Alyssa Levy, became an influential role model for me as a teacher of writing. Alyssa consistently modeled using her own writing notebook in lessons with my students. I noticed how Alyssa not only told students how to write, but she actually showed them step by step through thinking aloud and then writing in front of them with her writing notebook and a document camera. She modeled what she knew needed to happen for my students. My grade level team, principal, and students all became better writers in part directly due to Alyssa's demonstration of her own thinking and writing.
Now, as a literacy coach myself, I am taking what I learned from Alyssa to help the teachers and students in my schools. By using my own writing to teach writing, I'm not just telling teachers and students what needs to happen, but I'm showing them in a step by step, intentional manner. The only tools needed to do this are my own thinking made visible to students (thinking aloud and oral rehearsal), my personal writing notebook, a document camera that projects my real-time writing, and a captive audience of student writers.
Have you ever struggled to read writing that felt heavy for no reason? Or thought something you wrote sounded ponderous but weren’t sure why? You want the essence of your writing to come through, but needless words and phrases can get in the way and weigh down your prose. Solution: put your writing on a five-step diet.
Writers experience a ridiculous range of emotions throughout the writing process: excitement when a new idea comes along; satisfaction and joy when a work-in-progress is completed; and fear at varying intervals between.
Sadly, for every person reading this post, fear is an issue that must be addressed. It stifles creativity, encourages negativity, and exponentially increases our chances of failure. It’s a toxin that poisons us on a basic, human level. And it’s death to the writing process.
Sometimes in life we get worried and worked up about something and it turns out not to be as bad as we had feared. The terrible thing we were convinced was about to happen doesn’t materialise. It’s good when it turns out that way. In real life.
In a story, however, that kind of build up and release is not rewarding, it’s disappointing.
"Today, I'd like to share a few of those weak area words that often pull me out of a story. Some words, phrases and sentence structures that I've seen (and commented on) in many a critique. If you have these things in your manuscript, please remember that there's nothing inherently wrong with these words and phrases, they're just commonly seen hanging around weak prose. So if something feels off in your work or you're looking for that next step to improve your craft, these are some options to try. "
"Here are seven agents seeking clients. Most of these are established agents who have recently changed agencies. All have experience in the publishing industry. They are seeking an eclectic mix, from upmarket literary to children’s books, memoir to fantasy, and from thrillers to health and wellness.
"Be sure to read the agency’s full guidelines before submitting."
There are a lot of rules in writing. Some are solid ones, like rules of spelling or grammar, but others are more nebulous, like how to start a scene or whether or not to use adverbs. I like to look at these ambiguous rules as opportunities to improve a sentence or scene. Some "rules" have become common because they're hard to explain to new writers and it's easier to just say no.
But these are all moments that can help you revise your novel and show off your skills. They're opportunities to strengthen your novel.
So much important information seems to be missing in so many novels—especially first novels by aspiring authors. Novel writing is tricky; there are countless essential components that all need to mesh cohesively. To me, the key to reaching that goal is to ask a lot of questions.
"As presenters we want people to pay attention, be engaged and remember the message. The key to doing that? Science now says it involves storytelling: Stories stimulate emotions, which may be the key to better learning, attention, memory and decision making.
"When we listen to stories, more of the brain lights up, according to Annie Murphy Paul, author of “Brilliant: The New Science of Smart.” Stories cause your neurons to fire the same way they would if you were doing the actual action talked about. For example, if you were listening to someone talk about kicking a ball, the motor part of the brain that would help you kick a ball in real life lights up."
"It’s with all this in mind that we came together to make Editorially, a new collaborative writing and editing platform. We believe that the web is not merely another distribution pipeline, but a unique and deserving space for both reading and writing. Our goal is to support and encourage that writing process — from the first flash of inspiration all the way through to publication, and at every point in between.
"Editorially achieves this goal in many ways: a Markdown-based writing environment lets you focus on the words and create clean markup easily; collaboration tools let you invite friends and trusted colleagues to review or edit your work; a document version system lets you mark points in a document’s history and compare versions to see what changed; notes and activity feeds encourage you to reflect on your work, for yourself and for others; and discussion threads recognize that the conversation around a text is just as important as the text itself.
"And we’re only getting started. This is not just another text editor: it’s an ecosystem for the writing process. We’ve designed a space that brings you closer to both the words and the people — the only things that matter."
"It is amazing how fast the iTunes app store is growing, no sooner does an app appear then it becomes outdated. It seems like app developers outnumber customers and this is a good thing for us because with the growing competition comes enhanced productivity. However, searching for educational apps to use or recommend for your kids and students is not an easy task and the abundance of apps does not mean anything out there does what its developers claim. Prudence is highly warranted in your selections. This is one reason why I share lists of educational apps with you here. I know not everyone of you has got the time to sift through the bundles of apps there. That being said, today Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has curated for you a new and updated list of some awesome writing apps. Check it out below and don't forget to share with us your feedback. Enjoy"
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