It is a strange thing to stop and think about the way I think. When I began to write my style assignment, I found it harder than usual because I was not writing in my own style, but in Faulkner’s.
I quickly realized that I had to think long and hard about every word I chose and every sentence I created. In trying to mimic Faulkner’s style, I purposely made my sentences longer and more descriptive. I also took much of Hemmingway’s dialogue and made it into descriptive paragraphs by expanding on the smallest details in his short story. I had to make up a few of my own details about the characters or the setting but tried my hardest to keep in mind the plot and purpose of the story Hemmingway had originally written. In order to make sure that I was keeping true to Faulkner’s style I would go back to Barn Burning to see Faulkner’s style of writing. I also thought about what the class had discussed and had decided was the Faulkner style and what was the Hemingway style, which was important to keep in mind since my peers would be reading and editing my essay.
At times it was difficult to find a way to make Hemmingway’s shorter paragraphs and sentences much longer and more complex. I sat at the computer with a thesaurus so that I could use longer and more mature words since in class one of the critiques that the Hemingway group used against Faulkner was that he was too verbose. It would have been nice for me to have been able to think up longer words on my own but maybe that is something I need to work on. I guess the reason why I found the Faulkner style to be difficult to mimic was because my writing style is not really that mature or complex. I tend to be more straightforward and often use repetition, but rarely do my sentences contain as many commas and semi-colons as Faulkner’s do.
After my peers edited my paper, there was not much to change. There were a couple of minor spelling and grammatical errors that I needed to correct but other than that my peers said I did a pretty good job of reproducing Faulkner’s style. After I had made the corrections suggested to me, I re-read my essay and changed up a few sentences so that the flow of my paragraphs was a little better.
When I had turned in my first draft to my peers, I was honestly not confident in the work I had produced, but after I go the feedback I realized I need to give myself a bit more credit. It felt good to hear from my peers that I had “hit the nail on the head” when trying to copy Faulkner’s style but I still felt I could have improved my essay a bit more; so I did. My biggest strength would be that I managed to turn so much of Hemmingway’s dialogue into chunkier and verbose paragraphs. Another strength was that I managed to take one sentence in Hemmingway’s story and make it a more drawn out and overly descriptive paragraph. My weakness, however, would have to be vocabulary and flow. My beginning could have been stronger; I started out shaky but towards the end of my essay I got the hang out how to write in Faulkner’s style. I learned to trust my judgment a little more. As always, I needed to work on proofreading my work before turning it in. There are a couple of spelling errors that should not have been there. Overall, for my next writing assignment, I will work on developing a wider vocabulary, checking my work, and not taking so much time since on the AP test, we will be timed.