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N ARRATIVE W RITING Contributions from “Writing to Command Success” Workshop By Mark Diamond.

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Presentation on theme: "N ARRATIVE W RITING Contributions from “Writing to Command Success” Workshop By Mark Diamond."— Presentation transcript:

1 N ARRATIVE W RITING Contributions from “Writing to Command Success” Workshop By Mark Diamond

2 C AN YOU BUILD A HOUSE WITHOUT A BLUE PRINT ? No, it would fall apart! Without a solid plan, your narrative will fall apart as well creating boredom & confusion for the reader!

3 STEP 1 – P LAN ( PREWRITE ) Brainstorming (Reject no ideas!) Make decisions (about plot, setting, characters) WOW! LINE

4 T RICK #1 T HE WOW! L INE Draw a horizontal line to represent your narrative. Divide it into 3 parts WOW! Beginning Middle End

5 W HAT IS THE WOW! M OMENT ? When reader says, “Wow!” as they read your story. The most intense part of the story. Without it, your story is boring. JOT IT DOWN AT THE *

6 SUSPENSE “Wow!” moment first - then think back to when the story begins. Your story cannot begin with the “Wow!” moment. It will give it away and ruin it for your readers. “Once I was stalked by a tiger….”

7 E XAMPLE W OW ! MOMENT My favorite pet parakeet, Mickey, flies out the kitchen door into a blizzard! WOW! Beginning Middle End

8 R EWIND & F AST F ORWARD Go back to the beginning of story Story beginning (Mickey & me – when I first got him, describing him, training him) Go forward to after the WOW! moment. Search & rescue of Mickey Make just a few, short notes about the in-between events in the order they happened. Special day for Mickey – out of cage

9 T RICK #2 T HE L EAD First sentence to catch reader’s attention. The LEAD does NOT: Tell what happens at the WOW moment Mention the what happens to the subject Start like a child: “One day,” “One night,” “One warm windy Thursday afternoon,” “Hi, my name is Tiffany,” or “Have you ever…?” “One day I fell and broke my leg.” (BORING)

10 T HE L EAD … is the most important sentence in your narrative. creates pop up questions in the reader’s mind so he or she will want to keep reading! Most common effective leads are Dialogue Small movement What someone thinks or feels

11 DIALOGUE “Come downstairs, Derick. You’re late,” squawked my mom. Pop-up Question(s): “What is Derick late for?” “Why can’t you be responsible for just once?” Lynda questioned? Pop-up Question(s): “How was the person not responsible? Is this something I can relate to?”

12 MOVEMENT Allison kicked the can into the stream. Pop-up Question(s): Who is Allison? Why is she kicking a can into the stream? Where is she? The yellow parakeet’s wing brushed my shoulder as it landed on the couch. Pop-up Question(s): Why is there a parakeet flying around the house? Whose parakeet is it?

13 F EELING /T HOUGHTS “I don’t want to do this,” Jamie thought. Pop up questions: What doesn’t Jamie want to do? Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. Pop up question(s): What’s wrong?

14 REVIEW Lead is your narrative’s most important sentence (fiction or non-fiction) Professional writers don’t start with, “One day..” or “I’m going to tell you about….” or “This is going to be about…” or “One night….” or “Once I broke my leg…” WHY SHOULD YOU???????

15 T AKE A L OOK Let’s take a few minutes to examine your own personal Reading Counts books. Read the first sentence of your book. Does your book begin with one of these: Dialogue Small Movement Someone’s thoughts or feelings 1s/2s discuss your books

16 STEP 2:S LOPPY C OPY (1 ST DRAFT ) Write quickly Don’t worry about mistakes (“WE LOVE EM’!) Use pencil only Write on every 2 nd line to leave revising space Use complete sentences. No erasing!!!! (You might want to put something back.) Instead - cross it out ------------------- No throwing in the trash (loss of ideas!)

17 DON’T SWEAT IT! Even professional writers aren’t happy with the 1 st draft. You’ll add the heart & soul in REVISING. 1 st drafts are the bare bones of your story.

18 STEP 3:REVISING MOST IMPORTANT STEP OF WRITING Revising “BOOSTS” your writing from GOOD---------------------------GREAT!!!!! 1) Add Stuff 2) Delete Stuff 3) Move Stuff 4) Substitute better words

19 TRICK 3R EVISING A LOCATE THE WOW! MOMENT in the Sloppy Copy Add specific details Add dialogue It’s alright to make it up if you can’t remember exact dialogue/happenings ADD in the extra lines

20 E XAMPLE Before: As Maria slammed the door behind her, she saw a flash of green shoot toward the clouds. After: As Maria slammed the door behind her>heard the flutter of wings, and she saw a flash of green shoot toward the clouds.

21 A DDING MORE THAN A FEW WORDS ? Write the extra sentences on a new sheet of paper. Label the extra sentences with a symbol like, *, etc. Also place that symbol where the extra sentences go in your sloppy copy.

22 T RICK 4R EVISING B Find the place in the sloppy copy where you first mention the main character or subject. Add unusual or fascinating details about this person, pet, place or thing. Add the words between the lines with a caret or on an extra sheet with corresponding symbols.

23 REVISING B BEFORE Mickey was a parakeet. He was pretty. We had lots of fun together. AFTER Mickey was a fist-sized parakeet. He had a green chest, yellow head, and black and white wings. I trained him to say 25 expressions, like “Cheeseburger, cheeseburger,” “I love you,” and “Kiss, kiss, kiss, smack, smack, smack.” He learned to sit on my finger, shoulder, and head. We had a lot of fun together, like when he used to sit on the edge of my cereal bowl and throw rice krispies across the table.

24 T RICK 5REVISING C Substitute Special Words Replace normal common words with precise Vivid Uncommon Words & Phrases

25 EXAMPLES Maria walked over in the snow and ice. After she got there, she got the snow and ice off her coat and hat before taking them off. “Want to sit and have some hot chocolate?” said mom. Maria trudged through the blizzard. After she arrived, she brushed the snow and ice off her coat and hat before removing them.

26 BOOST!!!! These words and phrases = Good ---------------------GREAT “C”-------------------------”A”

27 T RICK #6 T HE C ONCLUSION Do not just stop and say “The End.” “I reached the bottom of the paper.” “ I ran out of time” “I got tired of writing.” “I couldn’t think of anything else to say.” What works? A thought, A feeling, or A lesson learned about the main topic.

28 E NDING W ON AN ELECTION FOR CLASS PRESIDENT After dinner, we drove home, and I went to sleep. After dinner, we drove home, and I went to sleep. All that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about the exciting projects I’d be working on as the new class president. (A THOUGHT, A FEELING, or A LESSON LEARNED ---- ABOUT THE MAIN TOPIC)

29 T ITLES Only hint at what is to come – don’t give away the “WOW” moment! Make the reader wonder what your story is about. Save writing a title for after you paper is finished Our Family Camping Trip – YUCK! Mountain and Mosquitoes – YES!!!!

30 P ROOFREAD A = In a low voice so your ears hear B = point to each word with a pencil as you say the word C = Proofread in slo-mo

31 PARAGRAPH BREAKS At the beginning At a change of time At a change of place At a change of speaker in dialogue At a change of ideas, event or topic


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