English Ext 2

Winnie Zhang

1

Sleight of Hand

Creative nonfiction

I completed a 6,000 word Major Work written in the form of creative nonfiction. The creative nonfiction form of Sleight of Hand explores the writing about real stories and lives in a creative way, like a narrative with a plot.

In my Major Work, I explore the real history of the creation of Batman, where there has been some contention regarding who truly created the Batman character and universe. It used to be widely known that a man named Bob Kane was the sole creator of Batman. However, in 2015, it was revealed that a second man named Bill Finger, had actually been an enormous contributor to the creation of Batman, co-creating the character and the universe.

In my Major Work, I have followed the story of these two men and their different career trajectories in a five chapter creative nonfiction. Creative nonfiction is the writing of real stories and lives in a creative way, much like a narrative with a plot, with the usual orientation, complication and a resolution.

Undertaking the creative process for my English Major Work has been fun and valuable. A big part of the creative process for me was research, since I was creating a nonfiction piece and my Work was based on real life people. This was what I had focused on for the majority of Term 4. I enjoyed this prewriting stage of the creative process as I collected information to help map the story thread I would follow in my Work, making me feel like a dedicated investigative journalist! The hardest part of creating my Major Work was writing my first draft. I had to now funnel all my research into a piece that would successfully capture my purpose and intention and also be appealing to my audience. I would push myself to write every day because one of my teachers shared these amazing quotes in my first English Extension 2 lesson, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” - Louis L'Amour and “That’s the thing about a really good idea. It always comes a bit at a time” - Dr. Who. I am so glad that I persevered in writing every day. After I completed my first draft, with valuable feedback from my teacher given, I did a lot of redrafting and editing. The drafting and editing stages of my Major Work were so helpful in reshaping my Work into something that I am proud of. Just getting drafts marked gave so much guidance that improved my Major Work. Through this, I could see more clearly how I wrote and ways to improve my writing. 

Throughout this whole process, I never stopped reading books. The school library was very grateful in purchasing many books that aided me in writing in the creative nonfiction form - I had never come across this form before starting this Major Work. I read many exemplars of the form, which really helped me to stay authentic to the form and maintain that balance between creative and nonfiction. 

For anyone interested, I recommend reading Alain de Botton’s ‘The Art of Travel’ and any Helen Garner work as they are awesome reads!

I have loved undertaking this Major Work project in English Extension 2. It is amazing how a few ideas on a page can become something so big like a Major Work. Doing this intense writing project has helped me with self expression and confidence as a writer and it is so exciting that I am able to share a real-life story that I feel is so important and interesting! It has been super rewarding and it kind of feels motivating because you can say “I’ve completed this year-long Major Work, I can take on an English essay”! For any students interested, I highly recommend taking English Extension 2 - it is so worth it! Thank you to all my wonderful and amazing teachers who have given me valuable guidance throughout this writing journey!