Tags » Writer's Workshop

"When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself"

Just wanted to share really quickly:

Matthew Salesses has a new article up on NPR’s Code Switch blog and it’s definitely worth a read:

When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself… 353 more words

Writing

Stimulating Writing with Youtube

I (Cathy) teach Writer’s Workshop in my university literacy class by having my student teachers participate in one.  They engage in the entire process from selecting a genre, to peer editing, to learning from descriptive feedback, to publishing their work.    131 more words

Literacy

Six Pack

Six pack. What was I supposed to do with that? It was prompt given to us in a monologue writing class that I attended Saturday. I was at the Intensive Day Workshop offered by the Rock Hill Chapter of SCWW (South Carolina Writers’ Workshop), an annual event that offers instruction, fun, food, and exposure to other writers and their ideas. I also learned about Sunscribe Publishers, a new publisher in South Carolina.

Nick, a member of the Camden chapter, and I arrived about 8:30, and after registering we pored over the program, marveling at the myriad of choices available and wondering which sessions to attend. After much deliberation, we decided on Create and Organize Your Story for Dramatic Effect; Using the Semiconscious Mind to Spur Creative Thought; How to Make Your Dialogue Snap, Crackle, and Pop; and The Art of Monologue.

Between morning and afternoon sessions, we ate boxed lunches from McAlister’s and listened to several authors read their work. While polishing off his chocolate chip cookie, Nick spotted a woman whose work he had admired last year. At last spring’s conference, she had read a fictitious story about a woman coming home to find a dead man in her bathtub. From the discovery to the solution, the tale was entertaining and “fun.” After lunch, Nick introduced himself to the author and bought her book.

As an aside, I deliberately added “fictitious” to the above because when Nick was telling one of our table mates about the story, someone asked, “OMG, what did she do??”

It would be impossible to recount all of the many things I learned at the Rock Hill workshop, so I’m going to list just a few of my notes:

  • After you’ve written your story, go over it again and add more details. Do it again.
  • It’s a moment in time for your character and you have to become that person. What does she see, smell? What kind of furniture does she have? What’s her favorite food? What does she do on a Saturday night? Does she have friends?
  •  Look at novels and see how they’re organized.
  •  You’ll need to interweave the character’s past and present.
  •  We don’t want the reader to ever be confused.
  •  The verb is the most important word in the sentence.
  • What goes into your story must be important enough to be included.
  • Metaphors pull your story up to a higher level.
  • Dialogue reveals character, unveils attitudes, discloses personalities, and divulges thoughts.
  • Use dialogue to drive your plot.

In our last session, Nick and I learned about the art of monologue. After reading several examples and teaching us what a monologue was, our instructor, Barbara Lawing, gave us some prompts to work with. I was crummy at this exercise, but some of my session-mates produced some amazingly good monologues using “six pack” as the prompt. Anxious to learn more about this type of writing, I ordered Jane Martin: Collected Plays from Amazon as soon as I got home.

Saturday was a day well-spent. We learned and laughed and rubbed shoulders with people who were trying to learn more about writing. I came home with a number of good ideas and a wealth of information and inspiration.

Writing

Always Write: Sacred Writing Time

Corbett Harrison: One of my core classroom beliefs: Students will write every day…in my classroom, we call it “Sacred Writing Time”

It’s ten simple minutes out of our daily schedule, but it’s become one of the most important things we do in my classroom. 271 more words

Scoop.it

In New York by Marc Brown

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Part homage to Marc Brown’s beloved hometown and part travel guide, In New York is a great informational picture book about the largest city in the United States.   130 more words

Teaching With Picture Books

Tin House Summer Writer's Workshop: Highlights From Day One

  • After settling into my dorm room, I braved the dining hall for lunch—this wide open area with various food stations. There were trays with papers lining them indicating how many big and little dishes you can have.
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Writing News

What in the world is a word hoard?

A word hoard is a term guest author Megan Frazer Blakemore derived from -  Beowulf.  It’s a writer’s lexicon. Today’s challenge was to create word hoards that your characters might create. 251 more words

Education