Advice and techniques for improving writing (TRAWL). Recounts. Narrative. Reports. Explanations. Letters. Instructions. Journalistic. Formal. Argument. Auto-/biography. Diary entry. Play scripts. Literacy devices -brief. Literary devices- detailed. Writer’s check list.
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for improving writing
Literacy devices -brief
Literary devices- detailed
Writer’s check list
Words to replace ‘said’
Writer’s tool Kit – include at least 2 from each box in your work. See other pages for many more ideas
Punctuation can create effects
-question exclamation & speech marks
Sentence variety: A variety of sentence lengths add interest
Minor – no verb: Can stop the story dead, quicken the pace by adding tension e.g. Then. Silence.
Short or simple: Can quicken the pace of the story e.g. There was no going back.
Complex – using commas: tends to slow the story down and adds extra information e.g. The dog, who’s bowl I’d just tipped over, was growling in the corner.
Compound – using and, but: He wanted to go out but it was raining.
Connectives: To add interest
later, the next day, until then, however, although, also, plus
Passive and active voice: examples are
Active- the subjectis the focus of the verb: Jimate the bun.
Passive – the object is the focus of the verb: The bunwas eaten by Jim.
REMEMBER - Paragraphs - New speaker, new line
Effective word/descriptive choices: to help with characterisation and setting
Adjectives - adventurous and mature adjectives: The scarred face turned from the flickering candle light.
Adverbs – well matched to the verb: The hunter bellowed loudly and ran swiftly to disturb his prey.
Verbs – powerful verbs bring work alive: clashed, bounded, whimpered, simmering
Similes – comparing 2 things: The sea was raging like a wild dog.
Metaphor – saying something is something else: The sea was a raging dog.
Look at these lists, check through your work and include any of these ideas that you think would improve your work.
The story develops with
And ends with
to add interest to your work
Colons and semicolons
Brackets and dashes
Speech marks and ellipses
for different purposes
Word and sentence variety
requested begged beseeched
Alternative words for “said”
whimpered drawled mumbled
grumbled sobbed stammered
whinged moaned complained
heckled interrupted retorted
protested persisted advised
counted objected warned
on the other hand
first of all
in the beginning
thanks to this
as a result
in the end
in other words
the next day
Speech and pickle sandwich
3. Pickle = Punctuation
( . , ? ! )
2. Filling = words
1. First piece of bread = “
4 easy steps to
PERFECTLY PUNCTUATED SPEECH
What a perfect punctuation sandwich
Remember, it is important not only punctuate your speech correctly BUT also to set it out correctly – new speaker, new line
How many literacy devices can you spot-
Repetition, powerful verbs, adjectival phrases,
variety of sentence length….
Character begins to speak so, new line
I leaned over the tea chests and shone the torch and
there he was. He hadn’t moved. He opened his eyes and
closed them again.
“You again,” he said in his creaked, squeaky voice.
“What are you doing there?” I whispered.
He sighed like he was sick to death of everything.
“Nothing,” he squeaked. “Nothing, nothing, and nothing.”
I watched a spider scrambling across his face. He caught
it and popped it in his mouth.
Taken from Skellig by David Almond
The same character is speaking, so there is no need to start a new line.
New speaker, new line
The narrator starts to write again, so new line
To see the sandwich again, click here
‘Response partners’ are a very effective way of improving your writing.
Response partners for other types of writing
Complex sentences are used by writers for a number of different reasons. For example they can they add variety your writing, slow down the pace of your writing and they can be used to give a lot of information (description, characterisation, creating an atmosphere). Let’s look at ‘simple’ complex sentence….
before he had tea.
Iqbal took the dog for a walk
Notice how need we
to take a pause and so
we put a comma into the
sentence to separate
The sentence can be re-arranged
Before he had tea,
Iqbal took the dog for a walk.
If you take away the subordinate clause the main clause still makes sense but by itself, the subordinate clause does not make sense.
Remember: Changing the sentence order gives the sentence a much greater impact!
Macbeth washed the blood from his hands after he had killed Duncan.
After he had killed Duncan, Macbeth washed the blood from his hands.