By: Chelsea Silva-Martin, Nadav Sarid, Ilyas Mohamed, Sara Vetere, Giuseppe Gallo
Before you begin the writing process, quickly jot down any thoughts or ideas that enter your mind, this will help the structure of the story and also help develop your thoughts and ideas. Try not to organize what you’re thinking or focus on grammar too much, this will distract you from your target. Afterwards, take this opportunity to pick a setting that’s appropriate with the tone of the story, a place where your protagonist will overcome challenges and evolve into a convincing character. After developing your setting, main character and a few key elements/events, you’re ready to start a rough draft. Joe Bunting expresses the most important component of writing a compelling story, that is to “show, don’t tell”, clarifying “When something interesting happens in your story that changes the fate of your character, don’t tell us about it. Show the scene! Your readers have a right to see the best parts of the story play out in front of them. Show the interesting parts of your story, and tell the rest.” Finally, a concept we learnt from Bunting, is to know the rules of writing, then break them. He says that “great writers know all the rules and break them. However, the best writers break them because their stories require a whole new set of rules. Respect the rules, but remember that you don’t serve the rules. You serve your stories”.
Lionel is the narrator of Motherless Brooklyn and he suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome. He describes it as being “An itch at first […] That itch is my whole life” (2). From the beginning of the chapter, we get an introduction to the story as well as a description of how he feels about his disability. Lionel’s tics add light humor to the story. People who know him accept it and are no longer phased by them, while those who don’t might consider his tics to be a “spirit or animal possession, verbal epileptic seizure, whatever” (31). Through his point of view we could see that he isn’t blinded to how people view him. He is well aware of his illness. It also gives the reader a perspective and new insights of the mind of a man with Tourette’s.
The story also seems to go full circle throughout only the first 35 pages. The reader is left with somewhat of a “cliff-hanger” and one would assume the rest of the novel will be centered around who killed Frank Minna. Right before Frank’s death, he tries giving Lionel a hint of who killed him. He refers to a joke they have with one another, where the lama’s name is Irving. Lionel then says “You’re saying it was someone named- Dick! Weed!- Irving who did this to you? Is that the name of the big guy in the car? Irving?” (29). Overall, Lionel being the narrator of the story and also a man with tourette’s gives this novel a unique characteristic.