Friday, February 15, 2013

Thoughts on the First Session

Clifton's story was a little rambling when he initially told it to me, so I think it helped to talk about the plot first. That way, we both knew what Clifton wanted to happen, and could write each sentence so they led up to the climax. I was a little conflicted at times, because I usually am on the side of encouraging people to do what feels right to them. If Clifton wants to introduce twenty characters in a book and then end it, well, that's what Clifton wants to do! But I also know my goal for this project is to have completed books; I guess on some broad level that feels like "selling out" to me - doing something just for the end product. I know I need to toughen up a bit and make sure the author is telling a story, since that's the whole point.

I'm also curious if Clifton using Animorphs characters to tell a story is an issue. I'm not familiar with the series, so I don't know if he made up his own short story, or if it was part of an actual book. Either way, I think it's ok to use it since we're not doing this for a profit. It'll be something to look into as the project progresses, though.

I can't tell if Clifton prefers to have me verbally spell words for him, or write them out. He'd ask me how to spell character names, like "Tobias" or "Yurks." I had written the character names down at the beginning of the session to keep track of them myself. He often looked over at my paper as he was writing, though. I could tell because his writing would abruptly turn into mine - capital As and Rs for lowercase letters. I feel like this is almost guiding him a bit, but at least he's looking at that paper on his own, and I suppose it is preferable to being spelled at!

Clifton wrote slowly, giving me a chance to supply the upcoming letter. Once he used a few words more than once, however, he remembered how to spell them and would write them on his own. I've never worked with him on reading and writing before, so this might just be how he does things, but it felt like a small victory each time he'd spell a word on his own.

It’s interesting to see the progression of his writing. He quickly became more sure of himself, both in spelling and in storytelling - thinking up his own lines without having to say them aloud to me first. The first page is normal writing, but when you get to the pages where he drew himself as an Animorph, or the fight scene, he’s pressing really hard with his pencil. These are the pages when he was laughing and seemed really excited about the story, so it’s like he was pressing harder to convey this passion.


The top drawing is page one (a character), and the bottom is page seven (the fight scene). The fight scene is so much darker and bolder in comparison, conveying his excitement as he got swept up in the story.

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