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Fundamentals of Creative Writing. DICTION One of the most important ingredients in a good writing is choosing exactly the right word for every situation.

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Presentation on theme: "Fundamentals of Creative Writing. DICTION One of the most important ingredients in a good writing is choosing exactly the right word for every situation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fundamentals of Creative Writing

2 DICTION One of the most important ingredients in a good writing is choosing exactly the right word for every situation (especially for poetry)

3 1. Word Choice Two kinds of vocabulary  Passive – all d words we can recognize when we read or listen to someone talk  Active – all d words we r capable of using when we write or speak What word to use?  Words that we have complete command of in order to guarantee precision & avoid unfortunate connotations.

4 Denotation vs. Connotation Denotation – literal meaning Connotation – more subtle, may include certain feelings, idea & value judgments E.g:  I want you to vote for Joe Boss, one of the greatest politicians (statesmen) in America. He has always been truthful (sincere) and all tied up in his work (devoted to his public duties).

5  This little shack (house) is for sale. It has an outmoded (old fashioned) fireplace and curious (quaint) old window. It has recently been scraped and painted (redecorated). It is located on a lovely plot of earth (piece of land) near an overgrown (wooded) area.

6 2. Clichés (Triteness) Expressions (usually simile or metaphors) that have been used so often that they are worn out  Busy as a bee, last but not least, etc Have lost their originality, colour & effectiveness. Should be avoided (unless it is intended for a boring character)

7 3. Jargon Manner of speaking or writing peculiar to a certain occupation or profession (specialized language) Some can be evasive/ euphemistic/ technical Try to avoid unless if u have characters who talk that way then write realistic dialogue E.g:  Military – retreat = strategic withdrawal  Businessmen – priority = prioritize  Sports – underdog upset leading contenders  Politicians – human rights, democratic process, the future lies ahead

8 4. Slang (+informal lang) To say things in an informal & colourful ways Every lang and generation has its slang Some appear & disappear quickly – jazz, jazz up, all that jazz Created by giving new meaning to an old word – hock (the joint of the hind leg of certain animals – to pawn –to shoplift) Combining of words in a new way – gorilla + baboon = goon, hangout, hangover Sheer invention – dork, scam

9 Colloquialisms often informal abbrv. of formal words – phone, comp, prof, math, auto Illiteracies involves errors in grammars & spelling but r often part of the everyday regional speech – ain’t, hain’t, sorta, kinda, hisself, theirself, heared. You will have to use informal language in dialogue but remember that language changes rapidly & can id the generation of the speaker  We had a swell time at the road house. vs. We partied all night at a club. How much to use depends on your style Formal, classical prose – avoid or use with caution

10 5. Accents Many have done this Eg. Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn) To put on paper the actual sound of a dialect (regional accents) means abandoning grammar & all the conventions of spelling Some readers may find it hard to read Solution? Suggest the accent in a limited way & use more normal language

11 6. Glossary (Usage) Confusing words in terms of usage Eg.  Advice, advise  Affect. Effect  Aggravate  Allusion, illusion  Fun Get a standard reference books on usage

12 SPELLING Have a good dictionary & know a few basic guidelines

13 1. Compound Words Made up of 2 or more words that serve as a single unit or modifier written as 1 word / hyphenated B4 noun almost all hyphenated (adj) After noun no hyphen E.g:  Well-known painter vs. As a painter he was well known

14 2. Final Silent e Usually dropped when an ending beginning with another vowel is added – dine, dining Retained  to distinguish similar sounds - dye, dyeing.  Add ending begin with consonant – hate, hateful  Words end with ce, ge + ending begin a/o – change,changeable /notice,noticeable

15 Punctuation Creative use of punctuation would portray  mood of character  dramatic action in the story  suspense


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