Monday, October 6, 2008

Second week - virtual class visit

Second week, same as the first only a little bit faster now (sorry couldn't resist that Henry VIII song running through my head - had an image of Mr. Hughes singing it only substituting our situation for the words). In reality, I think the visits are fun and the kids are still doing their writing challenges and I'm giving them some feedback (we have a private spot where we can communicate outside of class time and I asked them to post their story leads so I can read and give some advice on how to make it stronger or more along the lines of the lead. I've read four students' postings today so I've commented on eight postings.

The leads to start a story are, in the order they are studying them and doing the writing exercises to the Harris Burdick pictures: 1) Action - the lead starts immediately with something happening and pulls the reader in from the beginning; 2) Dialogue - the lead starts with someone speaking immediately, which means even if there are no characters in the story, you have to create at least two characters in order to have a conversation going (this is one of my favorite ways to start stories but I've also noticed that mine are dialogue/action started because my first dialogue tag usually is an action to lead in to the story); 3) traditional - setting and time are what brings you in to the story (It was a dark and stormy night - very basic example but you get a feel for the setting and time of when the story starts); 4) one sentence wonder - speaks for itself - draws the reader in because it is profound and leaves a lot of questions unanswered; and 5) reflective - the narrator describes feelings and thoughts (to me this is kind of a backstory lead; you are reflecting on something that occurred that leads you to the main part of the story - what happened).

So today we got to do three pictures. The first one we did we knew which lead we were doing - Reflective. This was the last of the five to write about. So here is the picture and my lead. Take the challenge and using reflective lead in (the caption for the picture doesn't have to be used; it is basically to give you an idea what the picture is about) and write for three (3) minutes. Set your timer and see what you come up with.



He had warned her about the book.

Now it was too late.

My attempt at this: Reflective:
If I had only listened to Mr. Linden. He made his point over and over, trying to persuade me not to buy this particular book. Mr. Linden could have used more forceful words. I was only looking at the cover and was entranced by its beautiful cover and the magical vine swirling around the words. Jack and the Beanstalk had nothing on Mr. Linden's book.

He knew I would be taken to a place I could never return from and that the book would overtake me. I should have listened. Why am I so stubborn? All I want to do is get back to where I was before. Home. No place like it.

Okay for the next two pictures, before scrolling down and seeing what they are, you have to pick one of the five leads, make note of it and then look at the picture and write for 3 minutes the lead to the story in what you decided to do. Once you pick a lead, you cannot use the same one for the next picture. You have to go with a different one. Of course after a couple of the kids read aloud to the class, the rest of them were guessing which lead they had used. Mine should be pretty obvious, but have fun. Write for 3 minutes and see what you come up with.

My lead in:
"My Lord, will you look at Sister Kathleen," Father Dominique looked towards the ceiling of the cathedral. "I think she is trying to impress us with her newfound learnt magic tricks."

"I don't think so. She seems to be too high for us to know it is magic." Father Henri replied.

"Well, I know she's been practicing her magic and the other chairs ended up out of country. She has been trying to get them to disappear and reappear but she sent one to Italy and one to Germany."

"Maybe. I don't see how she does it though

And the picture:


The fifth one ended up in France.

Last one, same as the one above: You pick a lead and write for 3 minutes and see what you come up with.

My lead: I knew that the balmy weather would be enticing. I just wanted to see if the folktales were true. Listening is the key. I had heard the birds tweet at various times in my life but could never see them move or flap their wings. But I learned rather quickly in that cool blissful evening. The birds came to life one at a time, flying out the window. I should have never allowed them to escape. The wall is so bare now.

And the picture:


It all began when someone left

the window open.

Have fun and post your lead-ins in the comments section. I know I have some writers out here. Even you go over 3 minutes, take the challenge and share; I'll post in the class private forum so they can see what my friends come up with. I dare you to share. Be creative and have fun - see you in the postings - E :)

PS: Since I put the wrong picture up for the third one, I'm going to leave it here and if you want to write something for it, then that's okay. This was the first one they did with action - but you are free to write whichever lead you want.


BatyaD said...

My sister always read herself to sleep at night, at least those few nights when she slept alone. I'd thought a lot of things she did might be the death of her, but reading had never been in that category. The ones and ones I've never added up to two are the things that creep up on me and bite me when I'm least expecting it.
Love's a funny thing in families. You think it's deep enough to leap great expanses of time without a bruise, to bridge great gaps of noncommunication, to lay ready and waiting, all warm and fuzzy under the bed until you're ready to pull it out and pick up where you left off.
But when death intervenes, the way it did with Adeline, jumping out from the pages of a book, the love changes shape.

BatyaD said...

She floated, quite like a balloon, taking the chair with her. At precisely halfway between the floor and the Cathedral ceiling she stopped. Looking neither left nor right, up nor down, Sister Catherine Elizabeth Northrund Emilia de Castaneva stared straight ahead.
The Monsignors, standing like identical candles atop a birthday cake but planted as solidly as they could be on the marble floor looked up.
"It's a miracle!" said Monsignor Peter. "We must report it immediately!"
"Not so fast." Monsignor Napolicti never made decisions as quickly as his friend. "First, we must determine the cause of her floating. If, on the one hand, she is meditating on sacred thoughts and has so risen closer to Heaven, then, yes, we must report it and rejoice. On the other hand, if she is just full of hot air...well, then, let's just keep walking and ignore the whole display."
"How can we tell?"
"We'll ask her, of course," Monsignor Napolicti told Monsignor Peter. "As simple as that."

BatyaD said...

Daylight crept through dawn on slippered feet, the light tickling its way between the leaves and scattering, like tiny toeprints, among the lichen and low-lying moss. The woods whispered to itself, secrets so old and wise that new blooms found it hard to understand.
Like a shadow, but pure white, the Unicorn stepped to the edge of the path, one hoof raised a stone's height from the ground. She looked about, and once certain that she was alone in her glen, she glided to the harp and began to strum with her horn.
The music rose, opening the gates of Heaven, pleading with all the ancient and new Powers that have ever been. Save us, the notes sang. Save us for the sake of your glory.

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