Tag: appropriate language

Nov 30

Grab the readers’ attention!

Grab the readers’ attention. Attention grabber? Following the previous week’s session, ‘Titles First’ in which some of the discussion focused on what they can or should reveal about the story and how they can intrigue, this week’s session title was ‘Action First’. We started with openings, of not more than three sentences and we had …

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Nov 29

Action first

Action First Homework:  Ask members to read the link before class http://writersend.com/2013/05/24/where-to-start/   AND do No 1: Write an opening in not more than 3 sentence which will catch the readers curiosity and interest immediately, set in a shop or a cemetery. Sometimes you just know from the first sentence that a book is going …

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Nov 10

Over-writing or good description?

Over-writing or good description? Before the session ask members to read ‘Economy of language’. Select two passages from a book that you find to be overwritten or too verbose. Give half the group one passage and half the other, each with a short introduction to the genre and plot of the novel. Members should first …

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Oct 04

Travel Writing

Travel Writing   NB. This group session is designed for my writing group in Lanzarote but can easily be adapted for other regions. Give out the first instructions the week before the session, preferably e mail for the links.After the example of the NYT piece on the undersea statues off the coast I would like …

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Sep 12

Starting with vocabulary

Starting with vocabulary Group Session Before the session ask the members to read ‘Gathering vocabulary‘ before you start writing’. Ideally they need a thesaurus with them in class or a tablet or phone from which they can access on line versions. Large sheets of paper or examples of a mind-map will also be needed (See …

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May 21

Keeping it short

Keeping it short You are going to write a very short story with, a beginning,  a middle and an end in 500 words. The aim is to write well, keep the language concise and to make it crisp and well paced. (read Economy of Language and also ‘Sometimes writing less is more’) before beginning this session) NB: …

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Apr 10

Gathering vocabulary before you start writing

Gathering vocabulary before you start writing There are many ways in which you can start to write. If you are doing writing exercises it is perhaps different to already having an idea for a story or a poem or article. Then you already have a focus. If you are looking for inspiration you might look …

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Mar 21

Sometimes writing less is more.

Sometimes writing less is more. It is important to try to avoid ‘overwriting’. Especially in descriptive passages, it is sometimes the case that the writer goes beyond what is poetic and evocative and writes too much, leaving nothing to the reader’s imagination and/or becoming over-sentimental, maudlin or cloying. Using figurative language well is a skill. …

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Mar 12

‘Facts’ and Truth in Stories

‘Facts’ and Truth in Stories In stories which are set in real places and real times it is natural and usual to include some ‘facts’ to give authenticity, or clues if you do not want to be too specific. You might mention actual street names, a famous person associated with a place or historical event …

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Nov 28

Critiques and Reviews

Critiques and reviews Two sessions: Week 1 NB: Ask readers in advance to read : Writing Reviews Ask members to write down a short list of what they think they should look for/comment on, if asked to write a critique of a short story that would be useful to the writer. Share and discuss ideas …

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