Slice of Life Story Challenge March 8 - Craft Moves on Twitter

I recently posted a photograph from my writer’s notebook on Twitter. I have been surprised by the life this image has assumed. It may not have gone viral, but it continues to spread out. It continues to shine a light on a tiny aspect of the writing process and fellow writers and educators appear to connect with its message.

I simply photographed a page from my notebook where I had experimented with the idea of beginning a new sentence using the final word of the preceding sentence. I’m pleased that others have found something in this. A craft move they believed they could pass on.

 In the evenings Paul went for walksWalks that took him to new, and unexplored areas of the neighborhood.


I have since used this to encourage young writers to vary the way they present sentences. I told them I had noticed this craft move being used by other writers and decided to include it in my own writing. I then invited student writers to try it as it would add variety to their sentences. 

 Unlike magicians, writers share our little secrets; our exciting discoveries. We reveal what’s up our sleeves. It feels good to do this. It feels good to demystify aspects of writing for less expeirneced writers. Afterall, we are there to teach the 'how' of writing.

We learn from each other. When we consciously decide to share our new understandings, we build an increasing sense of community.  

The responses encourage me to try this again…
How tweet it is!


Comments

  1. Alan, I loved this post. My first graders spend much time with me noticing author craft as we read books. I too encourage them to try the craft they are drawn to. When I read your piece aloud, I love the way it sounds. Repeating the word cements it into my memory. This craft sharing reminds me of the impressionist painters who, isolated in the art world, had to stick together and share their craft with each other. I believe many writers do the same. We learn from one another. Once a writer experiments, others drawn to the product will try it in their own writing.

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  2. It is wonderful that writers share their secrets. 'Less experienced writers' doesn't refer to children only, adults are also learning. Learning the various ways to craft their sentences.

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  3. What a great way to share writing craft! This one is very tangible for all of us. Thank you for sharing it!

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  4. I love the craft move. How do you explain to your students that it's ok not to write a full sentence using this repetition? I work with third graders who are trying to learn the rules of sentences.

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  5. Craft moves within writing give the writing life. It is so hard to kids to grasp that every word is intentional. Sometimes they seem to think writing is like talking. Talking does not always take a great deal of thought. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  6. Sharing what one does with students is an important part of writing with them. I've found it challenging sometimes to convince those teachers I work with of its importance. Fun to hear about your tweet idea!

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  7. I like this, Alan, but I can't do it. I would have to put dashes, because technically you have not written a sentence for the second one. (except in the case of the sentence with "misery"). I know, I know. It's writing the way we talk - poetic phrases inserted. I should not be so uptight about it, but I always have trouble with non-sentences floating around, or telling kids that something is a sentence that isn't.

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  8. This is a wonderful way to try something new. Writing is creative. To me, this March Challenge is both writing more and exercising my writing muscles and take a risk on something untried before. Thank you for inspiring us!

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  9. I want to try this with my students. I could see where it may help them think deeper. Thanks!

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  10. This will be what I begin workshop with on Monday, Alan. Thanks!

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  11. I know I do this, but I can't say it was intentional. Now I have a name for it: Begin/End! Personally, I like writing like this because I don't always write in complete sentences. Who says this isn't writing! Not me!

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  12. Great post. What a fun idea and one that can revitalize one's writing! I have discovered twitter and am getting addicted!

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  13. Love the craft move. Great way to add to writing this is worth sharing!

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