All posts tagged: sherman alexie

Telling Stories at a Bonfire without Any Companions

The outcast, deep thinker, and storyteller, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, doesn’t stop sharing his stories even when no one listens to him and everyone rejects him in Sherman Alexie’s short story “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”. He says: “We are all given one thing by which our lives are measured, one determination. Mine are the stories which can change or not change the world. It doesn’t matter which stories as long as I continue to tell the stories.” In addition to storytelling, Thomas has the gifts of seeing visions, receiving messages about the future, and knowing what people are thinking. One of the problems with Thomas’s storytelling is that he’s been retelling the stories for so long that his community becomes tired of hearing them, but one begins to wonder: are people actually listening to them, taking in their messages? At one point during the short story, Thomas asks his former friend, Victor, for a favor that seems really simple, but which will take a lot of effort and courage: Can Victor listen …

How to Become a Better Writer Today

How do you become a better writer today without taking classes for an MFA in creative writing? To improve your writing, all you have to do is pay close attention to the texts you read: your favorite book, the article you found online, or the advertisements you see on a daily basis. All it comes down to is being a better observer of the world. In this case, pay close attention, not so much to the contents of what you read, but at how the writer paints a picture inside your head. Notice the Writing Strategy Notice the strengths in other people’s writings. Which lines do you find yourself rereading because you loved how the writer composed a phrase, sentence, or passage. Why do you reread those lines? The Writing Strategy Sherman Alexie applies the following writing strategy in “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”: If you describe something with a series, start each item in the series with the same phrase or word for emphasis. The Writing Strategy Example Alexie writes: …