Finding Your Voice

When I started planning for last week's class, I had no idea how I was going to help my students "find their voice." I'm not even sure I've found my own. But as I began researching and assembling a lesson plan, I realized I already had the resources that would help all of us. Early …

Advertisements

Suspense

So, last night we continued the conversation on plot with a lesson on suspense. I took a tip from Bret Anthony Johnston and began the lesson by reading The Monster at the End of This Book -- a great example of suspense. Then we talked about ways to add suspense to "Cinderella," since that's the …

Plot

I've been dreading the class on plot ever since I signed up to teach. The word itself is just so full and round and all-encompassing. It makes me think of clot, which makes me think of blood, which makes me think of survival. Plot truly is the lifeblood of a story, and in the past …

Dialogue

So far in my class we've talked about characterization and point of view, and last night we tackled dialogue. I wasn't sure how interested my students would be in this subject, but they ended up having a lot of questions — ranging in topic from punctuation to whether it's more effective to use dialogue or …

Point of View

After last week's disappointments, I really struggled with planning this week's lesson on point of view. I wasn't sure how much detail would be too much for the class. Should I just introduce first-, second-, and third-person narration? Or should I also get into third-person objective, limited, and omniscient narration? The third-person specifics seemed like …

Learning

Some writers believe writing can't be taught. Others claim anyone can learn to be a writer, that it’s all about discipline and perseverance. Personally, I subscribe to Galileo’s theory, which seems to combine the two ways of thinking: “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This theory …