Friday, March 6, 2015

Week Eight: Critiquing Memoirs

The first memoir I chose to read and critique was Work Hard, Play Later by EshaRay1. I thought that EshaRay1's memoir was a great and interesting story. The memoir showed the value of practice and persistence when following dreams. I think the story had effective elements that everyone could relate to, even if they're not singers or performers. A lot of people can learn that practice pays off.

A strength of that piece was the clear and definitive voice that really carried through the storytelling. Everything was interesting and I was completely captured and invested into the story. When the writer talked about their first solo performance, I was right there with them and I could almost feel what you were feeling.

Regarding weaknesses, I suggested that the writer worked on showing the story with imagery in the words, rather than just telling how things happened. I thought that it would work especially well the performance towards the end of the memoir. I also suggested to really get into the details and the feelings so the writer could take the reader to that auditorium with them. I also thought that they could narrow some of the story down-- start with the choir teacher and go from there, but stay focused on just those details.

The second memoir I read and critiqued was A Vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida by PinkFlowerGirl. I thought the piece was really fun and entertaining. From the memoir, I learned that taking chances and trying new things is really worth it. I thought that it could appeal to everyone because everyone has some point in their lives where trying new things and taking chances is essential to growing as a person.

I thought that the imagery was a great strength and I felt like I was at the beach with the writer. They included a lot of important details so that I was really able understand how much this experience meant to them. I also really got what they were trying to tell people by sharing that particular story.

A weakness was that I wanted more of that initial fear that they talked about. It was there, but I didn't get enough of it to be able to compare it to their change and realization at the end. I suggested that they talk about why you were afraid to try new things and really get into that moment where they decided to change.

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