Spotlight: Trenton


Trenton Charlson

Trenton created a Writing-Center-themed Acrostic Puzzle! Check it out!

PDF icon Writing Center Acrostic Puzzle

PDF icon Writing Center Acrostic Puzzle Answer Key


1) Tell me about yourself…. What are you studying? What year are you?

Hi, I'm Trenton. I am currently finishing my senior year, and am graduating with a degree in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing (sadly, there is no Crossword Puzzle major at Ohio State)

2) What do you like about working at the Writing Center?
 One thing I like about working at the writing center is getting the opportunity to engage with other writers, and to not only share some of my insight on the writing process, but to receive some insight as well. It's a great feeling to help a client make a breakthrough in their writing, but it's just as rewarding to have an exchange with a client that makes me see an aspect of the writing process in a new light.

3) What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn. It's an epistolary novel set in a town whose government gradually outlaws the use of more and more letters of the alphabet. I'm a fan of both satire and wordplay, so it's right up my alley. I'm almost jealous I didn't think of the idea first.

4) When you're struggling with writing, what do you do?

When I have writer's block, taking a break and coming back to my writing with fresh eyes tends to help me gain a new perspective. If that doesn't work, I sometimes resort to dark magic (don't tell anyone). 

5) What advice do you have for students?
I would advise students to know their limits. This isn't to say that you shouldn't strive to reach your goals, but that you shouldn't feel pressured to adhere to other's expectations, and instead do what's right for you. School can be stressful, and it's important to take care of yourself, and to be sure to make time to do whatever it is that you are passionate about.

6) What's your favorite part of speech/grammatical concept (either to talk about in sessions, or in general)?
I've never mentioned it in a session, but the zeugma is a pretty intriguing figure of speech. It's where a word (usually a verb) can apply to multiple subjects of a sentence, but in a different way each time. For example, Trenton made crossword puzzles and peace (which is a true sentence, by the way).

7) What have you had the most fun writing?
Do crossword puzzles count? I've actually found that creating a crossword has a lot in common with the writing process: both involve coming up with a creative idea (often a new spin on something that's been done before), figuring out how to best execute the idea according to the established conventions of the form, and best of all, playing with words! I really enjoy  playing around with the letters that make up words, which is one reason that crossword puzzles appeal to me so much. I can't usually scratch quite the same itch with my writing, but this love of words is something that I have incorporated into some of my creative writing. The thing I enjoyed writing most for a creative writing class was a creative non-fiction piece where I shared my thoughts on different forms of wordplay, while organically incorporating these forms of wordplay into the discussion. 

8) What's your favorite assignment to work on with clients?
Working on creative writing with clients is really cool, as it's great to see how others' creative processes work. With all the creative writing classes I've taken, I've participated in a good number of workshops. The feedback from other writers that these provide can prove to be invaluable, so as a consultant, it's really rewarding to be able to use some of my experience to provide one-on-one feedback in a writing center setting.

9) What is one one motto that you incorporate into your life or your writing?
One maxim that particularly resonates with me is that you can almost always find humor in a situation. I try not to take myself too seriously, and this is something that definitely applies to my creative work as well. I try to be true to myself as a writer, and as such, I have found that I end up injecting humor into almost every piece I write in a creative capacity--  it simply feels unnatural not to do so.

10) Describe your perfect writing day
I've found that I tend to do my best writing-- especially creative writing-- later in the day, so on a perfect writing day, I probably wouldn't start writing until late afternoon. I'd work on a creative writing piece for a couple hours or so, then take a break and relax when I'm out of inspiration. Next, I'd work on a crossword puzzle I've been constructing for a little while, then look back at the creative writing a bit later and see if any inspiration strikes. If not, maybe it will tomorrow (I'm assuming that since this is a perfect writing day, my cauldron would be locked up out of reach).