By Kelly Kling
Did I say “writing” enough times?
One of the most beneficial and sculpting classes I took in college was Practice in Writing Rhetoric. Rhetoric is defined as language designed to have a persuasive impact on one’s audience. My professor, however, gave it a new meaning for the purposes of our class. We used rhetoric to persuade our audiences to feel a certain way about already acclaimed pieces of writing, or see them in a new light.
Analyzing particular aspects of classic pieces such as The Metamorphosis and The Awakening in order to give my audience a new perspective on those works was incredibly fulfilling and allowed me to greatly improve my writing structure. The general format for our pieces in my class was as follows:
- I’m going to introduce you to this work.
- I’m going to make a statement about it.
- I’m going to give you solid reasons as to why you should agree with or, at the very least, consider my statement.
Think about this. Why couldn’t this technique be applied to your OWN writing? Your own ideas? Your own visions? If you practice analyzing literary techniques and symbols of renowned works in such a way that your audience responds, “Huh, I’ve never thought about that before,” your ability to present your own ideas in different and exciting ways will only get stronger. Introduce your audience to your work. Make your statement. Leave them questioning any preconceived notions they may have had about your writing.
Aside from the benefits of this type of rhetoric, simply reading the classics with this sort of lens can do nothing but inspire the technique in you. Be critical. What would you do the same? What would you do differently? Everyone has their own process, but what would our craft be if we didn’t draw inspiration from each other?
Allow the greats to inspire you, and write about their writing. It can do nothing but help you improve yours.
Kelly Kling is a graduate of Texas State University. She is an editor, a proofreader, and a writer. She is an Austinite whose favorite things are dogs and food.
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