with Michelle Cameron
Show AND Tell
Today's topic was when to show AND tell. The famous writer’s axiom “Show, don’t tell,” is certainly useful for very important scenes – which should always be shown. But there are times when tell is a suitable writing technique – including back story, the framing of flashbacks, and certainly story transitions.
We discussed what goes into a “show” scene, which includes:
We then did a number of short writing exercises to practice showing emotion on the body and face. I told them that Charles Dickens famously used a mirror to be able to show himself what emotion looked like, which he would then describe in words.
(We briefly diverted into some Dickens-related lore: how he was paid by the word, making some of his many novels quite long, as well which of his books were most famous and which he didn’t write. I’d love to suggest that, with the coming holiday season, everyone reads “A Christmas Carol” to begin to become acquainted with his writing.)
So we used a mirror, having one student model sadness and another happiness. After that, we embarked on a few more layered emotions:
Next week we’re doing our final in-class revision. I asked the kids to bring one of the pieces they’ll be submitting to our online journal – and they should work on polishing anything they wish to submit (more on that in a moment).
They should bring in two double-spaced copies for revision next week. I didn’t give them any other writing to do, so please have them really focus on all of the pieces they’re going to submit.
They should consult the revision guidelines I gave them early on. If you need a reminder, revisit them here: http://www.mosaicfreeschool.com/1/post/2013/09/teen-writers-circle-class-summary-93013.html.
Online Journal Submissions
We are getting close to the end and I’d like the kids to focus on their online journal submissions. Each student can submit:
I’d really like to see more than one submission from every student.
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!