Memories to Words

Miriam Carr

This portfolio is...

Due: Wednesday, June 1st

In: Creative Writing

For: Penley

Table of Contents

  1. Journal Entries
  2. Writer's Observations
  3. StorySLAM
  4. Poetry
  5. Flash Fiction
  6. Short Story
  7. Screenplay
  8. Extra Piece
  9. Revision of "More Than Just A Fling"
  10. Course Reflection

Journal Entries

Grounder - 02/23/16

The Garden Patch

Let it be known that I, unaware and only with the best intentions in mind, apologize now for the pain I surely caused

When you stepped outside and saw the tracks of thirty spiked feet in your prize garden patch

Where you raised cucumbers and dill, pumpkins and melons, huge beets and exceptional radishes, all pruned and pampered in their beds of dark soil , the joys of your life now reduced to chunks and seeds and tattered leaves

that were ripped by the spikes of our running shoes, my herd of trainees barreling through, and destroying your garden haven

that for which you'll surely seek revenge

which is why

I will simply drop this letter off at your door

Goodbye, goodbye

Grounder - 03/09/16

The moon has always called to me, and it called to him too. We stand together in the white light of a full moon. When he changes, I feel the tears come. In a moment he's gone, and our days of hunting are over.

- Flash Fiction, "The Calling"

Grounder - 03/10/16

He should have never let her into the apartment. The way she first came in, so calm and collected, deceived him.

"He's gone." She said.

And then the tears came, but they had quickly turned into kisses. And now, lying there, the girl he loved in his arms, he felt the guilt. It was only because of that desperate fire that led them to something only he dreamed of. There's nothing worse than being the back-up, the rebound.

- Flash Fiction, "One Open Door..."

Grounder - 03/18/16

The Old Golf Cart

I will always remember that party. I will always remember the warm summer air, making us glad to be outside. In fact, I don't think I ever stepped inside the house. The lawn was emerald green and invitingly smooth. We rode the grassy hills in our ambush vehicle, throwing water balloons out of the back and fighting for a turn to drive. The steering was easy, and the ride was fast and exhilarating.

Her parents had frowned at us, but we didn't care. We were a force to be reckoned with, a group of girls shrieking and laughing in the back of the cart, the chosen driver gleefully careening over hills, down the driveway, around the house, and back across the grassy expanse.

Grounder - 04/18/16

They all come rushing back now. My mother's burning eyes, my scarred arms, the heat of his body on that hot summer day. The memories, so long silent, scream in my ears; the clamor in my head is almost unbearable.

I reach for the bathroom door.

A kiss behind a tree. Another boy trembles under my fingers as the theater lights dim. A lump on my head from the biting flies, ducking into the water to escape.

Escape. Yes. That's what I'm looking for.

The memories flash by, so vivid and loud. Sunday morning service; football all afternoon; my grandparents' smiles. They are both consecutive and jumbled. Five year old me to fourteen year old me.

I gasp for air, scrabbling through the cabinets. I need to sleep...

The memories that once were quiet, speak to me now.

Writer's Observations

Water streaming down the window high above the teacher's desk.

  • Wednesday, February 3rd; 2:41 pm
  • Ms. Connor's English classroom.
  • I was distracted from my book by the sound of trickling water, and looked up to see that the rain outside had created a cascade of clear water that streamed down the glass window in a fascinating and soothing way.
Big image

My mom's little dog directly in front of my car as I pull in the driveway.

  • Tuesday, February 9th; 6:10 pm
  • My house, in our short, broad driveway.
  • I was not afraid of hitting the naughty little terrier mix, who should not have been wandering around the front of the house. However, his little form, ears perked up, chubby body wiggling as he barked at the on-coming truck, was so cute and such an unexpected sight.

*No harm came to him.

The sound of a plane flying overhead.

  • Wednesday, February 17th; 8:22 pm
  • My room
  • I was sitting in bed when I heard the plane, its low, steady drone passing over my house. When I go outside, I often see planes (varying types) flying overhead.

The softness of the tiny puppy's fur.

  • Tuesday, March 15th; 5:46 pm
  • The parking lot by the soccer fields.
  • One of my friends was getting picked up, and his mom brought a litter of puppies, only a few weeks old. I got to hold one, and it was the cutest, most velvety little thing. I was in love.

The swaying of the trees and the roar of the wind.

  • Thursday, May 5th; 3:06 pm
  • The trampoline in my yard
  • From the trampoline I was laying on, I looked up into the trees above me and watched them lean and sway, the leaves rustling, as if caught in a vacuum. The wind was loud and strong.


My First Movie

I have always enjoyed watching movies with my family, and learned to appreciate well-made movies from a young age. My dad in particular would watch movies with my sister and I when we spent time together, and would point out different aspects of it. Characters, dialogue, setting, and plot were all things he would comment on. I picked up on what he thought made a good movie, as well as formed my own opinion about which movies featured the best cast, which part of the dialogue was written well, and which actors were the most talented in their roles. Because of this early interest, I grew up very inspired by the many movies I watched with my family as well as with friends. I appreciated the work put into making truly great movies, and still do to this day, which is what inspires me to work in the movie industry. Though a job in movie making was far off, as a twelve year old, I still wanted to have practice. I was able to get iMovie on our desktop computer, and was excited to start making my own short films.

The things I created on this program were mostly experimental. They included a movie that was entirely composed of pictures of lego people that, when put together, created a motion picture of the lego characters’ adventures. I also used my beloved blue Canon camera to record videos of my sisters, transfer this onto the computer, and edit the video to create a dramatic piece featuring the two of them in capes, running in slow motion across the snowy backyard to the intense accompaniment of “Requiem for a Tower”. I had a lot of fun making these little snippets of film, and was eager to make a real short film. For this, I decided, I needed more actors and a real plot.

So began the new project, which featured my sisters, a close friend (our neighbor), and my dog as the actors and myself as the director/producer. We didn’t have a script, as I had decided that requiring memorized lines was asking too much of my “cast”. But several scenes required certain lines to be said, so we just practiced together and recorded the scenes multiple times until we got the right one. The weeks we spent on our film (every part of which we were all exceptionally proud of) were filled with running over to my neighbor’s house, redoing scenes, picking costumes, and deciding on what should come next in the story. The plot was simple: my two sisters played students at a school of magic and, while on a walk one day, were attacked by a mysterious assassin. They discover that their attacker is actually an old friend, who has had a chip attached to her neck (controlling her). After freeing her, they set out on a quest to discover who had captured their friend and tried to assassinate them. As previously mentioned, my dog played a role in this story, “acting” as the monster following the three girls. We all spent a quite a while on this project, and every scene we filmed I then uploaded onto iMovie and edited it, cutting scenes and adding music and slow motion for effect. We did have some difficulties though. One of my sisters, the older one who was ten or eleven at the time, was very stubborn and sometimes refused to participate. With so few actors already, this stressed me out, as we couldn’t continue without her. She also fought with our younger sister, who was seven. Ani was always happy to be included in whatever we did and, looking back now, I feel bad that she had to try so hard just to be a part of our project. This was in part because of my other sister, who was always looking for something to get on her case for. However, despite the occasional fights that occurred among my cast, this new obsession of ours had actually helped us get along better, compared to all the other times we played as a group. The focus required to film our work, along with the fun we had doing it, kept our group from suffering any major conflicts.

This was my first experience making movies, and looking back on it now, I really feel sure that that kind of thing is what I want to do with my life. To be kept busy with something that I truly enjoy and to feel the pride that comes with putting all my efforts (filming, editing, working with others, and critiquing) together is very rewarding. I want to get back into using iMovie to make short films, and I hope I get the time and equipment to do so again.


Anti-Love Poem

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Just wanted to say

I should tell you the truth

I never thought

Nor did I care

About all your problems

So quit trying to share

All your bad days

All of your strife

On this Valentine's Day

Get out of my life

Big image

Any Reasonable Offer

Once the struggle of a career

In homes, homeowners, commission

To sell and collect

But now he forgets

As he wanders from one house to next

How did he come to this?

Once a working man

Now reduced to a con

It began on a day

He met a couple they say

Vacationed in mansions with not a cent paid

Oh they fooled him and his client

He lost everything then

His client had fired

No pay he acquired

Then he was, by the conman, inspired

Woman on a Cliff

Brought to the heights she's at today

Her own determination

Months of training pave the way

She finds her motivation

Now as she clings to the rocks above

Around her only clouds

Feeling triumph, doing what she loves

She shouts her victory loud


Murmur what’s monotonous

Meddle in what’s not

Muster courage for the leap

Mysterious and hot

Making music, love, revenge

Murder thoughts unkind

Mustard burns and stings the tongue
Misery, the mind

Love the Unknown

Loving how you feel

Feel what you can’t see

The mystery is why

You still stay with me

If you knew what you touched

Why touch it at all?

Love starts out unsure

Why it’s called a fall

But if you never leap

Never bridge the gap

You hide from the unknown

Your heart is it’s own trap

Visualize the art

That’s every part of life

A painting of your hopes

A montage of your strife

The artist often knows

To let their mind go free

But you’re my greatest piece

Don’t let go of me

Flash Fiction

The End

The end. Two words that mean that a story has come to a close, that something has suddenly ceased to exist, that nothing will come after. Their story had indeed ended, their closeness now ceased to exist.

Last night plays again in her mind. The gold lights illuminating the room, the racing of her heart, and the love of her life holding her close. The happiness she felt at that moment had blinded her, before the cold light arrived and destroyed the darkness and warmth.

“This is the last time we will have a moment to ourselves”, she had said this morning.


The emptiness she feels now frustrates her, because she knows that she has escaped something toxic. “I hope it hurts”, he had said. She should be glad that it ended abruptly. But how can she be glad that a year together ended like it was a one-night stand? She thinks of the future. The jealousy that is sure to come when he finds someone new. The fear of what waits for her at home if they had indeed been caught. He will never be welcome back again.

She walks down the hallway, each step bringing her closer to him. There he is, at the table that will lead him only to a room full of smoke, empty pockets, and a girl who will never treat him right. His eyes are on the slick-haired boy in front of him, but they soon find her. Leaning against the wall, she makes eye contact. Holding it takes an enormous amount of effort, but she will not be the first to look away. If she looks away, she is losing him forever. If he looks away, it will be her victory. He looks down; she breathes.

Last Night

The sun’s last orange light illuminates the uniform-clad girls standing on the grassy expanse. The game is intense, a victory. On the bus ride home, everyone is happy. My mouth stings from the candy I’ve been eating, the sour coating has cut into my tongue. The heating vent is right below me, and burns my legs. Suddenly, I smell something strange. A strong odor washes over me, making me dizzy. Black out. I wake up in bed, the hint of that smell still in my nose. Rolling over, I see a bowl of rice with soy sauce. The satisfying, salty tang of the soy sauce finally erases the dream smell of soapy cologne. After I eat, I fall asleep again. The next time I wake up, blood is trickling down my nose and back down my throat. Choking, my hand flies to my face to catch the stream. Not again.

Short Story

Out of the Cage, Into the Fire

Ding. She wakes to the soft sound of the dinner bell, and rolls over to see her “dinner” slide in through the flap and clatter to the floor. Normally, someone brings it in. However, Francis, her caretaker, has been afraid to come into her room. Maybe it’s the burn marks, she thinks, the ugly scars left on her chest, arms, legs, and the left side of her face. Maybe he’s disgusted by them. A more likely reason for her caretaker’s absence is the way she snapped at him the other day. A shy, sweet man, Francis had been nervous around Penelope from the start. Now that she’s lashed out at him, she doubts he’ll have the courage to return for a while.

Penelope sighs. She considers staring at the ceiling for another five or six hours, or else taking a nap. Her routine of doing nothing in her cell used to drive her crazy, but she’s gotten used to it now. No, it’s time, she thinks tiredly. After the injections of some strange, painful liquid, the fight with her fellow prisoner, and the resultant burns, she didn’t have the strength to repair the damage herself. But she feels better now, and rolls out of bed, crossing to the mirror above her dresser. She looks hard at her reflection, the tight, hot sensation spreads through her body. A sigh of relief escapes her lips as her burns heal with a pleasant cooling feeling. All the bruises on her arms disappear as well. Hungry now, she picks up the tray and returns to her bed.

“Ah, there she goes.” Dr. Cam watches the screen, on which he can see Penelope as she heals herself then returns to her bed to eat. He has been waiting for her to do it ever since the last testing session. He had begun to worry when all she did was lay in bed, surely in pain, refusing food. The camera in her room shuts off.

“Get the boy ready,” he tells Jamina, another caretaker, “I want Penelope to push him harder this time.”

Penelope dreams that night. But this time is different, for somewhere in the compound, someone else is dreaming too. In the dream, she stands alone outside, a cool breeze raising goosebumps on her arms. Flames appear in the sky above her, blocking out the stars and illuminating the grassy field as they come closer. She blinks, and he’s there. Strawberry blonde and tall, the boy with fire in his fists frowns at her. Of course they’ve met before. She can see the bruises and cuts on his bare chest where she had attacked him.

“You’re… fine,” he says, still frowning.

Penelope laughs. “You sound disappointed. Were you expecting me to look broken? Proof that you beat me?”

He looks a little apologetic. Now Penelope frowns. This boy is very different than the fierce, raging animal that had been so ready to kill her days before.

“I’m surprised, is all. I suppose they fixed you up. You’re their favorite, after all.” He says it coolly, yet Penelope detects a wounded undertone.

“I did this myself,” she tells him, “another one of my talents.”

He laughs. “And those you certainly have.” His eyes drop from hers, and Penelope can feel their gaze, looking her over, taking in the lack of scars and blemishes. She has the uncomfortable feeling that it isn’t the only thing he’s talking about.

“If I didn’t have them, your fire would’ve finished m--” Penelope begins.

“The part where you grew scales did not look so natural however,” the boy interjects, “did it hurt when they pumped that into your blood?” He asks, eyes back on hers, a twisted smile on his face.

Penelope feels a chill at this, as she remembers the straps, the bright light, the terrible, burning pain that came from her very blood running its natural course through her body. “I’m sure they did the same to you, hot shot,” she spits back, nodding at the flames that flicker around his profile.

“Actually, no, just like you being a walking first aid kit, I was born with this. You know all those superhero movies, where they all hide their identities? I used to think it was so stupid… Obviously I know better now.” He frowns, turning from her. “It didn’t take them long, after my first mistake. Bonfire party in highschool, how could I not show off? A week later, these crackheads drag me out of bed and off to their “secret base”. Dr. Cambek, aka our kidnapper, is the first person on my list after I get out.”

Penelope shakes her head. “You’re not getting out. We both know how hard it is to even get past our own doors. I’m sure you’ve tried just as much as I hav--.”

“You don’t understand,” he interrupts, turning back towards her, his face eager and triumphant. “Our strength, the fact that our dreams have joined like this, we’re very different than the crying kids that arrived here years ago.”

Penelope can see the freckles across his nose. That’s how close his passionate speech has brought him. He stands facing her, breathing hard, and she can feel the heat of his skin, a heat that is greater than a normal human would give off.

“After, I get out,” he says, quieter now. “Things will be different. I’ll have no one. I can’t go back to my family, and I can’t live anywhere they will be able to find me again. No one I know will have experienced what I have, the years of being a prisoner, discovering the powers I have. No one, except for you.”

Penelope feels a shudder pass through her. “Surprising, I would’ve thought you’d want to wing it on your own,” she says, hoping he won’t notice her nervousness.

“Come with me. They won’t be able to take both of us combined, and when we get out, two minds will be better than one.”

Thinking about it, Penelope is tempted. How long has she dreamed of escaping the stone walls of her room? Of seeing the sun again? Oh how she missed the taste of real food too. Her years here have nearly destroyed her memories of the delicate tartness of her dad’s Key Lime pie. And then there were the dreaded visits with Dr. Cam. The continuous testing, particularly of her healing abilities, may not have left physical scars, but certainly mental ones. So now, facing this boy, who has known what she has known, felt what she has, she is tempted. “Tell me what you’ve planned.”

Penelope lays in bed, absently twirling a plastic spoon between her fingers. Tomorrow, she faces another dogfight with her fellow prisoner. “A test of their strengths”, as Francis once told her. She’s been thinking, planning moves, envisioning doors, and finally, finally, stepping out into the sunlight once more. But the brilliant vision is wiped from her mind as a tingling sensation begins in her fingernails and mouth.

“WHAT THE--.” His shout echoes through the arena. Rick stares in horror at the monster in front of him.

This thing shows barely any resemblance to his memory of the pale, dark-eyed young woman from his dream. Her auburn hair still whips with every turn of her head, but the head to which it is attached is now more reptile than girl. The eyes are slits on the sides of a scaly snout, which opens to reveal slim fangs. She moves on all fours like a lizard, her torso faintly woman-like, with shortened limbs ending in curved claws. Rick uses his heat waves to carry him up, away from this terrifying sight. He feels a lump in his throat, watching this girl, who had been fierce and beautiful last time they had met in the arena, when her powers had been limited to a scaly armor that appeared only when his flames struck her. Now, she lunges for him as if driven by an animal instinct to defend itself. He knows what has caused this. Their captors have experimented on her further, and had also given her the same thing they gave him before their last fight. Drinking it drove him into an uncontrollable rage, the same anger that now possesses the girl.

Rick knows his plan won’t work. He’ll have to come up with something else. He floats lower, closer to the hideous creature pacing below him. Warmth fills his body, an almost electric current coursing through his limbs. He sends two fireballs racing towards the floor of the arena. The reptilian beast dodges the first one, but is caught by Rick’s second shot directly in the side. The resulting scream is chilling. It is the scream of a girl coming out of the mouth of a monster. The thing then leaps into the air with lightning speed, digging its claws into his body. Their combined weight drags him down. The girl is on top of him now, and he can feel the blood leaking from his torso as her claws dig deeper. The pain clouds his vision, and his survival instinct kicks in. He lights his entire body on fire, clenching his jaw and concentrating as hard as he can. She leaps off, shrieking in pain, her underbelly and feet smoking slightly. Then, she begins to change.

Penelope is lost in a haze of smoke. She can feel it in her lungs, in her skin. Her eyes fly open as she gasps for air. A shadow appears above her, and she starts, fear flooding through her. The boy from her dream leans over her.

“Are you okay?” He asks, tentatively.

Penelope opens her mouth, but only a feeble noise comes out. She does hold up a hand though, and, getting the message, the boy lifts her up onto her feet. She looks down at her body, which has returned to its normal, human form. She can barely remember what happened, except that all her thoughts had been scooped out of her mind the moment she drank that bitter liquid before the fight. She flashes back to the last time she was in her room. That tingling sensation marked her transformation into… something. Something with claws and scales that, when she saw herself in the mirror, she did not recognize as herself. The broken shards of her mirror were swept up when they came for her, dragging her heavy, snakelike body off to the prep room.

“I’m really sorry,” he says, frowning at the fresh scars on her hands and stomach.

“Don’t be,” Penelope finally manages to say, noticing the bloody gash in the boy’s stomach. “Let’s just get out of her. You still have that plan?”

He nods. Before he can say anything, however, they hear a voice projecting through the arena.

“No one’s getting out of that arena until one of you needs to be dragged out on a stretcher, if you catch my meaning.” Dr. Cambek’s voice echoes over hidden speakers.

“Oh yeah?” Challenges the boy. “And if we just sit here...?”

“I guess you’ll be needing some motivation then,” Cambek says, slyly. Hidden panels along the walls slide open and small rods are pushed out, all around the dome of the arena. Penelope gasps, as an electric current jumps from one rod to another, creating a barrier around them. The rods are getting longer, inch by inch, meaning that if they aren’t stopped, she and the boy will be electrocuted when they reach the middle.

“You have seven minutes. In that time, I want one of you unconscious on the floor, or else neither of you will be walking, talking, or thinking clearly for a very long time.” Dr. Cambek’s voice shuts off at the last word.

Penelope forces herself to think, but she really can’t see a way out of this. As she looks around the dome, she wonders how long Dr. Cambek will leave them to be electrocuted. It will be incredibly painful, Penelope thinks. She looks at Rick, and seeing his desperation and fear, suddenly notices something. She walks over to him, and whispers her idea. He nods, and together they look up at the ceiling above them. There is a tiny sliver of light visible between two of the metal beams. Rick rises into the air on a wave of heat. He takes Penelope’s arm and lifts her up. With all his strength, he shoots towards that tiny crack in the ceiling. He shoots a jet of flames at the crack, and Penelope can see it widen. Rick lifts her above his head, and they both slam into the arena’s ceiling.

Penelope wakes minutes later to a blinding light. She squints, and realizes it’s the sun. Turning her head, she can see Rick laying flat on the ground beside her. She feels her body begin to heal itself on its own, and she is soon able to lift her head. The rubble of the busted ceiling is scattered around their bodies, and she can see they are laying on a sandy, hard ground. She gets up quickly, remembering Dr. Cam and his hired guards. They had made it! Penelope hurries over to Rick, and shakes him awake.

“We did it!” She shouts excitedly.

Rick stirs. “We have to get out… of here,” he mumbles, eyes still closed.

“I know, here let me help.” Penelope squats down beside him, attempting to lift him to his feet. Then, she hears voices. Panic explodes through her body as she recognizes the guards’ footsteps. “Come ON!” She grunts, shaking Rick harder. He is stirring, but he still doesn’t get up. The guards’ voices are louder now. Penelope realizes they are below them, visible through the hole they made in the ground when they burst through the ceiling. The whole facility must be underground, she thinks. Then, more guards approach from the direction of an old warehouse off in the distance. Penelope can see them running, a flash of metal that means their guns are drawn. As the first bullet whistles right between her legs, she realizes the guards are aiming to cripple, not kill them. A hand grabs hers and she whirls around. Rick has finally gotten up, and is now dragging her in the opposite direction of the guards. They are running now, across the desert. The guards are fast though, and Penelope is getting more and more tired. She stops, gasping for air.

“I can’t… do it,” she pants.

Rick looks back at the approaching men. He then turns to her, suddenly taking her face in his hands. “You can make it,” he tells her quietly, “just go. I’ll see you soon, okay?” He turns and runs towards their attackers.

“GO!” He yells behind him. Penelope stands, shocked for a moment, then gathers her strength. A new rush of adrenaline speeds her on as she runs. Away from what had been her prison for three long years. Away from Dr. Cam. Away from the boy who has given her more time. She runs towards the only thing she can see, the sun. She certainly had missed its light, but she will soon discover the scorching heat it will offer as well, as it begins its ascent into the sky. Penelope has made it out of the cage, and now heads into the fire.


Extra Piece

In the Kitchen - A Fanfiction

Elizabeth knew she shouldn't give in to the hunger, but she also didn't think she could fall asleep until it was satisfied. She threw back the covers and slipped out of bed. On her way downstairs, she noticed the light. The kitchen was illuminated by the orange glow of the oil lamp, yet she was sure she had blown out all the lamps before bed. Maybe Edward had gotten up and went downstairs for a snack as well, without her noticing. She stepped into the kitchen, expecting to see a dark mess of hair and chubby fingers reaching for the bread cabinet. Instead, she saw a chest. Her heart stopped.

There, on the wooden counter, was the engraved black chest that had previously been locked in the safe, buried in the yard, and covered by a thick growth of roses. Now here it was. It was open. Elizabeth trembled as she leaned forward to look inside, dreading, but already knowing, what she would see.

His heart was gone.

A jar of peanuts was open next to it and some had spilled onto the counter. Elizabeth slowly extended a hand and ran her fingers over the intricate carvings on the chest. She picked up the jar of peanuts and, hands trembling, smashed it on the floor. The noise brought the sound of small feet pattering upstairs. Edward ran down the flight of stairs and into the kitchen, always ready to protect his mama. Elizabeth felt her chest tighten when she saw that he was holding the wooden sword his father had carved him, years ago.

“What’s wrong mama?” Edward asked. His eyes widened as he took in the broken glass, his mother’s stricken face, and the open chest on the counter. “What’s that?”

Elizabeth bent down and scooped her son up into her arms, holding him tight. She felt numb, petrified. She didn’t know what to do. Will’s heart, left in her care until he next returned, was gone. She feared the worst, that he was dead and the thief the new captain of the Flying Dutchman. But if that was true, why did they leave the chest? She had no leads, no clue where it could be, and no idea if her husband would ever return to her. The jar. She turned to look at the peanuts still scattered on the counter. Didn’t Jack have a thing for peanuts? But he had given up the chance of immortality to save Will in the first place. Elizabeth had heard that he had gone searching for eternal life elsewhere, but honestly didn’t know where he was now. Could he have something to do with this? One thing was for sure. She needed help if she were to solve this mystery.

“Mama, what’s wrong?” Edwards voice broke her thoughts. He pulled away from her shoulder to look her in the face, his brow furrowed.

“Nothing darling, I just got up for a snack and accidentally knocked over the peanuts.” Elizabeth put Edward down and started cleaning up the glass. Tomorrow, she thought, she would begin her search. No. Tonight. She would send letters to anyone she knew who could help her. And she knew just who to ask first.


Editing my Screenplay

One of the pieces in my portfolio that I think could use some revision is my screenplay. While we had a lot of time to revise our short stories and received a lot of feedback during the workshops, I feel that I haven’t made my three scenes the best they can be. While writing, I wondered whether the setting was clear enough, if the characters were relatable, and if the story itself was interesting. These three things are what I would have liked to receive feedback on and find out what I needed to change.

I didn’t use a lot of detail to describe the settings of each scene because I wanted to spend more time on the character dialogue. I feel that the descriptions of the park, the house, and the school are easy to envision, but that’s coming from the person who came up with the locations. I am curious about whether the setting enhances the story, or confuses the reader.

An important part of writing is the creation of good characters, in my opinion. It’s through the characters that the reader sees the story, and I always strive to make my people relatable. By making them understandable yet complex, I feel that readers become more engaged in the plot. I hope that Naomi and Alex (the two main characters) are realistic and appealing, rather than stereotyped or flat. I would really appreciate feedback to tell me if I need to change anything about the people in my story.

For this assignment, I left my “comfort zone” and chose a genre that I don’t have much experience with. I wanted to write a drama because I thought it would be a good way to learn something new about myself as a writer, as well as challenge myself to create a good story. I actually based my screenplay off of people in real life, and so the writing experience was very different than when I wrote my other stories. I found that I didn’t critique my own ideas and choices as much, because I was more focused on recreating scenes from memory. I took A LOT of creative liberties however, as I dramatized certain parts and actually came up with each scene by combining real places with imagined situations. I hope that this process resulted in an engaging plot and a worthwhile story, and I anticipate more screenplay writing in the future.

Course Reflection

  1. What did you find most useful about this course? It made me realize that I actually can write short stories, poems, and more. Before I took Creative Writing, I thought it was one of my weaker points. Now, I know more about how to create good compositions and how to feel confident in my own ideas.

  2. If you could add one more thing to this course, what would it be? I would add another unit or lesson to study. I think a unit on how to write for children vs. adults or how to write professionally (for a report, resume. email to a boss/supervisor, etc.) would be very helpful.

  3. What did you learn about yourself as a writer this semester? I learned that there are things I work to achieve and things I work to avoid in all my compositions. I try to focus on certain themes (such as adventure, personal conflicts, and nature) while avoiding sappy or cliche topics. I also learned that I, as a writer, am very influenced by the things I've read in the past.

  4. What was your favorite reading of the semester? Why? My favorite reading was "Bullet in the Brain". It was a fantastic choice for our first reading of the course, and I loved the character development and the themes found within the piece. It's hard to pick just one however, so I will also mention "Turtleface" and "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" as my next favorites.

  5. What plans do you have for your writing career? I plan to have a career in the managing aspect of film making, and so do not plan to do much more writing in the future. However, I need to start somewhere, and may use what I've learned in our screenplay unit to enter into the movie industry.

  6. Where do you find your inspiration to write? I find most of my inspiration in personal memories. The pieces I have felt most proud of are the ones about specific moments in my life.

  7. What prompts/ideas do you have that you’d still like to write? Project ideas? I'm not a big fan of projects. However, I would have really enjoyed more prompts based on images. I know we did a lot of writing prompts on images Ms. Penley gave us, but I think it would have been fun to create the images ourselves, whether going online or using magazine clippings.