It is easy to spot dialogue in “Speech Class,” because it looks just like the dialogue we see in stories—set
I suspect my undergraduate writing students will have no difficulty recognizing at least one craft strategy in my recently published essay, “Reckoning.” I teach it early and often.
Perhaps it’s my trademark.
I’m talking about white space. I like to use it around a single short line to make the line stand out and demand attention. It’s a strategic move that stuck with me after several semesters of poetry in college, even as I migrated to prose. To be clear, I’m not talking about dialogue, which might look set off by white space because of grammar conventions. I’m talking about an original line of my thoughts that I deliberately place by itself.
I know your eyes go there.
First in a series of posts looking closely at the craft of writing about grief Last month I facilitated a
With Katherine Bomer’s book HIDDEN GEMS in mind, I take a close look at a text by an upper grade student and offer my analysis of what’s going well, what I’d teach next.
To me, endings are all about the take-away. What do you want readers to know, feel, do, think or wonder about after they finish reading your story? You can’t write an ending until you decide that.
When I first read stories with students and ask them to identify the climax, they tend to point to a small amount of text, often two sentences or less. This is one of a handful of common phenomena that still baffles me — where did so many of us get the idea that climaxes are small?
More accurately, the climax is often the most important part of the story, and, consequently, it gets the most space.
After my post about “Beginnings, Middles and Ends” a few weeks ago, a teacher-friend reached out to me. “When I
The best touchstone texts are sophisticated enough to work across multiple grade and comprehension levels. One of the first—and still one of the most frequent—touchstone texts that I used was THE LEAVING MORNING by Angela Johnson. Here are just a few of the brilliant craft strategies my students and I have discovered in it: