1. Free writing is a technique that writers use to help them begin writing. The idea is to write down thoughts as they come into your mind. You write sentences without trying to examine them closely or correct them. When you do free writing, you don’t have to worry about spelling, grammar, sentence structure, or your choice of words.
Write continuously for 10 minutes in response to this prompt: “At this moment, I am thinking about _____.” This is a free writing exercise, so try not to stop to analyze what you write. If you get stuck, wait until a new thought emerges in your mind. (Note that you should write in sentencesâ€”or something resembling sentencesâ€”so that you can capture some kind of flow of ideas.)
2. Did you find the process easy or did you face any roadblocks? Did you find it productive somehow? Write your response in a short paragraph.
3. Edit what you wrote in part A. Rewrite it using correct grammar, proper sentence structure, and transitions. Compare the edited text with the first draft. Which piece of writing is easier to read and sounds more natural? Explain your findings in a few sentences.
4. Write your own stream of consciousness story of 500 words or more. Try to use some of the narrative techniques that you saw in the excerpts from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Mrs. Dalloway. For example, think about how you can use punctuation to set off a character’s thoughts from the narrator’s voice or to show how a character’s thoughts change.
Use the following guidelines to write your narrative:
- Your narrative should have a third-person narrator, a central character, and possibly other characters.
- The narrative should reveal something about the central character (and perhaps other characters).
- Spend time planning the underlying “story” before you actually start writing.
- The events in the narrative should be clear to readers.
- Try to make your narrative detailed and realistic.