Tag: language

Jul 13

Writing about when ‘something went wrong’

Writing about when ‘something went wrong’ Saying ‘something went wrong’ suggests strongly that the speaker, or writer, does not know what it was that went wrong. Otherwise why not just say, someone was late, the person responsible did not place the order, the wrong part was fitted, the customer did not pay the bill…. If …

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May 12

Ghost Stories: Writing Group Session

Ghost Stories: Writing Group Session   Before the session members should read ‘Writing Ghost Stories‘ for ideas and suggestions which they may find helpful. As well as short stories and longer novels, spooky stories lend themselves well to poetry. Poetry allows the use of enigmatic and allusive passages through figurative  language; similes and metaphor, personification, …

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Feb 02

Writing Dialogue Part 1

Writing Dialogue Part 1 When talking about writing dialogue there are two elements to consider: Why and how do we use it? (Part 1) How do we punctuate it correctly? (See Writing Dialogue: Part 2 for few tips about punctuation when writing dialogue.)   In fiction writing there needs to be a balance between dialogue, …

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Dec 27


Punctuation Starting from very little information Explain: You are going to be given a short passage. Read it to yourself, carefully. Do not read it out loud or ask questions at this stage. Think about what could be happening, what could have happened so far leading up to this, who is speaking/writing, what might happen …

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Sep 14

Punctuation (the only way?)

Punctuation (the only way?) Session 30 NB. Ideally you need a copy of ‘Eats Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss, or examples of passages where a change in punctuation completely changes the meaning, which you may find on the internet. We have discussed punctuation before and looked at examples of how very different the meaning …

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Sep 11


Clichés Session 29 Let me be clear, I don’t have the answers, but, I am going to start with a question: What are they? Are clichés useful shorthand, truisms used for emphasis, often tautological and therefore irritating, always irritating? Are they amusing, hackneyed and overworked, witty or a sign of laziness or lack of imagination? …

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Aug 29

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak I was not prepared for this book. I did not expect it to be such an emotional read! Death, as the narrator, is very effective. I liked the bulletins and summaries and the unusual use of language which works brilliantly to evoke meaning through quirky use of vocabulary and …

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Aug 27


Titles Have you ever noticed how many successful books have titles that are quotes, or familiar phrases from somewhere else? A quick browse on Amazon will show you how many titles have a familiar ring to them. If you are trying to choose a title for your own work it is worth looking at lists …

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Aug 24

Writing to Explore Perception

Writing to Explore Perception   Session 27 Whenever we have the same stimulus for everyone in the group we always find that someone comments on how different the responses and results are, given that we use the same starting point. Taking that idea on board this session deliberately sets out to explore the range of …

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Aug 20

Writing to Summarise

Writing to Summarise Session 24 You will need to select one or more suitable newspaper stories or magazine articles and photocopy them for the group. A selection of highlighter pens would be useful. Also photocopy and give out the following handout * to * . NB.This can be found on the blog: writersend.com in ‘Advice …

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