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Thursday, September 15 Objectives Improve narrative writing skills Improve sentence structure Review rubric for narrative writing.

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Presentation on theme: "Thursday, September 15 Objectives Improve narrative writing skills Improve sentence structure Review rubric for narrative writing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thursday, September 15 Objectives Improve narrative writing skills Improve sentence structure Review rubric for narrative writing

2 Peer-feedback for Memoir Topic Choose your 3 most interesting memories that you might want to write about. Using the three index cards, write a brief 2-3 sentence summary of each memory (1 per card). Clear your desk of everything except the three cards. Peer voting on memories.

3 Descriptive Writing Practice Describe a time when you felt confused during a teacher’s lesson.

4 Lexicon Sensory images: words that help a reader to imagine experiencing a sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch. – Love – When I was five – She was my best friend

5 Attention Grabber: Setting The dim morning light beamed through the window. A pile of clothes lay on the floor underneath the half-open book bag. The alarm clock was buzzing,ring-ring-ring. The smell of frying bacon wafted up from the kitchen downstairs. Light falling like dust on the wrinkled bed-sheets, clothes discarded carelessly on the floor, the incessant buzzing of the alarm clock—all of these created a sense of quiet unease in the bedroom.

6 Setting Tips Try to avoid using the first person. Focus on describing the spaces as if a movie camera was panning across it; what would the camera see, hear, etc. Include vivid sensory images: sight, sounds, textures, even smells and tastes. Choose them wisely, though. Don’t go overboard. – For example: The worn-out, dirty, smelly clothes sat on the cold, brown, cracked linoleum floor. Avoid the verb “to be” whenever possible. – Instead of “It was raining,” write “Rain fell noisily on the roof.”

7 Attention Grabber: Dialogue “No, I am not doing this again. Do you hear me? I said do you hear me in there?” she shouted as she banged her fist against the door. “Un-un, not one more day.” “Yeah Mom, I get it. Enough,” I mumbled as I pulled the blankets up farther around my head. She gave the door one final pound. “What did you just say to me?” “Nothin’. I’m up, ‘kay? I’m up.”

8 Dialogue Tips Start “in media res” which means “in the middle of things” to create a sense of curiosity in the reader. Use interesting dialogue tags: mumbled, complained, whispered, etc. After the first 2 or 3 dialogue tags, you can stop adding them. Make sure to indent every time the speaker changes.

9 Attention Grabber: Action I slammed my fist on the beeping alarm, kicked the blankets off, and buried my head under the pillow. Eventually, I pulled myself out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom.

10 Action Tips Use vivid, interesting verbs. – Instead of “I got out of bed” write “I fell/stumbled/melted out of bed.” – Instead of “I was tired” write “I ached with tiredness.” Make sure to pick a tense, and stay in that tense. Do not use the past perfect if it is not necessary. – Do not write “I had eaten breakfast and had left for school.” Write, “I ate breakfast and left for school.” – Only use past perfect if you are doubling back: I had eaten breakfast before my mother woke up.

11 Concept Description Sleep is a bandage wrapped around a wounded day. Ripping it off too soon leaves me feeling vulnerable to the infection of routine life, and so I guard my sleep with the desperation of a starving dog.

12 Concept Tips Choose a key word or idea from your story that can serve as an important theme. Create an interesting definition using a simile, metaphor or personification. Don’t be afraid to use hyperbole in describing the concept. Avoid cliches!

13 Character Description “My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get a good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous….America was where all my mother’s hopes lay. She had come here in 1949 after losing everything in China: her mother and father, her family home, her first husband, and two daughters, twin baby girls. But she never looked back with regret. There were so many ways for things to get better.” (Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club)

14 Character Tips Character description can involve any of the following: – Your feelings about this person: “Nothing I experience feels real until I have had a chance to share it with her over a cup of coffee.” – The traits that make this person unique: “He is so serious about recycling that he saves the cotton balls that are stuffed into aspirin bottles.” – Contradictions in the person’s identity: “She is the loudest and quietest person I know”

15 Character Continued – A brief bio – Physical appearance – An anecdote: brief, unusual story that illustrates some aspect of the person’s character: – The person’s beliefs and ideas – Personality traits

16 Homework Write one full page of your memoir and bring it in—typed or handwritten but preferably typed. It must use at least 3 strategies that we have studied. Write on rubric: memoir is due on Friday, September 23.


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