Turn this quote into a writing prompt
While reading John Irving’s 1981 bestselling novel The Hotel New Hampshire for GreatPenformances, I ran a statement teens and adult students in English and composition classes should consider. Irving says, “When you write vaguely, you are always vulnerable.”
I think it’s safe to say that Irving isn’t talking just about a student writer getting a bad grade on an English class assignment.
Have your students consider Irving’s assertion, taking into consideration:
- What does Irving mean when he says a writer is vulnerable?
- To whom or to what is a writer vulnerable?
- Does being vague always pose a problem for writers or is vagueness only a problem in certain situations?
- If vagueness makes writers vulnerable, how does it accomplish that?
Have students write a formal document in which they either agree or disagree with what they understand Irving means.