audience of my paper, the argument can start to formulate itself.
All in all, this week really changed me as a writer. Especially with the pre-writing stages of Planning and researching my argument. I have never before looked so in depth to my outline like I did with this and It made it so much easier to write freely without breaking thought or going off track.