I think this might turn into a Shakespeare blog for the duration of my class. Bear with me. I’ve been doing slightly better at balancing my responsibilities this week, but I still haven’t gotten through the 51 Dramatic Situations, much less figured out how to condense them into a single blog post.
However, I had an interesting assignment in class last night, which I found really useful as a writer, so I’ll just burble about that for a while.
We were asked to compare two versions of the “What’s in a name?” speech from the First and Second Quartos of Romeo and Juliet, and write a 200-300 word response discussing the differences, how they may have come about, and how they effected the way I read and understood the speech.
No sweat, I thought to myself. Ten or fifteen minutes, and I’ll be done.
Cut to three hours later, with me holding a complete essay and wondering what happened.
That’s just the kind of helpless braniac I am, people. I think I’m going to keep a thing simple, and then my brain goes “Hey, new neural pathways! YASSSS!” and before I know it, I’ve got a sort of Godzilla problem going on in my skull.
I’ve always heard that it’s good practice to give yourself a crazy-limited word count, but I’d never actually tried it to this extent before. Usually when I’m writing papers for classes, the problem is how to make the dang things LONG enough!
Figuring out how to get everything I wanted to say about the two speeches into less than 300 words was quite a challenge, but I think I managed pretty well in the end. And it certainly forces you to use stronger words.
I guess all those horrible cinquain warm-ups have been paying off.
So my bit of writing advice today is: Write something fabulous. Then make it fit a ridiculous word count. Tame Godzilla. See what happens.