Craft Strategy: White Space

I suspect my undergraduate writing students will have no difficulty recognizing at least one craft strategy in my recently published essay, “Reckoning.” I teach it early and often.

Perhaps it’s my trademark.

I’m talking about white space. I like to use it around a single short line to make the line stand out and demand attention. It’s a strategic move that stuck with me after several semesters of poetry in college, even as I migrated to prose. To be clear, I’m not talking about dialogue, which might look set off by white space because of grammar conventions. I’m talking about an original line of my thoughts that I deliberately place by itself.

I know your eyes go there.

Feedback is important (and I mess up sometimes)

In the first post in this series, I was thinking about the feedback I give student writers. That leads me to another big observation: sometimes I mess up, perhaps even bad enough to set a kid back a little. Learn more about two conversations with students that I’d like to redo.