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Feb 24, 2016
Writers Craft Tips
Knock, knock!Whos there?RyeRye who?Rye Ting. Got any paper?How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.
The Writers Craft
How can I get my writing: * to show control * to command attention ?
Tip 1: Word CraftMake the thesaurus your friendStart a Word Bank in a notebookCollect, harvest, steal, listen for words that sing!Hang out on Vocab Building websites Replace general words with precise ones Use proper nouns (with capitals) to make your settings more specificUse colourful, vivid, unusual, varied, specific, onomatopoeic words not boring, cliched onesRead! Read! Read! And become a word magnet.The girl went to the shops.In the sentence above the words are too general, common and boring . Wave your magic word wand and make the sentence come alive. You can add/change/delete words to write 2 different versions of the sentence. Sentence A - positive, cheerful effectSentence B negative, dramatic, suspenseful effectOur Favourite WordsIn your group brainstorm words which have:Positive connotationsNegative connotationsInformal wordsNZ English / Te Reo kupuSayingsArrange your words in a group poem
Words are everywhere!Try websites such as http://www.visuwords.com/Lovely WordsKool Kupu! e.g. scorch, luscious, crunchy, clatter, shrill, nook, speck, gritty, audacious, sinister, sluggish, waddle, crimson, totter, ivory, blush, hover, baffle, ravenous, sputter, squelch, dawdle, reel
* Find the meaning of any of the above words you dont know. Use some in sentences.* Find lots of good fiction and collect vivid vocab from it for your Word Bank.
Taking Charge of Your Sentences!
Tip 2: Sentence CraftKnow what is, and what is not, a sentence!Can you define and write: minor, simple, compound and complex sentences?Know when to use each type to create a deliberate effect.Make sure you use a variety of sentence types. Aim for a deliberate effect with each sentence.Read your sentences aloud to check for rhythm and correct structure.
S = Complete ThoughtsSentence- a sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. Sentences are used to make statements and ask questions.
Incomplete: The boy with the compass (What about him?)
Complete: The boy with the compass is our leader.
Incomplete: Kay Jones, the manager of the bicycle factory (Did what?)
Complete: Kay Jones, the manager of the bicycle factory, talked to our class.
Watch Out! No Run-Ons or Comma SplicesIt is nearly half past five, we cannot reach town before dark.The sun is high, put on some sunblock.This computer doesn't make sense to me, it came without a manual.
Fix these please
Sentence TypesMinor = makes sense but has a missing subject or verb e.g. A rainbow? Children.
Simple = subject + verb e.g. A rainbow appeared in the sky.Compound e.g. A rainbow appeared in the sky and the children ran outside.
This is two simple sentences joined with a conjunction andComplex e.g. After a rainbow appeared in the sky, the children ran outside. A simple sentence and a dependent clause
* Find some good examples to share
ExampleWiti Ihimaeras A Game of Cards
Or the short story Ten we read.
Craft Your OwnWrite a paragraph which builds suspense by using a series of short simple and minor sentences e.g.Whos there? No answer. I was sure I had heard something. I checked the clock. Only 9pm. Mum and Dad wouldnt be back for an hour. My heart thumped. Now create a leisurely paced paragraph with long sentences. Start and finish with a short one.
Sentence VarietyWe live in one of those houses that have concrete paths everywhere. There is a square of lawn out the front with an elm tree exactly in the middle. The lawn is jewel green and carefully manicured and has sculptured edges of concrete kerbing to match the paths and driveway. I dont think much about it now, but I used to hate the concrete everywhere. I guess thats why I rang up about the farm job. Tip 3: ImageryImagery = creating pictures or images in the readers mind with wordsKnow the types e.g. simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia etcDont overdo any of these. Less is more.Make yours original or fresh Make them match your storys theme or moodUse the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell. taste
Spot the Imagery When the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherised upon a tableT. S. EliotA hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.Groucho MarxFill your paper with the breathings of your heart.William Wordsworth
Tip 4: Structure Beginnings and endings are very important craft them very carefullyYou must use paragraphsTopic sentences to beginTime markers?Foreshadowing?Narratives need to build to a climax plan firstChronological?Use a flashback?
Tip 5: Narrative MethodDecide which one best matches your purpose and desired effect: * First person? I remember the time.. * Second person? You take a bite. * Third person? She stared in horror.
Tip 6. Add Some SpeechTo start the story or to convey a characters feelings or personality e.g.What did you get? she asked me. None of your business, I replied grumpily. Youare always so nosey.
Remember to punctuate carefully and use a new line for a new speaker. Study examples in books.Final Tips Good writers are readers.
Read as widely as you can and notice what published writers do.
Good writers craft their work i.e. they write and rewrite and rewrite! Make sure you do too.