Only two types of writers
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Only two types of writers. Good writers and quitters. No one reads our copy. I mean, who likes all those words?. Our stories are so boring. We’d rather have pictures than that boring stuff. No one reads our copy. I mean, who likes all those words?. Our stories are so boring.

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Only two types of writers

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Only two types of writers

Only two types of writers

Good writers and quitters


Only two types of writers

No one reads our copy.


Only two types of writers

I mean, who likes all those words?


Only two types of writers

Our stories are so boring.


Only two types of writers

We’d rather have pictures than that boring stuff.


Only two types of writers

No one reads our copy.

I mean, who likes all those words?

Our stories are so boring.

We’d rather have pictures than that boring stuff.


Only two types of writers

Art students do pottery, drawing and painting.

“I took art because I like to draw,” art student Alexis Hernandez revealed.

Some students think art is fun.

“I think art is fun,” Alexis added.


Only two types of writers

Art students do pottery, drawing and painting.

“I took art because I like to draw,” art student Alexis Hernandez revealed.

Some students think art is fun.

“I think art is fun,” Alexis added.

Why isn’t this a story?


Only two types of writers

Alexis Hernandez tucked the unruly wisp of hair back into place with her mud-caked hands. She had battled with her bangs for the last 30 minutes as her bowl took shape on the pottery wheel.

“Anybody got like a clippie?” Alexis said to no one in particular in her Art I class third period.

Her feet kept the wheel in a steady rotation with alternating tapping as the bowl became rounder and rounder.

“My grandmama will love this bowl,” Alexis said. “It has to be like absolutely awesome.”


Only two types of writers

Do you see Alexis at the pottery wheel?


Only two types of writers

Do you see the hair falling in her eyes?


Only two types of writers

Do you see her hands?


Only two types of writers

Do you hear her voice?


Only two types of writers

Do you see her feet?


Only two types of writers

So, maybe they like stories, just not boring ones.


Only two types of writers

Lion and Bronco fans were on their feet as Boyd’s offense ran onto the field following a timeout. The Broncos stood on the Lions’ 12-yard-line. With 1:20 remaining, a touchdown would seal the game for Boyd but a defensive stop would force a fourth down.


Only two types of writers

Lion and Bronco fans were on their feet as Boyd’s offense ran onto the field following a timeout. The Broncos stood on the Lions’ 12-yard-line. With 1:20 remaining, a touchdown would seal the game for Boyd but a defensive stop would force a fourth down.

Boyd quarterback Jacob Coffey took the snap from under center and pitched left to running back Bryan Maxwell. Maxwell took the pitch, found a crease between his guard and tackle and shot out of a cannon into the south end zone. Lion fans could only hang their heads and reach for their car keys as they watched Boyd score two fourth-quarter touchdowns to take a 12-7 lead.


Only two types of writers

Trailing by 6 with 1:15 left in the quarter, the kick return unit headed out to the field in an attempt to set up the offense with decent field position. Sophomore kick returners Robert Radway and Dario Jackson adjusted their alignment to field what they thought would be a squip kick, but a confident Bronco kickoff team decided to kick deep instead.


Only two types of writers

Trailing by 6 with 1:15 left in the quarter, the kick return unit headed out to the field in an attempt to set up the offense with decent field position. Sophomore kick returners Robert Radway and Dario Jackson adjusted their alignment to field what they thought would be a squip kick, but a confident Bronco kickoff team decided to kick deep instead.

“It was such a nervous feeling being on the field for that play,” Robert said. “Before we went out on the field Coach told me I was going to run it back, and when they kicked it deep, I knew I had a chance.”


Only two types of writers

Robert fielded the ball on the 17-yard-line and fired off behind a Dario Jackson block. The front four on the kick-off team opened up a seam on the left side of the field. He burst through the crease leaving all Broncos behind except for the kicker.


Only two types of writers

Robert fielded the ball on the 17-yard-line and fired off behind a Dario Jackson block. The front four on the kick-off team opened up a seam on the left side of the field. He burst through the crease leaving all Broncos behind except for the kicker.

“As soon as I got to the kicker, it was over,” Robert said. “I broke his tackle and blew right by him.”


Only two types of writers

Robert fielded the ball on the 17-yard-line and fired off behind a Dario Jackson block. The front four on the kick-off team opened up a seam on the left side of the field. He burst through the crease leaving all Broncos behind except for the kicker.

“As soon as I got to the kicker, it was over,” Robert said. “I broke his tackle and blew right by him.”

With the crowd and the sideline going crazy, Robert high-stepped into the end zone untouched for the score.


Only two types of writers

Robert fielded the ball on the 17-yard-line and fired off behind a Dario Jackson block. The front four on the kick-off team opened up a seam on the left side of the field. He burst through the crease leaving all Broncos behind except for the kicker.

“As soon as I got to the kicker, it was over,” Robert said. “I broke his tackle and blew right by him.”

With the crowd and the sideline going crazy, Robert high-stepped into the end zone untouched for the score.

“The best feeling was getting into the zone because we had to win the Battle of the Blue,” Robert said.


Only two types of writers

Robert fielded the ball on the 17-yard-line and fired off behind a Dario Jackson block. The front four on the kick-off team opened up a seam on the left side of the field. He burst through the crease leaving all Broncos behind except for the kicker.

“As soon as I got to the kicker, it was over,” Robert said. “I broke his tackle and blew right by him.”

With the crowd and the sideline going crazy, Robert high-stepped into the end zone untouched for the score.

“The best feeling was getting into the zone because we had to win the Battle of the Blue,” Robert said.

A huge swing in momentum hushed the Bronco nation, and Robert’s kick return proved to be too much for Boyd to overcome.


Only two types of writers

On the final drive of the game, Coffey hurled a ball into the Lions’ secondary in desperation only to be picked off by safety Matt Hanson.


Only two types of writers

On the final drive of the game, Coffey hurled a ball into the Lions’ secondary in desperation only to be picked off by safety Matt Hanson.

“It was nice being the guy to put the nail in the coffin,” Matt said. “But our kick return is what won the game.”


Only two types of writers

On the final drive of the game, Coffey hurled a ball into the Lions’ secondary in desperation only to be picked off by safety Matt Hanson.

“It was nice being the guy to put the nail in the coffin,” Matt said. “But our kick return is what won the game.”

Joe Arriola (Class of 2007)

Never had an AP class, and found yearbook his senior year.


The writing process not

The Writing Process - Not

  • Make handwriting neater. Leave out all the scratch-outs.

  • Use the thesaurus to find bigger words.

  • Computer spell check and grammar check.

  • Type it.

  • Add filler to make it longer.


Revision step 1

Revision - Step 1

  • Read the piece aloud.

  • Mark any place where you stumble, pause in confusion or have to reread.

  • Listen for repeated words.

  • Rewrite those sentences.


Revision step 2

Revision - Step 2

  • Look for summarized or implied dialogue

  • Rewrite using the actual exchanges said during the scene.


For example

I slinked into the publications room that Monday, picked up an application from the quiet lady in the classroom brimming with activity. I filled it out and returned it. Hope Carroll took me when I needed it most. I was in.

I dried my tears, and on Monday morning, trudged into the publications room, picked up an application, filled it out and turned it in. To my surprise, they took me.

“Welcome to yearbook,” said the lady with the glasses that covered half her face and the reassuring voice that let me know others had suffered setbacks and found their home here. “I know you’ll just love it here. Everyone does.”

For example


For example1

Violence in the form of handguns are an ever-present threat in today’s society that penetrate the foundation of our communities by leading our babies, our children, our youths down a path of destruction. Imagine an innocent lad of 5 years of age suddenly boarding a bus brandishing a weapon prepared to play with his new toy and unwittingly commit a heinous crime that will haunt him the rest of his days. It happened one day on bus in Southern Arkansas.

For example


For example2

Every sentence Ontarius uttered began with “OOOOOOOOOooooooooo, Ms. Ogrebee.” So, one day he said. “OOOOOOoooo, Ms. Ogrebee. Justin’s gotta gun.” And he did.

He had a real gun, but I didn’t know that when I started my usual lecture about bringing toys to school and fighting over them.

“JUSTIN. You bring that gun up here right now.” I glared at him in my mirror. “How many times have I told you guys not to bring toys on this bus. Toys are for home, not for school.”

I reached my hand back as Justin slinked up beside me and placed the gun in my hand. I felt the metal and thought is was way too heavy. I brought it around to the front and looked down at a .22-caliber automatic pistol.

For example


Revision step 3

Revision - Step 3

  • Circle all the -ly words -- adverbs.

  • Select a better verb if the adverb enhances.

  • Keep the adverb if it contradicts the meaning of the verb.


For example enhances

At the end of my junior year, I anxiously applied for an editorial position.

At the end of my junior year, I applied for a couple of editorial positions.

For example - enhances


For example enhances1

The teacher’s high heels clicked with each step as she purposely walked to Edward’s desk.

The teacher’s high heels clicked with each step as she headed to Edward’s desk.

For example - enhances


For example contradicts

She leaned down to his ear and whispered loudly, “If you think you’re funny, think again.”

A whisper is not loud so there’s a contradiction there.

“killing me softly”

For example - contradicts


For example contradicts1

The bulls have knocked out his front teeth and broken his arms, ribs, ankles, tailbone, collarbone and kneecap. They’ve given him more concussions and stitches and joy than he can measure.

“I live kind of different,” Stretch says, smiling toothlessly.

For example - contradicts


Revision step 4

Revision - Step 4

  • Underline all the verb phrases twice.

  • On a separate sheet of paper list the verbs straight down the page.

  • Look for weak verbs and rewrite those sentences. (ing verbs, verbs with lots of helpers, be verbs)


For example bad verbs

For Example - Bad Verbs

  • The good ol’ boy system was still in tact with administrators at a high school in South Arkansas when I satdown with them one afternoon. The topic of discussion was the lack of qualified bus drivers when I walked into the office after teaching summer school English that August.


For example bad verbs1

Was

Sat

Was

walked

For Example - Bad Verbs


For example better verbs

For Example - Better Verbs

  • Administrators rooted in the good ol’ boy system complained they didn’t have enough bus drivers. After federal courts combined two rival school systems in the name of desegregation, the bus superintendentreconfigured routes for this small Arkansas school district creating a need for even more bus drivers.

  • “Where are we ever gonna git that many drivers,” the bus superintendent said.


For example better verbs1

For Example - Better Verbs

  • “Hell, we’re scraping bottom now,” the associate superintendent said.

    “I can drive a bus,” I said as I entered the room.

  • They rebuffed me with laughter and woman-driver comments.


For example active verbs

Rooted

Complained

Didn’t have

Combined

Reconfigured

Rebuffed

For Example - Active Verbs


Revision step 5

Revision - Step 5

  • Spell check and grammar check with Word.

  • Check “readability statistics” under preferences. (This will tell you what percentage of your sentences are in passive voice.) Aim for less than five percent passive voice.


For example3

For example

  • This is for the passage on the bus driving piece.


Only two types of writers

  • Leave the story alone for at least 24 hours.

  • Read it aloud.

  • Make any needed changes.


What does the process look like

What does the process look like?


Example unrevised

Example -- Unrevised

  • I love her classroom. It’s uniquely their own. There’s a Marlin on one wall. There’s a giant trout pillow. Well, there’s just fish everywhere in honor of their teacher’s name. There are posters, cartoons, production schedules and most importantly, there’s a place for every type of kid imaginable.


Example revised

Example -- Revised

  • I love her classroom. A marlin covers one wall. There’s a giant trout pillow. Everything honors their teacher’s last name. Posters, cartoons, production schedules clutter the other walls. Every type of kid imaginable finds a home inside these walls.


Final draft

Final Draft

  • At this point, an edit from another writer is crucial.

  • Make those noted corrections.

  • You should now have a great story.


A few more hints

A few more hints

  • Space once after periods.

  • Use a style sheet.

  • Take the reader into the moment. No broad, general statements about teens, life, society or the world.

  • No question leads. Instead answer the question.

  • Keep verbs in simple present, past or future. If your main verb has an –ing ending, you’re in the wrong tense.

  • Avoid “there” to begin a sentence.

  • No indefinite pronouns: some, many, most, etc.


A few more hints1

A few more hints

  • Due means a train or a baby. You usually mean because.

  • People use “who.” Objects use “that.”

  • If a sentence has “that” in it, read the sentence without it, and if it makes sense, omit “that.”


Only two types of writers

Lori Oglesbee

McKinney High School

McKinney, Texas

[email protected]

[email protected]


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