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Jaelyn Bos

Aviva Zapinsky
Michael Kelbaugh
Kevin Ocampos – Barry
Olsi Leka
10/28/2013
English 100 H
Piece #3 – Group Writing

The Writing Process
A Tall Tale

It was a challenge to make warriors quake. To quantify that most magical, most elusive of
processes, to restrain the phantom: to explain writing. Many turned away in despair as the words
of the assignment receded into silence. They shook their heads, threw up their hands, and
exclaimed that no sane writer would attempt such an impossible task. Writing, they declared, is
too enigmatic, too vague to explain. Trying to expose methods is a fool’s errand.
But as the others receded with hanging heads, five intrepid writers stepped forth. Armed
with nothing but their courage and their pens, they held up their heads and declared with one
voice:
“We accept.”
Stunned faces craned to see who would attempt such a challenge. They boggled when
they realized that the writers were mere students. The five hardly inspired confidence with their
looks. All slouched under the weight of bulging backpacks. Now they seemed to be looking at
one another with something like surprise on their faces, and one was even heard to whisper:
“What did we say that for?”
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2 . without criticism. Somebody murmured a poisonous name: “Kerrigan.” So. and one spoke: “We have heard your instruction. the warring words seemed to encourage the five. and anyone who tries to write without them is no more than a scribbling baboon. They looked at each other with newfound confidence.” “What is the purpose of this challenge?” asked the figure in black. but it is mine! Writing must flow freely from the heart. “Creatively!” chimed a third. the young writers strode off to tackle the task. “Passionately!” “Personally!” “Sophisticatedly!” “And in a way that shows we care. if it is to have a hope of excellence. A hush swept over the crowd.But the quiet question was forgotten as a dark figure strode in from the south. using our own methods. “And we will explain how we do it. True writers follow me: General Brande!” However. But we. “Have these five not already learned the sacred code of writing? My laws cannot be changed.” concluded the first speaker.” “You lie!” shrieked another voice from the west. will write clearly-” “Modestly!” added another. and we understand it. “There is a code of writing. with notebooks for shields and pencils for swords. They arise from the very nature of writing. Mothers grabbed their children’s hands and shielded their eyes.

in time. The only ornamentation was a flat table with no leg room and five rickety folding chairs. They had. The inkstains splattering their noses and cramps in 3 . After posing for the paparazzi. Finally. found themselves incapable of probing the depths of their hearts and minds to thrust out above the murky surface of consciousness the rarer treasures of original thought. and so. bare bulb dangling on a string. stunted in their early youth by adhering to Kerrigan’s monolithic process. just to feel productive in the race against the ticking clock. they began the way they would any writing challenge. and began. Others had gone before them. Their task demanded such an unprecedented foray into the creative realms that their brains. Some began to furiously and cathartically free-write. could not cope. dramatic music rising in the background. Enraged. Kerrigan and Brande had determined that our heroes would not succeed. But they steadied their hearts and unsheathed their pens. the five hurried to begin writing. Our own blameless young men and women reflected upon this grim prospect of defeat. our five locked themselves in a tiny room. filling up twenty notebooks each in the hours to come. Sitting at the table. the five stared blankly at the walls and at each other.The five stood silhouetted against the sunset as cool darkness descended upon the land. they set a time limit: the dreaded due date. though able to punctuate a sentence and capitalize a proper noun. each with no more an idea of how to begin than the next. In order to concentrate on the task at hand. in agreement for the very first time. scattered in helpless fear. with the shared aim of producing a work worthy of representing the devilishly nebulous writing process. unsuccessful in their mission and shamed by their failure. But they had proven to be craven frauds who. flashbulbs blinding them. lit by a single. They had not been the first to take up the daunting challenge.

they were not discouraged. Everest. encouraged. as the lightbulb over his head chased the shadows and the ill intent to the darkest recesses of the room.their hands were their only rewards. and a switching of pens. After hours with no respite from their furious pre-writing activities. they were getting somewhere! 4 . The fellows who prefer to pre-think began thinking so furiously that they experienced exponential cranial expansion from all the new neuronal pathways of their expanding imaginary cortex. foregoing all sustenance and rest while they pre-wrote. But before depression and listlessness could set in. the most underdeveloped region of the brain. causing them to falter. our writers began anew. And so. rejoicing in their idea-less state. The resulting pile of their effort was taller than Mt. Silence reigned in the little room. And then. the five had a mountain of ideas in front of them. They heard the mocking laughter of their illwishers. Exhausted. The last remaining members of the intrepid group began drafting outlines. each of the writers felt it: the malicious ill will of Kerrigan and Brande. Not them. They could do it! They would do it! And so they began anew. outlined. and travelworn from the journey to the ends of their thoughts without nourishment. pressing heavily upon them. and yet. overcome with peace. after a refill of their paper deposits. “Eureka! I have an idea!” The others paused. However. and suddenly they all smiled. with no real plan for how to use any of it. one of the members piped up. The dramatic scary music resumed. the jagged breathing of marathon writers the only sound. and thought. the five listened in awestruck silence as he expounded. the lines and lines of structured papers they created engraving fuzzy lines of blue on their retinas. They simply agreed that they must try again.

yet their work began to converge. and with it came the promise of comprehension unparalleled: the more they wrote. they wrote. The presented ideas reflected the varying processes of the five. there are those who write following strict guidelines and those who allow their creative mind to experiment with different genres and styles.Finally. Even the five did not share a single writing process. After all. the way forward was a different path. A light had appeared at the end of the tunnel. The ideas poured onto paper: everyone prepares their writing in different ways. cutting down obstacles and removing unnecessary jargon to make way for the dawn of clarity. Each with their own processes. opening their minds and allowing them to have a finished piece which encompassed the processes of the world. For each. the weary but steadfast writers found it was time to refine their path.” The ways in which people come by writing is almost never exactly the same. The main point of their work was this: there is no one “writing process. these writers knew what must become of their paths: they must meet in the center. Building upon the idea set forth by the first member. The magic of their collaboration was that it forced insight of the various possibilities for writing upon one another. pushing through grammatical snares with an ease only determination could inspire. with some pre-writing complete drafts and some incubating their ideas until they write their completed piece. the five young writers mapped their way through uncharted territory. they were ready. They had their drafts and ideas. forming one comprehensive map to be followed by future writers everywhere. 5 . Everyone starts their writing in a way that works for them. All of the topics they presented seemed as though they came from just one. the more potential they discovered within their own words! With a solid foundation laid out before them. twisting and turning through the toils of their creative effort. the task was at hand.

however. but knew that to reach their destination. correcting missteps as they went. letting their creativity bloom. The light shining on the horizon cast its glow upon each of the five. They sailed through the task. Their goal was to meet in the middle. But they were determined. Three members approached the task of revision with sharp pencils and sharper minds. approached their revision with a different set of tools. crafted and formulated. This ideal provided the five members with a renewed source of energy as they wrote and created. all five members worked tirelessly to transform their words into a clear path with an established destination. These writers saw their path clearly.And the only way to ensure that was to make sure each path was clear and easy to navigate. This involved removing phrases born out of creativity and passion. putting into words something so personal and unexplainable that it was seemingly impossible for another to tread behind on the same path. and as they moved toward it. The two remaining members. the promise of something greater to come glittering brightly on the horizon. 6 . Only after finishing did they return to prune their creation. and so they fixed and polished and wrote. but to branch out on their own. but that light shone on. They forged their paths slowly. and made each word come easier than the previous. the heat of its glittering promise warmed their tired hands. cleaning and trimming. for these writers had to delve into their deepest thoughts. Despite the different methods of revision. they must remove the cluttering rocks and trees. creating a seamless topographical landscape that encouraged future writers to not only follow the paths they had created. The task was daunting. It was no easy feat. the steadily climbing word count and addition of colorful adjectives clarifying their newly developed ideas. with solidly formed ideas and strongly supported evidence. but carefully.

At noon they arose and ate for the first time in many days. their bodies and minds thoroughly spent. Alliances were quickly formed and broken. and an unparalleled surge in quality writing. now heated disagreements arose over the small but by no means trivial aspects of the piece. flawlessly pristine. and society flourished. behind iron curtains and metal detectors. The five had triumphed against the evil forces of Kerrigan and Brande. is the subsequent public reception. The most unpredictable aspect of writing. The sun would sink again that night and rise again the next morning. But finally. the document was completed -. sparking democratic revolutions across the globe. Whereas they had cooperated peacefully during the preceding steps of the writing process. then departed to their native lands.perfectly crafted. especially since no one was drinking enough water to stay hydrated. (This was. Not a few tears were shed when an entire paragraph that had impeded the piece’s flow was mercilessly gutted. The time had finally come to revise their final piece together. Countless words were surgically removed and altered. friendships were strained. undoubtedly. and committed it to memory. as a new day dawned. School children taped its pages to their composition textbooks.The last stage of their journey was perhaps the most difficult. of course. Men and women risked their lives and fortunes to smuggle it into the dark corners of the world. however. The five collapsed in exhaustion. It was a dark time. was unprecedentedly favorable. Vicious arguments were settled bitterly by three-to-two votes every five minutes. But the rest of the world would not be quite the same. in violation of 7 . Commas confounded even the self-proclaimed experts among them. The young writers watched with peaceful and selfless gratification as the world bent gently to its influence. The reaction to the five’s piece. and because the light bulb had burnt out.

so purely magical that it held us spellbound for a full ten minutes upon first hearing it.international copyright law. and the S&P 500 climbed sixty points to close at a monthly high.) It was translated into twenty-eight languages and three dialects. prophetically signifying its longevity -. The tale of the piece’s creation was immortalized as a cross-cultural legend. on the tongues of the most erudite of scholars and the most innocent of children. THE END POSTSCRIPT Olsi did propose an astoundingly imaginative idea for this piece -. So it goes. Also. but these words may last longer than most. bringing peace to the Middle East. and of time itself. we decided against using it. which declared a national holiday. but the five did not pursue civil action. 8 . and concluded with the words THE END. provided they receive a favorable report. and to Ireland. The international stonecutter’s guild convened at a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps for six months. For all things will pass away. However. and carved the entirety of the manuscript onto the face of a mountain in letters fifteen feet tall. Julian Assange had given the piece a positive review on WikiLeaks.even unto the end of the world. Swords were beaten into plowshares. There are things in life far more enduring than material riches. since Kerrigan instructs us not to impress our readers.

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