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Writing Styles of Choy and Trimble

By j0sephina Apr 25, 2006 1296 Words
Mixture of Writing Styles

¡°The trouble with writing is that despite what many handbooks suggest, there are no hard and fast rules, no magic formulas that make it an easy step-by-step process. You have to reconceive the rules every time you sit down to write because every occasion has its own specific requirements¡± (American Heritage Book). Writing is something that is unique in the way that each person does it differently in their own sort of way, therefore creating their ¡°own style.¡± Wayson Choy has his own style of writing as with Trimble and all the other writers. But it is inaccurate to say, that one of these writers, can write the ideal essay with only just their own style of writing. Trimble had many good techniques that can be better when used in a different type of writing, as in this case, many aspects of Choy¡¯s writing was more suitable for this essay. Choy chose to use his own technique in some cases and advocated some of Trimbles when more suitable. In the essay, ¡°The Ten Thousand Things,¡± Watson Choy cleverly incorporates many techniques of Trimble into his own piece of writing, having a mixture of styles from both Trimble and himself, therefore making an overall effective essay. Trimble mentions that in order to write a good opener that attracts the attention span of the reader, a technique that he strongly suggests is ¡°front door approach,¡± where the writer, ¡°march into their subject with breathtaking assurance¡± (26). But in the essay by Watson Choy, he merely begins with ¡°I saw your mother last week. The stranger¡¯s voice on the phone surprised me. She spoke firmly, clearly with the accents of Vancouver¡¯s Old Chinatown: ¡®I saw your mah-ma on the streetcar.¡¯¡± And this leads on to Choy unfolding more information about his mother, the death of his mother, resuming it back to the present time, and then slowly easing the reader back into the past. This opening can be critiqued by Trimble in being too wordy, as he believes ¡°the first four or five sentences are make-or-break¡± (28). Choy wrote in a manner that includes a lot of detailed information, explaining more details than necessary at times. His beginning essay is long taking over two pages just to explain that one event, making his essay wordy but efficient. Even though Trimble¡¯s rule was not used, Choy was still able to produce an overall positive effect. Choy used descriptive writing so that the concepts are easy to grasp along with genuine and personal events that can be related to in some cases. Trimble stresses the importance of including evidence in order to support what the writer is trying to say. ¡°Assertions are fine, but unless you prove them with hard evidence, they remain simply assertions. So assert, then support; assert, then support¡­examples and facts are the meat of it. They do the actual convincing¡­¡± (47). The type of evidence that Trimble refers to in his text is ¡°factual proof,¡± (34) with the main objective to have readers respond to the piece of writing, ¡°Yes, I understand now. You¡¯ve convinced me¡± (33). In order to accomplish this, it is not limited to Trimble¡¯s way. Choy shows a different technique that is just as effective; he uses examples from his personal life, quotes from short conversations, and mainly the variety of short quotes scattered through the essay accomplishes this same goal. Trimble states in his text, ¡°¡­You work from where his[reader] head is, not yours¡± (37). He mentions that it is essential for the writer to consider who the audience is going to be. Similarly, a quote taken from The American Heritage Book of English Usage states that, ¡°Writing for university students is different from writing for business associates. Writing for older people is different from writing for teenagers. Writing about medicine is different from writing about sports. Writing to explain is different from writing to persuade.¡± Choy was able to grasp this concept when writing his essay, so he includes excessive information regarding a time in history. He writes thinking that the average person is not a history major, so he attempts to help reader understand the story by giving the background information. His writing is aimed for the general public. When retelling of the period in which he had grown up in, he follows with a short explanation, ¡°During the Depression and the War years, the trading and selling of children, especially the giving and taking of male children, were not uncommon practices either of Old China or of the Old Chinatowns of North America¡± (Choy 14). Choy ties this knowledge of history to himself being one of the many boys that were given away, and at the same time clarifying that he was adopted by his present parents. In contrast to Trimble, he believes that everything should be short and precise, ¡°Use the fewest and simplest words (28). Readable style is one that invites reading, and writer must not waste time getting out what needs to be said¡± (34). Choy¡¯s style of writing consists of chose of simple words but long explanations with each event that goes on, like a story. While both techniques have their advantages, Choy¡¯s method was more suitable and effective when used for his essay. In his text, Trimble¡¯s ideal format in writing an essay must include ¡°three imperatives, no matter how brief the essay: 1. Focus on your main point. 2. Gratify us with at least one last new twist or phrase to make your point memorable. 3. End with emotional impact¡± (51). Choy chooses to include Trimble¡¯s technique in ending the essay with a emotional impact. Choy cleverly ends his essay with ¡°At home, I turn on the computer to begin tapping out the second novel; in the middle of a sentence ¨C like this one, in fact ¨CI laugh aloud. I had been writing fiction about life in Chinatown; Chinatown, all these years, had been writing me¡± (Choy 17). This ending fulfills Trimble ideal closer for an essay, ¡°He¡¯ll [reader] want to see the thing end.¡± Choy¡¯s ending bring about self realization, an irony, and gives the reader a sense of ¡°OoO¡± with this great ending. This also serves as an irony in which his intention was to write about the old Chinatown when it turns out that he was actually writing about himself. This is a cunning ending with a feeling of ¡°uncovering the mystery.¡± Trimble creates an ideal rule book regarding how an efficient essay should be written. In the essay ¡°The Ten Thousand Things,¡± Wilson Choy writes in a matter that advocates some of Trimble¡¯s rules in regards to openers, middles, and closing paragraphs but also uses his own way of writing for many other things. The methods that Trimble refers to in his text ¡°Writing with Style,¡± clearly illustrate his strengths of writing and should be considered to use when writing. But the way of writing should not be limited to just the ways of Trimble¡¯s. Watson Choy proves that an effective essay consists of a mixture of Trimble¡¯s work and his own style of writing. If Choy¡¯s essay were to follow this exact outline of Trimble¡¯s method of writing, the overall effectiveness of his essay wouldn¡¯t have been as superb. Choy is just another writer that shows there is no ¡°one way¡± in writing and that it takes own imagination and creativity along with ¡°own recipe¡± to create the best essay. It is clearly seen that with the mixture of both the writing style of Choy and Trimble, this essay is in fact a great piece of work.

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