• Exploring the Process

    Exploring the Process

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The tools writers choose depend largely on the answers to two questions: Who is the audience and what is the purpose of the writing? Rarely do writers know their underlying purpose at the outset of a writing assignment. The invention stage typically allows a writer to discover the purpose through freewriting, brainstorming, or the rewriting of numerous drafts. These kinds of exploratory strategies help the writer connect the subject of the writing with the underlying emotions or concept that bind the writer to the subject. Once the connection is evident, the writer can then step back and consider what he or she must do in order to communicate the subject and underlying purpose to the intended audience. Effective writers establish their presence in the work through voice and align their voice with the intended audience so that communication is most likely successful.

The Writing Process

The gurus discuss what it means to "be a writer" and explain the basic steps in the writing process: invention, delivery, and revision. Expert writers share what the writing process looks like in their everyday lives (rituals, discipline, locations where they write, etc.) The gurus also describe the tools writers use: rhetorical tools, techniques of persuasion, and organizational strategies. Creating a sense of the writer's presence in the work through voice and the use of figurative language, particularly metaphors and similes are emphasized. 

Video Focus Points

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • Describe the writing process and the tools writers use in writing.
  • How can literary allusions and sentence length create voice?


Creating Voice

Without using all uppercase letters or bold type, how do you yell in writing? How do you whisper? Or cry or smile? Part of the answer lies in voice. What exactly is voice in writing and how is it created? Is the voice you hear in your head the same voice your readers hear? Use this activity to identify strategies and tools that establish voice. 


The Courage to Write My Story

The student writers illustrate the writing process and various writing strategies as they struggle to begin their narrative essays.

Video Focus Points

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • What challenges do members of the writer’s group encounter during the writing process? What helps them overcome these challenges?
  • What are some examples of literary allusions?


It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

—Barbara Kingsolver