Serious Nonfiction #7

This is it. To all of my regular readers who come here for ridiculous nonsense, wherein I rhapsodize about white trash with super powers or use this blog to apply as a spy to the C.I.A., I’d like to say thank you for sticking around. As I’ve said before, these seven posts have been for a class assignment centered on a hypothetical book—one that I might write someday, thereby rescuing it from the purgatory of hypothetic discourse—for a course centered on nonfiction, and this is the final post I’m required to write.

Now, to the twenty-something people who’ve followed recently, thinking that my blog might be some sort of serious page dedicated to the art of writing, I would also like to say thank you, but I should warn you that my next post will be a tad… different from what you’re used to. Cheers.


Part 1:

1.) Introduction

This is obviously going to be a narrative-heavy exploration into why I’m writing this book, and my introduction will be full of first-person narration that discusses my experiences vis-à-vis living with a cellphone-addicted teenager.

2.) Catelynn

This chapter will be a liminal thing, living somewhere between a narrative and a contextual chapter, wherein I switch my writing subtly to something that’ll fell like a third-person omniscient perspective, and I’ll focus all the content specifically on my daughter, and I’ll discuss the changes she’s gone through mentally and socially since that first moment wherein she peeled the transparent, plastic protector off her first iPhone screen.

Part 2:

3.) From Printing Press to Snapchat

This will be a break-narrative chapter wherein I’ll rocket back in time. I’ll discuss briefly the birth of modern media, starting with the printing press, and I’ll work my way through the ages to the invention of television. One I get to the 1980’s, I’ll cite experts who prove that modern media is detrimental culturally (such as Neil Postman, who wrote “Amusing Ourselves to Death”), and once I get to modern times, I’ll cite experts (such as Nicholas Carr who wrote “The Shallows”) who prove that the internet and modern connectivity (through smartphones) is corrosive to linear thought, and it leavens our flagging ability to intentionally focus our attention.

4.) iCrack

This chapter will be a research-heavy, narrative chapter that proves cellphones can be addictive. First, I’ll discuss the tenets of chemical addiction, and I’ll discuss their behavioral signs. Then, in an attempt to make a “scope-widening,” “cross-disciplinary” connection, I’ll tie traditional addictions to cellphone addiction in a novel way.

5.) Death and Nudes

This will be a break-narrative chapter that will discuss the extraneous consequences of teenaged cellphone usage. I’ll prove that cellphone-related auto accidents cause more fatalities than drunk driving, and I’ll discuss the repercussions that come from a lack of forethought. Namely, most teens who use smartphones will eventually send nude pictures to someone else—and of course, they do so without thinking about the consequences because that’s what it means to be “teenaged”—and in many cases, the repercussions of these pictures can include suicide, social annexation, extreme depression, and criminal charges.

Part 3:

6.) 20/20

This will be a contextual chapter with a narrative feel that’ll discuss what I should’ve done, and I’ll write it with the feel of a newspaper advice column. I’ll direct my narration directly to parent readers, switching momentarily into second-person narration, and I’ll stand on my soapbox to tell people what they should and should not do regarding adolescent cellphone usage. I’ll make plenty of retrospective references back to research cited previously, and back to points I’ve already made. In this chapter, I’ll wed the two concurrent stories that Rabiner stresses as important.

7.) Nvr 2 L8

This penultimate chapter will address the concerns of parents who’ve already made the mistake of buying a cellphone for their child, and I’ll discuss ways to mitigate the fallout associated with reining in their child’s cellphone addiction (there won’t be many citations in this chapter because I’ll relate most of my advice to personal experience).

8.) Conclusion

I’ll wrap it up.


The sample chapter I’ll be writing for my submission package will be chapter four, “iCrack.” I’ve chosen this chapter because it’ll display the strength of my research and my narration. I’ll keep a “human story” centered throughout this chapter, and I’ll make sure to form a thesis by highlighting “what I’m talking about, and what I have to say.”

Serious Nonfiction #6

These class-related posts have led to an odd occurrence: each of the six posts I’ve made have earned me three or four new followers to my blog, which in a way, is depressing—I’m netting more followers from my classroom assignments than I was through my creative work. I’ve been telling myself this is because my blog has been more active lately—as if maybe these prolific posts are drawing people in—but I’m not sure if that’s true. But, whatever; this horse has been gifted to me and I promise not to look in its mouth. So, here’s my sixth class-assigned post:

As it pertains to my narration, and “keeping a serious human mind at its center,” it’ll be a difficult task vis-à-vis my sample chapter. The chapter I plan to write in concert with my submission package will be research-heavy, focusing on the chemical aspects of the human brain that allow a child like mine to become addicted to technology, and it’ll be hard to make my presentation read like a story. However, I’m not going to just “extract content from its original context,” thereby divorcing my information and emotion from the “circumstances that motivated those ideas,” because my work would be a failure if I did. And, I have a plan: I’m going to paint my daughter’s mind as a protagonist that’s battling against the research-leavened antagonist of chemical technology addiction.

Sure, here in these few words, I’m sure my plan sounds formulaic and somewhat superficial, but given the room to breathe that’s provided by a ten-page sample chapter, I’m sure I’ll be able to create the “narrative tension” that Rabiner stresses as important. Or at least, I’m going to try…