Reflection on “I Remember”

 I mainly used the moving and subtracting technique from my first draft to the second draft. After adding some more details, I feel like the imagery is more well developed and solid. While reading the second draft, readers should be able to better picture the scenes comparing to reading the first draft. Being asked and inspired by my professor, I printed out the whole piece, and cut each stanza, or each small chunk of memory, into paper slips. It almost felt like a ceremony, or a magic I played with words. I re-arranged them, trying to make the logic flow as fluent and easy to follow as possible for readers. For instance, I re-arranged the paragraphs by the time they happened and by places: first Japan, and then Idyllwild, and Beijing, Los Angeles, and then New York. I figured that I should maybe try it with my essays in the future, because the way I first write about something, especially in English, may not be the most logical and clear way of saying it. On the other hand, I made some minor subtractions. I eliminated some words that I think were extra, or could not convey my ideas clearly. However, when I look back now, I noticed that I should have be more brave and subtracted even more stanzas, such as the experience with Bazaar. I agreed with my professor that I looked like something in a resume.
From the second to the third draft, I mainly used the adding and reducing technique. I added a great amount of descriptions, to achieve a better level of details. For instance, I talked about the amenities of the hot spring near Fuji Mountain, mentioning the scent of the shampoo and the wooden facilities, which picture the scene better. Before the third draft, my description of the dirty snow and street of New York was too cliche. However, by adding my personal experience, which is the homeless sleeping on cardboards close to my hotel, it became my unique version of that particular experience. After putting in more details on the first half of my piece, both my learning tutor and I realized that some subtractions on the second half of the piece may be an appropriate choice. So I eliminated the experience on Melrose Avenue and the speakeasy bars in Beijing.

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