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The Daily Routines of Famous Writers | Brain Pickings

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers | Brain Pickings | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

A wonderful post quoting 13 great writers on their daily routines. Great research by Maria Popova to pull this all together. Wonderful photos too (as evidenced by a young Maya Angelou, above). Just a warm and rich reading experience. -JL


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How to make marking more efficient: three new techniques for teachers

How to make marking more efficient: three new techniques for teachers | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
English teacher Andrew Tharby shares his advice on how to significantly reduce the time spent marking while improving the quality of feedback for students

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Louise Robinson-Lay's curator insight, April 20, 4:24 AM

There has to be a better way of marking. English teachers in particular, seem to have to spend an inordinate amount of time marking student work. This post has some suggestions for making it not only easier, but more effective. We all know students need feedback but how often do you sit for hours for them only to look at a a mark and then put it down? Good feedback can avoid this and force students to take responsibility for their own progress. 

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How to Use Close Third-Person To Get Closer to Your Characters

How to Use Close Third-Person To Get Closer to Your Characters | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Close Third-Person is important tool to have in your kit. This is a chance for the reader to become intimate with the characters. And if done correctly, you can enter the natural vernacular seamlessly.

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Steve Tuffill's curator insight, January 18, 1:22 PM

This applies to any form of writing. Although this was written mainly for authors of fiction, it counts for descriptive prose that tells a vital story. People use story-telling in commercial content-writing for the Web. But the most successful story-telling comes when the readers can't put the material down because of their engagement!

KindredReaders's curator insight, January 20, 12:50 PM

I love this example:, from John Gardner's The Art of Fiction:

 

It was winter of 1853. A large man stepped out of a doorway.Henry J. Warburton had never much cared for snowstorms.Henry hated snowstorms.God how he hated these damn snowstorms.Snow. Under your collar, down inside your shoes, freezing, and plugging up your miserable soul.
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How to Write: A Year in Advice from Franzen, King, Hosseini, and More

How to Write: A Year in Advice from Franzen, King, Hosseini, and More | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Highlights from 12 months of interviews with writers about their craft and the authors they love

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PD James' top 10 tips for writing a novel - BBC News

PD James' top 10 tips for writing a novel - BBC News | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
BBC News PD James' top 10 tips for writing a novel BBC News You can help people who can write to write more effectively and you can probably teach people a lot of little tips for writing a novel, but I don't think somebody who cannot write and does...

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Scribophile - Writing Rightly

Scribophile - Writing Rightly | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

"He Said, She Said: Dialog Tags and Using Them Effectively."


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Penelope's curator insight, October 30, 2013 6:01 PM

 

Dialogue can trip up even the most seasoned of writers. You can read about it all day long, but until you're actually writing and needing to use dialogue tags (or speech tags), you'll probably skip over this stuff.

 

Think of these tags as signposts, pointing to who is actually doing the talking. Each tag contains at least one noun or pronoun. (said, asked, whispered, remarked).

 

Susannah said

the clerk asked

she said and took off her coat

he said, looking sad

 

As I am writing my current novel, I sail merrily along, adding in some dialogue tags with ease, and getting myself mired in the mud at others.

 

Do I use he said or she said? Where does that comma go? Should I use a more expressive tag?

 

One thing to keep in mind: the "he/she said," or "he/she asked" will disappear in the reader's mind, while adding in an expressive tag will make it stick out like a sore thumb.

 

Read on if you, too, need a college lesson in drumming up the proper speech tag.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.scribophile.com/academy/he-said-she-said-dialog-tags-and-using-them-effectively

 

Jacques Goyette's curator insight, October 31, 2013 4:44 PM

Tis is how dialog tags should be used.

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The 8 Habits of Highly Successful Young-Adult Fiction Authors

The 8 Habits of Highly Successful Young-Adult Fiction Authors | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Young-adult fiction, commonly called "YA fiction," has exploded over the past decade or so: The number of YA titles published grew more than 120 percent between 2002 and 2012, and other estimates say that between 1997 and 2009, that figure was...

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Write great dialogue scenes in 7 steps - Writing Rightly

Write great dialogue scenes in 7 steps - Writing Rightly | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

"Of all the scenes we write, dialogue is the most complex and rich. Most writers I know take several passes to get it right."

 

Penelope Silver's insight:

 

"Dialogue is one of those tricky areas that trip up many authors--myself included. As I am writing my first romance novel, I run into areas such as:

 

"How much dialogue is enough?

When and where should you insert dialogue?

When should you move from narrator consciousness to talking?

How long should you make the responses?

 

"Author Roz Morris gives us seven simple steps to writing great dialogue. You would think most would seem obvious, but some of them are real ah ha! moments. I really appreciate these tips:

 

"VISUALS - People move as they talk. They shrug, make faces, cook, clean, etc. Create a picture in your reader's mind. This will create a richer, more dramatic scene.

 

"REACTIONS - Are the characters reacting and talking or does their internal dialogue evaporate when they start being vocal?

 

"DECLUTTER - Think of your reader when you write dialogue. Readers scan through these scenes quickly, and don't need to be told of every breath and blink. Let your scene sit for a few days, and go back at it with fresh eyes to take out the fat.

 

"Head on over to the article to read four more great tips!"

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article:http://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/write-great-dialogue-scenes-in-7-steps

 


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Penelope's curator insight, August 12, 2013 2:17 PM

 

Dialogue is one of those tricky areas that trip up many authors--myself included. As I am writing my first romance novel, I run into areas such as:

 

How much dialogue is enough?

When and where should you insert dialogue?

When should you move from narrator consciousness to talking?

How long should you make the responses?

 

Author Roz Morris gives us seven simple steps to writing great dialogue. You would think most would seem obvious, but some of them are real ah ha! moments. I really appreciate these tips:

 

VISUALS - People move as they talk. They shrug, make faces, cook, clean, etc. Create a picture in your reader's mind. This will create a richer, more dramatic scene.

 

REACTIONS - Are the characters reacting and talking or does their internal dialogue evaporate when they start being vocal?

 

DECLUTTER - Think of your reader when you write dialogue. Readers scan through these scenes quickly, and don't need to be told of every breath and blink. Let your scene sit for a few days, and go back at it with fresh eyes to take out the fat.

 

Header on over to the article to read four more great tips!

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/write-great-dialogue-scenes-in-7-steps

 

Editing in Paradise's curator insight, August 12, 2013 5:30 PM

What on earth are they saying? With this excellent advice, you can bet it it's worth listening to.

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Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck ~ brain pickings

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck ~ brain pickings | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

"On the value of unconscious association, or why the best advice is no advice."



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The greatest creative writing activity ever

The greatest creative writing activity ever | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
UPDATE: This post has been nominated for the British Council’s Teaching English blog award for January, 2013. If you like what I've written, please click here and 'like' the resultant picture! Than...

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50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story

50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

by Alan Levine

 

"t was not long ago that producing multimedia digital content required expensive equipment and deep levels of technical expertise. We are at the point now where anyone can create and publish very compelling content with nothing more complex than a web browser.

"The point is not that these are professional level production tools, but that the barrier of entry to content creation can be drastically low. And you should find a new mode of creativity when the tool have some limits as to what they can do-- and find that the core of the story is much more important than a widget."

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

This is Alan Levine's classis wiki from 2007, most recently updated in May, 2013. The site links to, names, and briefly describes more than 50 web 2.0 tools to use and share with students for many forms of storytelling. Be sure to check oout the "New Tools to Be Added" link in the navigation bar. It goes to a page containing tools that Levine is still considering for addition to his list. Readers may suggest tools to add as well.


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Sarah McElrath's curator insight, October 25, 2013 8:05 AM

Having an audience matters when you write. Now there are so many different ways to reach an audience.

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Writer's Success Academy | Where Writers Learn About Writing

Writer's Success Academy | Where Writers Learn About Writing | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

The great Larry Ferlazzo has this to say about Alan Sitomer's new website Writer's Success Academy:

 

"I’m a big fan of author/educator Alan Sitomer (you can see my interview with him here). And, of course, my students love his books.

 

"Today, he has unveiled a free site to help others who are interested in writing a book, and it’s called Writer’s Success Academy.

 

"In addition to being an incredible resource for potential book-writers, many of its materials are great classroom resources for teaching writing, too."


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Improving Written Feedback - HuntingEnglish

Improving Written Feedback - HuntingEnglish | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

by Alex Quigley

 

"This week I gave a seminar at TeachMeet Clevedon. I am going to post more fully on my topic of teachers getting better by undertaking ‘deliberate practice‘ sometime soon. One smaller aspect of my presentation was how teachers can improve written feedback, both to improve learning and to marginally reduce the time taken to give written feedback. With the gift of more time we can free ourselves to pursue becoming a better teacher more deliberately: with reflection, planning and deliberate practice. Of course, written feedback is so crucial that it can improve teaching and learning significantly, therefore it deserves our attention in its own right.

 

"The following list of tips is a synthesis of my experience and that of my English department (see our policy for feedback here). It also draws upon many excellent teachers and their cumulative experience of effective written feedback."

.


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Why You Should Be Writing Flash Fiction

Why You Should Be Writing Flash Fiction | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
1. Flash fiction is a quick and simple way to practice writing. You don't get bogged down in plotting, or the intricacies of character development and world-building. You can focus on one area in w...

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Sharon Bakar's comment, September 23, 2013 4:14 AM
There are some very nice writing prompts on this site too.
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30 Ideas for Teaching Writing - National Writing Project

30 Ideas for Teaching Writing - National Writing Project | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

description by Internet Scout Project

 

"The National Writing Project (NWP) does a spot-on job of bringing together a raft of resources for those teaching writing at all levels of interest and instruction. These thirty ideas are a great way to get started, and include tips that originated as full-length articles in various NWP publications. As suggested on its site, "readers will benefit from a variety of eclectic, classroom-tested techniques." The complete list of ideas is offered here, along with links to the aforementioned articles which often include suggestions about classroom implementation. First-time visitors should take a look at tips like "Use the shared events of students’ lives to inspire writing" and "Pair students with adult reading/writing buddies."


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Louise Robinson-Lay's curator insight, March 22, 5:24 AM

Writing is crucial for self expression, thinking and connecting. The more tips writing teachers can get the better. There are many here.

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Say What? 5 Ways to Get Students to Listen

Say What? 5 Ways to Get Students to Listen | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Ah, listening, the neglected literacy skill. I know when I was a high school English teacher this was not necessarily a primary focus; I was too busy honing the more measurable literacy skills -- r

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Louise Robinson-Lay's curator insight, December 27, 2013 3:07 PM

Listening is the key to learning from others as well as creating rapport, understanding and effective relationships. There are some strategies for teaching it here.

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26 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer -

26 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer - | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
26 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer These questions are more about the student than you, your classroom, or education. What every student should know starts with themselves and moves outwards to your...

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Blurb - Make your own book. Make it great

Blurb - Make your own book. Make it great | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Blurb's free, easy-to-use book-making tools let you design, publish, promote, and sell your own bookstore-quality books. Unleash your creative genius, make a book with Blurb, and be part of the Blurb community.

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The Draft Series

The Draft Series | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Draft is a weekly essay series in The New York Times about the importance and art of writing. The weekly Draft essay is one of the first things I look for in my Sunday paper since it pushes me to b...

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Draft is a goldmine of insight into writing and a variety of approaches to getting words on the page. 

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Louise Robinson-Lay's curator insight, October 12, 2013 1:48 AM

Some inspiration for writing teachers. 

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NaNoWriMo for Poets? PAD Challenge for November?

NaNoWriMo for Poets? PAD Challenge for November? | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Okay, we're getting closer to November, which for some writers of fiction means it's getting closer to NaNoWriMo time. (Btw, NaNoWriMo translates into National

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5 great writing warm up activities... and what they lead to | Teach them English

5 great writing warm up activities... and what they lead to | Teach them English | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

by Adam Simpson

 

"Warm up activities that get learners writing can be fantastic for getting the creative juices flowing while also giving a focused start to your lesson. A writing task at the start of class can be an effective way of leading into explicit grammar teaching or can just as easily be followed up with speaking activities. What’s more, many such activities are easy to adapt to be suitable for any type of learners, both adults and kids. Indeed, adding an entertaining element to writing activities will make them fun for everyone, as well as making them low pressure tasks which enable learners’ writing to flow freely. Here are five of my favourites."


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Writing Process Animation

This video describes the writing process involved in creating a good blog (or other writing endeavors, such as an essay). For other work from this artist, se...

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Lori Johnson's insight:

This is an engaging video for anyone who wants to or is required to write! 

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Sarah McElrath's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:58 PM

Geared toward blog writing -- but applicable for all writing.

Sunny South's curator insight, October 23, 2013 10:02 PM

Engaging video on how to write a better blog

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Free Online Grammar Check, Spelling, and More | PaperRater

Free Online Grammar Check, Spelling, and More | PaperRater | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
Grammar & Spelling Check; Free Online Proofreading; No Downloads...Allows you to find those pesky mistakes and correct them before your teacher does...

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

I checked this out for something I had just written. It is way, way better than the checker built into Microsoft Word. PaperRater offers not only spelling and grammar check, but also plagiarism detection, and suggestions for improving writing. The service is free and fast. I plan to use it for myself as well as recommending it to colleagues and students.


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Tracey McGrath's curator insight, October 26, 2013 12:19 PM

I am looking forward to sharing this with my colleagues and students who are seeking ways to improve students writing. This looks like a great app to provide students with an unbiased constructive critism, which they can use to improve their strategies to become better writers.

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Teaching Writing with Google Docs ~ Fractus Learning

Teaching Writing with Google Docs ~ Fractus Learning | Writing Tools | Scoop.it

by Keith Hamon

 

"One of the key results of flipping my writing and literature classes has been that my students do much of their writing in-class on computers provided by the college. All of these computers have Microsoft Word on them, but I prefer to use Google Docs/Drive instead. Given that MS Word is the standard word processor for my college and most of the rest of the world, then this preference may require some defence. After all, my colleagues expect all of their papers to be submitted in doc or docx format, and my students are most familiar with Word, so what are the benefits of Google Docs that make it worth swimming against the tide?"

 

- See more at: http://www.fractuslearning.com/2013/10/21/teaching-writing-google-docs/#sthash.Vqy4mFST.dpuf


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Teachers-Writing-Technology-PytashFerdigRasinki-etal-web.pdf


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40 Beautiful and Inspiring Typographic Quotes

40 Beautiful and Inspiring Typographic Quotes | Writing Tools | Scoop.it
We are constantly being reminded how important typography is in every aspect of design – that fact is well documented and well showcased. Typography also lends itself to art.

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