Monthly Archives: September 2012

Writing a Descriptive Narrative

Chapter 14 of The Art of Racing in the Rain is an emotional one.  The family is dealing with Denny’s frequent absences and Eve’s sickness, and as the tension builds up, an argument erupts at the dinner table.

As always, Enzo observes from the side and dreas some important conclusions as the family makes up and all is right again:

“Beware, I thought.  The zebra hides everywhere.”

We’ve seen “the zebra” before – in a previous chapter the zebra “attacks” Zoe’s stuffed animals and teases Enzo.  Later, Enzo refers to the zebra as all that is evil, scary, or negative.  On page 66, in chapter 12, he says:

“Demon.  Gremlin. Poltergeist.  Ghost.  Phantom.  Spirit.  Shadow.  Ghoul.  Devil.  People are afraid of them so they relegate their existence to stories, volumes of books that can be closed and put on the shelf or left behind at a bed and breakfast; they clench their eyes shut so they will see no evil.  But trust me when I tell you that the zebra is real.  Somewhere, the zebra is dancing.”

To practice our narrative writing skills, I’m asking each of you to write about a zebra moment from your life.  Think of something that happened to you, an experience you had that was scary or negative.  The experience should be one that can be told in a story and fulfill all of the parts of a narrative.  We will do this assignment in steps: brainstorming, planning, outlining, and writing the final draft.



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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized