Painting Pictures with Words: “Dress-up your Writing”. By C. Wardman – Adapted from Kathleen B. Scales Ozarks Writing Project. A Comparison. Which one would you rather create?. A Comparison. The amateur writes: “Bill was nervous.”
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By C. Wardman – Adapted from
Kathleen B. Scales
Ozarks Writing Project
Which one would you rather create?
The amateur writes: “Bill was nervous.”
The pro writes: “Bill sat in a dentist’s waiting room, peeling the skin at the edge of his thumb, until the raw red flesh began to show. Biting the torn cuticle, he ripped it away, and sucked at the warm sweetness of his own blood.”
(Robert Newton Peck as quoted in Noden, 1998, “Image Grammar,” p. 157)
“I discovered I could stop using labels without stopping grammar. Students created images with their sentences, and they didn’t even know they were …writing complex sentences…these playful forays into label-less grammar ended up in students’ essays, enriching them with concrete details and craft—a grammar instruction that actually improved writing” (Anderson, 2006, p. 29).
Now lets look at “The car went into the lot” and dress this sentence up! You do yours with me on your worksheet.
The car went into the lot.
The car, which was a 1957 Edsel, went into the lot.
The famous escape artist was hanging upside down above a parking lot in a straight jacket as he suspended from a crane. His name was “Gessi the Great.” He twisted and twirled in the wind as a large crowd of about 50 watched silently. Finally, Gessi wiggled out of the jacket and tossed it aside. He was lowered to the ground by the crane operator and greeted by cheers.
Rolling, draping, folding
Clouds hang like icing borders on a cake glazed smooth with gray
Edges congealing, a summer front, moist and cool, slides over my street.
Dripping, sighing, sagging
Air, heavy and suspended, rain settles in for the day.
The most effective image writing will:
Ask: How does it feel? What does it look like? How does it sound? How does it taste? How does it smell?