Background: Tim O’Brien claims that part of his motivation for storytelling is that, “I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story truth is truer sometimes than happening –truth … What stories can do, I guess, is make things present” (203-204). In doing so, “you (the writer / storyteller) objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start with an incident that truly happened … and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help to clarify and explain” (179-180).
Task: Write a ‘true war story’ by incorporating elements of O’Brien’s writing style, ...view middle of the document...
Part Two: ‘Notes’ or Analysis of your story
Reread “Notes” in The Things They Carried and consider how O’Brien reflected upon his own writing – the struggles he encountered in achieving his goal and the CHOICES that he finally made. He chose certain words, images, symbols FOR A SPECIFIC REASON!
Thinking about your own writing process and reflecting on your story should actually help you understand it even more. This is not the blow-off part of the project, rather one that requires thoughtfulness and honesty.
In writing your ‘Notes,’ you should address the following questions:
Why did you choose to write about this particular story?
What significant elements did you choose to include?
What details did you exaggerate, repeat, eliminate, or add? Why?
What was your goal in writing this story? How did you go about creating this effect for
How has your memory changed over time? How has time affected the memory?
How is your story a ‘true war story’ that explores the ‘story truth’ not just the
What SPECIFIC elements of O’Brien’s style did you try to incorporate?
What did you change to your rough draft after our mini-lessons on figurative language
and sensory details?
Think of this as an opportunity to do a very different type of writing from what we have done during this year. ( Have fun and be creative!
| The Things YOU Carry – a creative writing assignment |
Criteria for How to Tell a True War Story
Refer to your brainstormed list as this is not a comprehensive list.
[pic] A true war story is never moral.
[pic] You can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to...