Tutor profile: Leo S.
What strategies can help writers to bolster their skillset?
Pre-writing is just as important as the act of writing itself. During pre-writing, the writer plans out a document, and they can use techniques such as freewriting, where one writes down whatever comes to mind, or word webs to help. Outlines are also powerful tools, as they enable the writer to organize thoughts. If applicable, reading sentences out loud can help one to catch grammar mistakes or help clear up syntax errors, as well as to promote overall comprehension. Reading other works or studying newer words can also help elevate diction and language application. Besides this, working through the audience and overall idea of a piece with another person can help the writer, as they may challenge viewpoints, themes, or evidence, and the writer's ability to rebuttal will make the writing stronger.
What is a motif, and can you provide an example?
A motif is a repeated sensory experience such as a sound, object, or symbol that represents something greater in a literary work. Motifs symbolize ideas but are repeated, and thus, they elevate meaning in levels of importance, whereas symbols typically only happen once in a work, or they are not tied directly to the theme. Famous motifs include the green light from the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, water and hair cutting from The Awakening by Kate Chopin, rings and swords in The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Subject: Folklore and Mythology
Who is Odin, and which myth tradition does he come from?
Odin, also known as Wotan or Woden, is a Norse god with Germanic origins. He has many names. To list them all would take up the entire block, but here are a few of importance: Havi, the High One; Allfather; the Mad God. Each of these names he earned by doing some spectacular deed. He is most famous for his dealings with the god Mimir and the great world tree Yggdrasil, where he hung for nine days and nine nights to learn magic and the power of the runes. Other than that, he is known as the main god of the Norse pantheon, and for his vast array of subjects that he governs, which includes divination, war, hanged individuals (as a god of the gallows specifically), ravens, wolves, and magic. Because he is a trickster and defied gender expectations and norms of the myths, he is equally revered and avoided, even by modern day revivalists of the pantheon. Gender expectations at the time involved men only winning conflicts with brutality, not cunning. He was also taught Seidr, a form of Norse shamanism only accessible to female practitioners, by Freya/Frigg, only solidifying his transcendence of gender norms. Because of this, Odin became known for having a lust and thirst of knowledge that no other person in the pantheon could replicate, as he would defy everything for knowledge, or make great sacrifices for it. He would even trade one of his eyes for the magical runes. He also came to be known as the Wanderer, as he would explore Midgard (Earth) and other realms in seek of knowledge or other gifts. He has influenced major characters such as Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, and he is an ever present embodiment in any wizard that in seen in all genres.