Shoutout 15-01: Writing Skills Part 1

Vintage Typewriter

I group a child's writing skills into two broad categories: Fundamentals and Techniques.

Fundamental skills in writing:

If a student is able to master these four skills, he or she will already be an exceptional writer. It will be more effective if he or she masters these skills before moving on to various techniques of writing.

1. Consistent use of tenses.

As a rule of thumb, it is easier to stay in the simple past form throughout your essays, even if your is told in a non-chronological manner.

2. Show don't tell.

This rule is a cliche but it is important to understand the logic of it: showing offers the readers a chance to experience the narrative world of the reader for themselves and allows them to make deductions about a particular character; thus they become participants in the story.

I actually have a slight variation to this rule: it's okay to tell, just as long as you show after that.

3. Logical Flow of story.

This is a big problem for many students. Their characters would jump from one place to another without a logical description of a passage of time, or characters might appear in a scene, without a logical entrance into the scene.

4. Point-of-View

For the most part, most writers write in third-person limited or first person singular. Either way, the narrator in each has a limited perspective of the narrative world. If John is the narrator, a description such as "Sally decided that the best thing for her was to leave John." How would he know?

I'll go through the Techniques part of the writing process in a later post


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