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Jan's New "Class"--Writing Basics

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

Moderators: mikeedwards, glorybee

browniesgal
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Writing help

Postby browniesgal » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:47 pm

:D Hi Jan, Thank you so much for coming back to help us 'youngins' I love this lesson, This passage is from Charles Martin's book, Wrapped in Rain.

'When the ache woke me, I poked the tip of my nose out from under the covers and pulled my knees hard into my chest where my heart hung pounding like a drum.'

Salsa words: ache, poked, hard, hung, pounding,drum

Plainly said, I had to go,tried to hold it,scared to move. No OOmph!

Also how about a lesson on italics so we can feed it back to you to see if we got it!

Thanks again, Ruth Brown[/quote]

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Verna
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Postby Verna » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:51 pm

Jan, writing a first sentence to grab the reader's attention is important to writers at any level, and it's not that easy to do.

Some writers have a gift at fresh description is another skill to work on. (I know salsa verbs is one way, but there are more.)

Here are a couple of other topics for consideration:
Writing a good conclusion
Tightening the writing
Verna

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...
Proverb 17:22

Facebook author page: Verna Cole Mitchell
http://www.magnificomanuscripts.com/

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glorybee
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Postby glorybee » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:54 pm

Ruth--did you want to know how to do italics here on the forums, or in your Writing Challenge entries (two different actions)?

Your passage was full of great salsa words (I'd remove 'hard' from your list, though). I could almost feel the ache along with the narrator.
Jan Ackerson

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yvonne
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Postby yvonne » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:56 pm

Here are some topics you might cover:

* Keeping the verb tense consistent throughout
* Using subordinate clauses to join two sentences.
* Writing dialogue with action, instead of "tags"
* Keeping the theme woven throughout the story

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glorybee
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Postby glorybee » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:57 pm

Thanks, Verna and Vonnie--some of those were on my list already, some are better suited to Ann's class--and some I've added to my list! Keep 'em coming!
Jan Ackerson

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yvonne
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Postby yvonne » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:03 pm

*Showing setting throughout the action
*Giving characters their own "characteristics"
*Using sounds of words to create a mood

browniesgal
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Writing help

Postby browniesgal » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:05 pm

Well Jan, I think I'd need to know both. I really like the author Charles Martin. Ahh to write like that. I appreciate Vonnie's topics too.
Any thoughts on when things are too trite to say or too predictable to write about? Or when things are understood without saying it? :mrgreen: Also prhaps some more about the voice, please. Thanks, Ruth

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Postby glorybee » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:21 pm

Ruth, to do italics here in the forums, just highlight the word or phrase you want italicized (by holding down your mouse over the words), and then click the little square with the 'i' near the top of the large blue reply box. A few bits of HTML code will show up in your typing, and when you hit 'submit', your words will be in italics.

Go ahead, try it!

In your Challenge submissions, you have to type in the HTML, and it's slightly different code. I'd type it like this:

Jan vowed that she'd <i>never</i> feed the dog beans again.

And it would show up like this:

Jan vowed that she'd never feed the dog beans again.

By the way, there's a FAQ section at the bottom of these message boards that explains this and possibly other questions you might have...check it out!
Jan Ackerson

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Ms. Barbie
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Postby Ms. Barbie » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:47 pm

Image


Jan, this virtual chocolate is for you in appreciation for doing this class! Fresh strawberries are in season now here in Southern California. (Very wet day today)




Where did they go? Ok, now they are back. Cue the Twilight Zone music
Last edited by Ms. Barbie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Barb Culler

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Verna
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Postby Verna » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:06 pm

Jan, actually it is I having a hard time with italics---both places! I've read how to do it, but something hasn't clicked in this "old" brain.
Verna

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...
Proverb 17:22

Facebook author page: Verna Cole Mitchell
http://www.magnificomanuscripts.com/

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Postby kmacor » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:23 pm

Thanks for helping me find this class, Jan. I think it will be very interesting.

The passage I chose is from Twilight by Kristen Heitzmann.

"Cal stooped to lower her to the ground, and she bounced away with tiny springy steps."

Salsa words: stooped, bounced, tiny, springy.

Rice cake version:

Cal put her down and she walked away.
The LORD looks at the world from his throne in heaven, and he watches us all. Psalm 33:13,14

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~ Immanual Kant

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glorybee
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Postby glorybee » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:34 pm

Okay, Verna, now I'm taking it as a personal challenge to get you to italicize.

Let's take the forums first--it's easiest.

You have to do it BEFORE you hit submit--while you're typing your response in the white box. That might be your problem.

1. Type out your complete sentence just as usual, without stopping to italicize.

2. Still in the response box--hold down your mouse and drag it over the word you want in italics, so that it's highlighted.

3. At the very top of the response box, there's a "subject" box. Ignore that--the NEXT row down has a row of square buttons. The second one has a little "i" in it. Click that.

4. You'll see some symbols added to your text, but it won't be in italics yet. But when you hit either "Preview" or "Submit", the bit that you highlighted should be in italics.

Let me know if that works for you, or at what step I lose you...we WILL figure this out!
Jan Ackerson

browniesgal
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Writing with italics

Postby browniesgal » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:36 pm

:mrgreen: Here Goes, What if I get this wrong I will feel so stupid.
But Jan is so nice she will understand! Now I hope I can get it right without another big oops when I submit for next week's topic. Hurray this might work!
Thanks so much, Ruth :bow

Ps. Ok it looks like I had to disable all those boxes, if the preview is working properly! Thanks
Last edited by browniesgal on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

browniesgal
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Didn't work

Postby browniesgal » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:38 pm

Ok , What did I do wrong? :oops: Sorry, Ruth

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glorybee
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Postby glorybee » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:44 pm

Hmmmm, Ruth. Good question; it looks right. Look at the boxes below your text box. Is the first one checked? If so, uncheck it and try again.
Jan Ackerson

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