Author’s Craft EQ: How does an author craft a good story?
Author’s Craft • The specific techniques that an author chooses to communicatean intended message. • For example, the use of figurative language, tone, flashback, foreshadowing, imagery, irony, symbolism, word choice, and dialogue.
Figurative Language • Alliteration, Hyperbole, Idiom, Simile, Metaphor, Onomatopoeia, Personification, Extended Metaphor, and Oxymoron • Extended Metaphor: A metaphor that is carried throughout a text. • For example, the poem “Fog” (compares fog to a cat) • Oxymoron: A figure of speech that places two conflicting words together for a special effect • For example, jumbo shrimp or old news
Tone • The writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward a subject, character, or audience communicated through the choice of words and details.
Tone Example The girls were playing in the pond, splashing each other and trying to catch fish with their hands. They were having fun, but kept looking over their shoulders at the looming forest. The long grass of the field kept moving and they sort of felt like they were being watched… About a half hour passed and still the girls kept checking the field for movements. It seemed like a pair of dark eyes was on them. They even considered going back inside, but that would mean homework time. So they continued splashing, but with caution now. Their eyes hardly left the field. The tone of this passage is worrisome, suggesting a little bit of fear. Words like "caution, dark, and looming“ lead readers to the tone.
Tone Example Finally, one of the girls pointed to the grass and giggled. "Meow!" A cat sat on the edge of the field and licked its paw. They did indeed have company. The girls ran over to the cat and pet his belly. They laughed and the cat sauntered back to the field. The tone of this passage is happy or content as there was a successful, happy resolution to the problem.
Flashback • The technique of interrupting the chronological flow of a narrative by inserting events that have occurred at an earlier time. “Sarah closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It was exactly a year ago today that she stood in this very same spot, trying to do the very same thing. “How could I be doing this?” Sarah thought to herself. She took a deep breath and recalled that embarrassing and humiliating time. She had sung on stage a million times, but, for some reason, that night was different. As she gazed out in the into the crowd, she saw them. They never came, yet there they were. Sarah’s breath had quickened and her heart began to beat a mile a minute. “I can’t do this,” she mumbled as she fled the stage.”
Foreshadowing • The use of hints or clues in a narrative to suggest future action. • Along with plot complications, helps add suspense to a story. • “Sam wished he could rid himself of the sick feeling in his gut that told him something terrible was going to happen, and happen soon.”
Foreshadowing "NOW, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor." ~ Beatrix Potter from The Tale of Peter Rabbit ~
Imagery • Sensory language that creates an impression within the reader’s mind. • It was dark and dim in the forest. • The children were screaming and shouting in the field. • He whiffed the aroma of brewed coffee. • The fresh and juicy oranges are cold and sweet. • The girl ran her hands on a soft, satin fabric.
Irony • The difference between what one says and what one means, what a character believes and what a reader knows, or what occurs and what one expects to occur in a text. • Some common types of irony include • Verbal Irony: a difference between what is said or written and what is actually meant • Situational Irony: when what happens is very different from what is expected to happen • Dramatic Irony: when the audience or the reader knows something a character doesnot know
Types of Irony • Verbal: • “Thanks for the ticket officer you just made my day!” • “I can’t wait to read this 700-page report!” • Situational: • When a TV weather presenter gets caught in an unexpected storm, it is ironic because he or she is expected to know the exact weather changes. • Dramatic: • In a movie, a detective does not know that the criminal responsible for the crimes in the city is his partner. The audience, however, is already aware of this fact and waits anxiously to know what will happen once the character finds out what they already know.
Symbolism • The author’s use of an object, person, place, or event that has both a meaning in itself and stands for something larger than itself. • A dove is a symbol of peace. • The color black is a symbol of evil or death • like the black Cobras Nag and Nagaina in “Rikki-tikki-tavi”
Word Choice and Dialogue • Word Choice: The effective use of words to enhance tone or clarity in writing or speaking. • Dialogue: The conversation between characters in a literary work.