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Amy Benjamin. www.amybenjamin.com Please feel free to access any of today’s visuals: www.amybenjamin.com.

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Presentation on theme: "Amy Benjamin. www.amybenjamin.com Please feel free to access any of today’s visuals: www.amybenjamin.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 Amy Benjamin. Please feel free to access any of today’s visuals:

2 Amy Benjamin. Writing with Detail, Depth and Dimension Prepositional phrases Adverbials Appositives

3 Amy Benjamin. Examples of Prepositional Phrases Far off above us a square of light trembled through the screen of snow. Staggering along in Frome's wake I floundered toward it, and in the darkness almost fell into one of the deep drifts against the front of the house. Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot. Then he lifted his lantern, found the latch, and led the way into the house. I went after him into a low unlit passage, at the back of which a ladder-like staircase rose into obscurity. On our right a line of light marked the door of the room which had sent its ray across the night; and behind the door I heard a woman's voice... from Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome:

4 Amy Benjamin. Detail, Depth, Dimension Notice how every sentence is studded with prepositional phrases. …above us a square of light trembled through the screen of snow. Staggering along in Frome's wake I floundered toward it, and in the darkness almost fell into one of the deep drifts against the front of the house. Frome scrambled up the slippery steps of the porch, digging a way through the snow with his heavily booted foot. Then he lifted his lantern, found the latch, and led the way into the house. I went after him into a low unlit passage, at the back of which a ladder-like staircase rose into obscurity. On our right a line of light marked the door of the room which had sent its ray across the night; and behind the door I heard a woman's voice...

5 Amy Benjamin. Prepositional phrases can be piled up, side by side. into one of the deep drifts against the front of the house up the slippery steps of the porch through the snow with his heavily booted foot after him into a low unlit passage, at the back of which

6 Amy Benjamin. Any word that will fit into this space would be a preposition: somewhere ________ the rainbow over under around through in on at near away from inside outside across from behind beneath

7 Amy Benjamin. What questions do prepositional phrases answer? Where?above us, up the slippery steps, into obscurity When? at night, after dinner, in the morning What kind? Which one? of gold, with puffy sleeves

8 Amy Benjamin. How can I use prepositional phrases to make my writing more interesting? Look for nouns in the sentence that you can say more about: Where? When? What kind? Which one? Vary your sentence structure by beginning some sentences with with prepositional phrases.

9 Amy Benjamin. How can I use prepositional phrases to make my writing more interesting? Vary your sentence structure by placing prepositional phrases in various parts of your sentences. Here’s how Mark Twain does this in a passage from Life on the Mississippi: Sometimes, in the big river, when we would be feeling our way cautiously along through a fog, the deep hush would suddenly be broken by yells and a clamor of tin pans, and all in instant a log raft would appear vaguely through the webby veil, close upon us;

10 Amy Benjamin. Detail and Dimension Technique II: Adverbials adverbial: any word, phrase, or clause that answers the q’s that an adverb answers Adverbs: Answer these q’s: where? when? why? to what extent? how?

11 Amy Benjamin. Examples of Adverbials: When Jack London wrote White Fang, he used many adverbials to provide detail and dimension: The men slept, breathing heavily, side by side, under the one covering. The fire died down, and the gleaming eyes drew closer the circle they had flung about the camp. The dogs clustered together in fear, now and again snarling menacingly as a pair of eyes drew close. Once their uproar became so loud that Bill woke up. He got out of bed carefully, so as not to disturb the sleep of his comrade, and threw more wood on the fire. As it began to flame up, the circle of eyes drew farther back. He glanced casually at the huddling dogs. He rubbed his eyes and looked at them more sharply. Then he crawled back into the blankets

12 Amy Benjamin. Examples of Adverbials: You may have noticed that prepositional phrases can be adverbials if they answer the questions that adverbials answer (where? when? why? to what extent? in what manner?) The men slept, breathing heavily, side by side, under the one covering. The fire died down, and the gleaming eyes drew closer the circle they had flung about the camp. The dogs clustered together in fear, now and again snarling menacingly as a pair of eyes drew close. Once their uproar became so loud that Bill woke up. He got out of bed carefully, so as not to disturb the sleep of his comrade, and threw more wood on the fire. As it began to flame up, the circle of eyes drew farther back. He glanced casually at the huddling dogs. He rubbed his eyes and looked at them more sharply. Then he crawled back into the blankets

13 Amy Benjamin. Notice that some adverbials consist of a single word: down closer up carefully casually once together then While others consist of a phrase: breathing heavily side by side under the one covering about the camp in fear out of bed so as not to disturb the sleep of his comrade on the fire farther back at the huddling dogs at them more sharply back into the blankets And still others consist of an entire clause: as a pair of eyes drew close, as it began to flame up

14 Amy Benjamin. Detail, Depth and Dimension Technique III: Appositives Review and Remember: An appositive is a noun or pronoun placed beside another noun or pronoun to identify or describe it. Another way to recognize appositives: Think of an appositive as being a re-namer of the noun or pronoun that precedes it: This one is Lucianus, nephew to the king. nephew to the king re-names Lucianus.

15 Amy Benjamin. Examples of Appositives. the rich Irish grocer re-names Denis Eady. On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer… Let’s look at how real authors use appositives to re-name nouns in their sentences: From Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton: On my arrival at Starkfield, Denis Eady, the rich Irish grocer, who was the proprietor of Starkfield's nearest approach to a livery stable, had entered into an agreement to send me over daily to Corbury Flats, where I had to pick up my train for the Junction Here’s how this appositive fits in to Edith Wharton’s full sentence:

16 Amy Benjamin. Frome was in the habit.of walking into Starkfield to fetch home his wife's cousin, Mattie Silver. Mattie Silver re-names his wife’s cousin. Example of appositive from Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton: …Mattie Silver, his wife’s cousin. Here’s how the appositive fits into Edith Wharton’s whole sentence:

17 Amy Benjamin. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen- hearted Northland Wild Appositives can be used to give more information about a place, as this one, by Jack London in White Fang, does:

18 Amy Benjamin. An appositive can be a metaphor. Here’s a famous one from Homer’s The Odyssey: Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared,Telemachus rose and dressed himself

19 Amy Benjamin. There are a few of us. We are happy. We are a band of brothers. We But we in it shall be remembered-- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he who sheds his blood with me today Shall be my brother. Here are three ideas, expressed in three short sentences: Here’s how Shakespeare presents these three ideas as a series of appositives: And here’s the rest of this stirring sentence from the battle scene in Henry V: Not very poetic, is it? appositive few, we happy few, appositive we band of brothers, appositive Shakespeare used appositives in his writing:

20 Amy Benjamin. Life’s but a walking shadow, Life’s but a walking shadow. Life’s a poor player. Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. And here is what Macbeth observes about life at the end of the play: Here is how Shakespeare uses an appositive to have Macbeth express his despair: And here’s the whole sentence: a poor player,… appositive

21 Amy Benjamin. Review: Detail, Depth and Dimension If you want to be in interesting writer, do what the great writers have done: Use prepositional phrases to add information about time and place. Begin some sentences with prepositional phrases to vary your sentence structure. Use adverbials to answer questions that provide information: where? when? why? to what extent? in what manner? Use appositives after nouns or pronouns to give more information about them by using a re-namer. Note that commas should surround an appositive. (The comma is optional is the appositive is a single word.

22 Amy Benjamin. Practice: Be a Better Writer Use prepositional phrases, adverbials, and appositives to describe something interesting in nature, such as: A sunrise or sunset Ocean waves Clouds Rain or snow A storm The behavior of an animal


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