Fiction Interviews

I need help with a Writing question. All explanations and answers will be used to help me learn.

Fiction Arguments. Due on the final day of the semester. It’s been a long, productive semester, so let’s take this last assignment and have some fun. We’ve learned a lot about how to tailor our vocabulary, our register, and our overall rhetoric to a certain audience or purpose. In this assignment, we will enter the world of creativity. However, I’m not asking you to abandon all of the lessons we’ve learned: I want arguments in these pieces.

Take Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian as a model and create three fictional interviews with deceased people in order to advance an argument about our society, culture, or existence in general.

To be clear, I am asking that each of you write THREE brief “interviews” that follow the same format/style as Vonnegut’s text. Each should be approximately 200 words in length, so that they combine to be 600 words or more.

The arguments can be nearly anything you want, but they must matter to a significant portion of society. In other words, you cannot make one that argues something in your own private life. It must have societal implications. The best ones tend to focus on existence more than politics or policy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your subjects do not matter as much as the arguments you select, so try to be creative about who you choose! I’d much rather read three excellent arguments interviewing unknown people that you found in old newspaper articles than three ordinary texts interviewing Michael Jackson, Robin Williams, and Gandhi. Remember that I read at least 90 of these per semester, so if a person is wildly famous, they’ve been done before!

Last thing to note: emulate Vonnegut instead of relying on too much dialogue.

STEP 1:
Think of three separate arguments that you want to make in these pieces. Examples are hard to give because it’s so broad, but yours may look something like this:

– Our society gives up on people after one mistake and we should not do that
– Working too much makes life unbearable so we should do more that brings us joy
– Prioritizing our online images takes away from authentic interactions with people

STEP 2:
Attach a deceased person to each idea so that you can make your point through them. Examples related to those above could be:

– Bill Buckner, whose error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series haunted him the rest of his life
– Day Davis, a man who died on his first day working in a factory in Florida
– Henry David Thoreau, whose writings about being in nature inspired readers for generations

Try to avoid the major religious figures, such as Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha, etc. They are simply too difficult to encapsulate in a 200-word assignment at the end of a college semester.

Also, consider avoiding figures who are so popular that they are the first that come to mind in an industry. For example, every semester, 5+ students select Robin Williams, Michael Jackson, or other major pop figures. If your argument about depression is perfect for someone like Robin Williams, consider researching others who have suffered similar fates. Try to be original!

STEP 3:
For that nice finishing touch, try to format it in the way that Kurt Vonnegut did. While I don’t mean you all need to find the right font and margin settings (though this can look nice), I really want to see you break your arguments up into small chunk paragraphs rather than just writing in dense ones.

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