Fiction: Peer-editing

Daily Prompt #23: Writing from a Word

RAIN

What comes to your mind when you see this word?

Write for five minutes.

Today, you’re going to have your peers help you improve your fiction piece.


 

All of you will receive a peer editing form. Staple this to the front of your rough draft. If your fiction piece is on an electronic device, make sure the paper travels with it.

The sheet has a front and back side. The front side is for editor #1 and the back side is for editor #2. Have two different students read your fiction piece.

The more serious you take this, the more beneficial it will be.

When you are done, use the time remaining to read the editors’ comments, ask questions, and fine tune your rough drafts.

 

 

 

 

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Character Development, Point of View, and Verb Tense

Daily Prompt #24Story Title Ideas

What would be some good ideas for titles for your fiction piece? Make a list of as many as you can.

Write for five minutes.

 

Today, I want you to start creating well-developed characters for the plot lines you began yesterday and deciding which point of view you want to tell your story from. Finally, you have to decide on a verb tense and make sure you are consistent!

First, let’s review the packet on “Creating Well-Developed Characters” together.

 

Today, we’re also going to consider point of view when writing our stories.

One way of considering it is by first (I), second (you), and third person (he/she) limited (we read thoughts of only certain characters) and omniscient (all-knowing).

Beyond these, you also have to think about the characters in your story. Sure, you know you want to use first person, but what if you use first person from the perspective of the family cat? Perspective is an integral part of point of view. Your possibilities are truly endless.

There are also advanced techniques such as free indirect style, stream-of-consciousness, and the unreliable narrator. Which will you choose?

As a writer, you have to really consider why you’re writing this story so you know who will be your most impactful storyteller.

Let’s play around with this idea for a bit by starting with a general scenario.

A family is seated around the dinner table.

Characters:
Mom (Diana): 47
Dad (Robert): 50
Daughter (Carly): 18
Son (Josh) :15
Daughter (Elle): 18 months
Pug (Othello): 10 (56 in dog years)

During dinner, Carly is going to announce she saw Josh kissing a girl at school. The reactions the family has (and how Carly announces it) are entirely up to you.

Each table will be assigned one of the following guidelines. Notice you are being assigned a verb tense as well (past or present).

  • First person, Carly’s perspective. Past tense.
  • Third person limited, Josh’s perspective. Present tense.
  • Third person omniscient. Past tense.
  • First person, Robert’s perspective. Present tense.
  • Third person limited, Elle’s perspective. Past tense.
  • Second person. present.
  • First person, Diana’s perspective. Past tense.

Let’s share a few to hear the difference.

 

For the remainder of the hour, complete as much of the character questionnaire as you can in your notebooks. Your ideas may change as you continue to develop your story and that’s okay!  The key is to simply start. I also want you to commit to a point of view and verb tense by writing your name on a post-it and putting it on the appropriate board.

I’d like to see your questionnaires when you’re done to give you points and mini conference.

Genres of Fiction and Crafting a Plot

Daily Prompt #18:  Genre Writing

In the context of writing, the word genre is a reference to a type of writing which has unique characteristics in regards to narrative elements such as setting, plot, character, and theme (just to name a few).

Brainstorm as many genres as you can think of and write them in your notebooks. Then, identify the following on your list:

* your favorite genre to READ

* your favorite genre to WRITE

* genres you’ve never read or written

Take five minutes. Be prepared to discuss.

 

Here is an additional list of genres: 35 Genres

 


Let’s play around with genre for a bit. Write down the following sentence:

A man walked down the street.

 

Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a mystery.


Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a sci fi or fantasy.


Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a romance.


Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a comedy.


Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a historical fiction.


Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a mystery.


Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a realistic fiction.

 

Make a commitment. What genre(s) are you writing in? Just like yesterday, write your name and put it in the appropriate spot on the board.

 

Now that you know which genre and what kind of fiction (short story, novel excerpt), the next step is to plan out your plot line. This can change as you begin writing, but it can be helpful to have a general idea before you dive in. Use this plot chart to help you plan out your ideas. If you’re doing a novel excerpt, be sure to decide which part of the plot you are going to actually write for this assignment.

Show Mrs. Keskes your chart when you are finished for points and for a mini conference to discuss ideas and ask questions.

Short Story or Novel Excerpt – what will you choose?

Daily Prompt #17: Lifting a Line

Take a line you highlighted or underlined or starred in your notebooks from a couple of weeks ago. Make it the first line of a new piece and begin adding on to it.

Take five minutes.

 

Today, you’re going to make a decision: short story or novel excerpt? Let’s look at some samples to help you make a decision.

 

Next, let’s look at the rubric so you understand what your fiction needs to make it a good read!  🙂

 

Before you leave, you have to make a commitment: short story or novel excerpt. Write your name down on a post-it note and stick it in the appropriate column on the board.

 

 

Flash Fiction: Day Four

Daily Prompt #16: Inspired by an Image

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Write for ten minutes on what the story is behind this picture.

Today is our last day working directly with flash fiction. We’re going to consolidate these strategies and use each other’s writing for inspiration.

Step One: write a six-word story OR two-sentence story (your choice) on an index card. Include your name. Include your name.

Step Two: turn your index card in to me.


 

Step Three: I will redistribute the cards so everyone gets a new one. Read it, then write a 50-word story inspired by it in your notebook first.

Step Four: once you are happy with the draft in your notebook, transfer it to the back of the index card. Include your name.

Step Five: turn in the index card so you can return it .


 

Step Six: Now let’s pass them around the room and silently read them. If you come across one you really like, feel free to take a picture of it or write it down. Don’t forget to write down the name of the person who wrote it!

 

Flash Fiction: Day Three

Daily Prompt #19: A Given Scenario

Let’s use this plot generator to give us a scenario to write about. This is a great site when you’re struggling for ideas, but feel the need to write!

For ten minutes, start writing a short story using this scenario.

Before we move on, let’s share some of our writing inspired by yesterday’s two-sentence stories.

Today, we’re going to try our hand at 50-word stories. Let’s look at some samples to get a sense of how long that really is.

The key to writing a 50-word story is this: write about a brief moment in time, and don’t worry about the word count. Once you’re done, go back and edit until you get to 50-words. This activity teaches you to discipline yourself as a writer, including only the words which matter most.

Find a partner and write a 50-word story together. We’ll be sharing a few with the class. 

Need help with an idea? Use the plot generator, or any of your flash fiction from this week!

 

 

 

Flash Fiction: Day Two

Daily Prompt #14:

I write because I can’t sleep.   ~ Ben Mezrich

Write for seven minutes on this six-word story. See where it takes you.

Today, we’re going to study and write two-sentence stories.   Similar to six-word stories, the focus is on brevity and diction, but you have a little more leeway.

Here’s a couple of spooky samples taken from a website:

I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again.

She asked why I was breathing so heavily.  I wasn’t.


 

Okay, try making your own two-sentence stories now.  It doesn’t have to be scary.


 

From the ones you wrote, pick your favorite two-sentence story and write in on a post-it note. Post it on our board. Include your name on it too (if someone decides to use your words as inspiration, you want to be sure they know who to give the credit to!)


 

Now, grab a post-it and stick it in your notebook. Underneath, write a short story inspired by it!