Jan 20

Title? Action? Characters?

Title? Action? Characters?

Words From Context

A Writing Exercise

Read ‘Characters first?’ before the class.

  1. You are going to be given a list of best selling books. Hopefully you will have read one or more of them. If not you can add to the list but please choose well-known books or plays.

a) Choose a book and write down what it is about in one sentence.

b) On a new line write down the name of one, two or three characters that you remember from the story.

c) Again on a new line, write down the location/setting and whether the book is fact or fiction

eg.Casablanca: a) A spy story set at the time of WW II. b) Rick, Sam and Louis. c) Fiction, set in Morocco, (a screenplay by Julius J Epstein from ‘Everyone comes to Rick’s by Murray Bennet and Joan Alison)

 

  1. One person should share the single sentence from 1.a and invite the rest of the group to write down their best guess as to the title book.

 Do not discuss at this point.

Then read out the characters and the group try again, first writing down their guess or ticking their first guess if they still think it is correct.

The reader then shares the location and whether fact or fiction. The group guesses again or puts another tick. The sharer then reads out the title.

 

After everyone has shared their books discuss what were the best clues, well written sentences, character names, locations or did you need the title? Were there any that people had not heard of even with the title?

3. a) Everyone should write down an author’s name that they think the others will have heard of.

b) Each person reads out their author and everyone tries to write down the title of a book that the author has written.

c) Share and discuss how many were recognised by everyone? How many were not known to more than one person? Were there any that no-one got an answer for? How much do we assume that what we know is general knowledge and can be mentioned to illustrate a point? (As with metaphors and analogy, the reader has to know the allusions or they do not work).

4. Discuss the exercises so far: How did different things make a greater or lesser impression on some eg characters, locations, titles, authors?

5. Write a short article for a literary magazine about this topic. You may want to put forward a particular view of what is most memorable and therefore important to get right, or you may just wish to explore the topic in your own words.

Share and discuss if time.

(These articles may need research to find good examples to illustrate your points. If anyone would like to follow it up for next time we might discuss suitable places to submit for publication.)

 

 

 

Make copies as handouts:

Hopefully you will have read one or more of the books on the list. If not you can add to the list but please choose well-known books or plays.

a) Choose a book and write down what it is about in one sentence

b) On a new line write down the name of one, two or three characters that you remember from the story.

c) Again on a new line, write down the location/setting and whether the book is fact or fiction.

eg Casablanca: a) A spy story set at the time of WW II. b) Rick, Sam and Louis. c) Fiction, set in Morocco. (a screenplay by Julius J Epstein from ‘Everyone comes to Rick’s by Murray Bennet and Joan Alison)

Hopefully you will have read or more books on the list. If not you can add to the list but please choose well-known books or plays.

a) Choose a book and write down what it is about in one sentence. b) On a new line write down the name of one, two or three characters that you remember from the story.

c) Again on a new line, write down the location/setting and whether the book is fact or fiction.

eg Casablanca: a) A spy story set at the time of WW II. b) Rick, Sam and Louis. c) Fiction, set in Morocco, (a screenplay by Julius J Epstein from ‘Everyone comes to Rick’s by Murray Bennet and Joan Alison)

 

Hopefully you will have read one or more of the books on the list. If not you can add to the list but please choose well-known books or plays

a) Choose a book and write down what it is about in one sentence.

b) On a new line write down the name of one, two or three characters that you remember from the story.

c) Again on a new line, write down the location/setting and whether the book is fact or fiction.

eg Casablanca: a) A spy story set at the time of WW II. b) Rick, Sam and Louis. c) Fiction, set in Morocco, (a screenplay by Julius J Epstein from ‘Everyone comes to Rick’s by Murray Bennet and Joan Alison)

Suggested Book List:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling

The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien.

The Alchemist by Coelho Paulo

The da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stig Larsson

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Shadow of the Wind by Zafon Carlos Ruiz

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

The Kite Runner by Khaled, Hosseini

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend

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