Revision Exercise

  • Using your latest draft, find and write down three declarative statements from your text.
    • Declarative statements look like these:
      • "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."
      (Fred Allen)
      • "You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room."
      (Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), "On Becoming a Writer," 1986)
      • "There isn't any thought or idea that can't be expressed in a fairly simple declarative sentence, or in a series of fairly simple declarative sentences."
      (E.B. White, "Fro-Joy")
      • "We rob banks."
      (Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, 1967)
  • For each of your statements, ask yourself if you've answered the question, "So what?" Try to elaborate on your own answer to this question by explaining it to your reader.
  • Make sure to be descriptive! Is there any little detail about your statement that could be expanded out into a bigger discussion? Leave no stone unturned!
  • We call this kind of elaboration or exaggeration "exploding" your text. Once you've exploded some of your ideas, let's discuss as a class.
    • I tend to basically exaggerate in life, and in writing, it's fine to exaggerate. I really enjoy overstating for the purpose of getting a laugh. It's very flattering, that laugh, and at the same time it gives pleasure to the audience and accomplishes more than writing very serious things. For another thing, writing is easier than digging ditches. Well, actually that's an exaggeration. It isn't.

(Dr. Suess, interview in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, 1976)