Patterns: A Story of Storytelling

1. Introduction: Why Am I Writing This?

We learned to always start with an introduction. A hook, something so the readers keep on reading. What is the hook here? I can talk about why I am writing this. I want to write an essay that feels like me. I overthink everything before I sit down and write it. What would happen if I left the outline and just filled in the blanks? That is what you do when you are making art. Today I am trying experimental writing. An introduction is supposed to set up the rest of the piece. It is supposed to set the tone, to make the reader keep on reading. Joyful. Humorous. Serious. Sad. This essay is supposed to give a feel for who I am as a writer. I was never a very funny person. I am not sad either. Let’s settle on joyful and serious.

2. Body: Does an Outline Really Matter?

They say there are three parts to the body of an essay. Each body paragraph should explain and discuss the main idea of the essay. Each paragraph should address one aspect of the main idea. So first we will talk about filling in the blanks. I have always heard that first impressions are the most important, but I have always thought that the first impression is just an outline of who a person is. It is not the outline that matters most, is it? It is what fills in the outline – the color, the dimension.

3. Body: How Do You Pin Down a Tone?

Outline and color and dimension do not a painting make. One must also have a setting in which the color and dimension make sense. I have always thought that a tone is a setting. A tone is what makes the outline and the color matter and relate to one another. Tones are challenging to pin down. They seem to flit from here to there like an insect. Etymology has always fascinated me. How does such a small creature become so complex and important? Take bees. When you get in close, they are just as awe-inspiring as the elephant.

4. Does Writing Have Texture?

Some would call food a form of art. I would be part of that some. Color and texture sing just as loudly in a plate of food as they do a painting. I have heard writers talk about the texture of a piece. I have heard reviewers describe a piece as rough, or as smooth, or as polished. What gives this texture to a piece? Is it the length of the sentences? Is it the flow of the words? I have always been one for long sentences. It is hard to capture the nuance of art in few words. Even so, it is the few words that stick and matter most. Perhaps it is where those few important words are placed that give the piece its texture.

5. Conclusion: Where Does a Pattern End?

One book told me to avoid apologies in my conclusions. Don’t tell a reader you are sorry they had to put up with your thoughts and ideas. Another book told me not to apologize when I have not done something wrong. It is so easy to say “Sorry, sorry” to avoid embarrassment. I would prefer to face my problem and learn it well enough to solve it. So why am I writing this? I want to find the pattern – the story – in writing, in art, in people. Patterns are something of a dichotomy: interesting and predictable. Here is a new pattern. Let’s call it an essay.

About the Writer

Grace is a senior in high school. She has been writing just about since she learned how. She enjoys writing experimental essays and short fiction. This essay was inspired by her study of great essays, including those by Virginia Woolf and George Orwell. She realized there was a certain pattern in most of these essays and wanted to see where she could go with it.

About the Editor

Katelyn B. is excited to be a freshman in high school this coming year. Science fiction, poetry, and history are some of her favorite things to read. She also likes to write, especially poetry. She is looking forward to growing as an editor through working with writers.

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