Analyzing Writer’s Craft Presented by: Kelly Philbeck
Craft of Artists • Look following two paintings and jot down some similarities and some differences that you see. • What do you notice about the artists’ techniques? • What differences do you see?
Compare and Contrast Grant Wood’s American Gothic Edvard Munch’s The Scream
What is Writer’s Craft? Craft is the art of writing. It is the writer’s intentional use of the following to create an effect on the reader: • figurative language • snapshots/imagery/details • thoughtshots • word choice/word placement • sound/dialogue • sentence structure/stylistic devices • text features • text structure
Writer’s Craft Encompasses: • Style • Tone • Voice • Audience Awareness • Structure/Organization • Technique
Categories of Craft • Word Craft—careful, deliberate word choice • StructuralCraft—organizational features • AudibleCraft—sound choices • VisualCraft—print features • Laminack & Ray
Word Craft • Deliberate, artful choice of words [Ray 1999] • Figurative language • Word Choice • Vivid verbs • Imagery • Details
Structural Craft • Organizational Framework of the Writing [Ray 1999] • Text structure • Paragraph types • Transitional devices • Parallel structure • Repetition • Page Layout/White Space
Audible Craft • Language that Lingers… [Laminack 2007] • Noticed without even seeing the print [[Laminack 2007 • Alliteration • Assonance • Onomatopoeia • Rhythm • Cadence • Hard/Soft Sounds
Visual Craft • Thoughtful, artful placement of text on a page [Laminack 2007] • Must be seen to be noticed [Laminack 2007] • Print Features (bold, italics, fonts, punctuation) • Line breaks • White space • Graphics—pictures, illustrations, charts, maps
Analyzing Writer’s Craft • Let’s analyze for Literary Devices and Figurative Language. • First, read over your cheat sheet! • Take a moment to refresh your memory of literary devices & figurative language.
Now…Beyonce’s Halo • Listen to the song. • As you listen, underline ANY literary devices or figurative language that you see. • ONLY underline the devices/language!
Figurative Language Refresher • Remember figurative language is language that cannot be taken literally. • For example, • Line 1: “Remember those walls I built…” • Is Beyoncé known for traveling the United States with a hard hat, bricks and mortar, building walls? • NO! As listeners, we have to make inferences of her intended meaning by analyzing her use of figurative language.
Halo • Beyoncé's Halo • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyR7yoDBQSg
Halo x 2 • Now that you’ve underlined examples of literary devices and figurative language, we’re going to listen to “Halo” again. • This time, as you’re listening, use your list of terms to LABEL each item that you have underlined. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyR7yoDBQSg
Discussion! • What evidence of literary devices/figurative language did you find in the lyrics? • Quote them. (Claim them!) • Label them. (Name them!) • Explain the author’s purpose. (Frame them!) • Why did Beyoncé and her co-authors choose to use those literary/figurative language devices? • What do the devices mean?
Let’s Take it to Text • “Bryan’s Plane Crash” • Written as a typical student’s sample.
Bryan’s Plane Crash Bryan heard a loud noise as the plane’s wings were torn off of the plane. He braced himself, then his head hit the wheel as the plane hit the trees. The plane went through the trees then crashed into the water. People were screaming all around him. He unfastened his seatbelt and went out the window to get free of the wreckage.
Writer’s Craft: Transforming Telling to Showing • Notice how the typical student sample is just relaying of a list of events. • No craft techniques are used. • Writer’s Craft takes writers/readers beyond the surface of events. • Now read an excerpt from Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet.
As You Read… • Underline/highlight what speaks to you as a reader—evidence of good writing: • Vivid verbs • Literary devices (metaphors, similes, idioms) • Sensory details (where you can see, hear, smell, taste the story, or feel for/with the characters) • Sentence structure/word choice (sound, rhythm, tone)
Don’t Make it Difficult… • Just mark what you like as a reader. • There are no right or wrong answers!
From Paulsen’s Hatchet There was a great wrenching as the wings caught the pines at the side of the clearing and broke back, ripping back just outside the main braces. Dust and dirt blew off the floor into his face so hard he thought there must have been some kind of explosion. He was momentarily blinded and slammed forward in the seat, smashing his head on the wheel.
Then a wild crashing sound, ripping of metal, and the plane rolled to the right and blew through the trees, out over the water and down, down to slam into the lake, skip once on water as hard as concrete, water that tore the windshield out and shattered the side windows, water that drove him back into the seat.
Somebody was screaming, screaming as the plane drove down into the water. Someone screamed tight animal screams of fear and pain and he did not know that it was his sound, that he roared against the water that took him and the plane still deeper, down into the water. He saw nothing but sensed blue, cold blue-green, and he raked at the seatbelt catch, tore his nails loose on one hand.
He ripped at it until it released and somehow - the water trying to kill him, to end him - somehow he pulled himself out of the shattered front window and clawed up into the blue, felt something hold him back, felt his windbreaker tear and he was free. Tearing free. Ripping free.
Writer’s Craft • What elements of writer’s craft do you see in Paulsen’s excerpt? • Name, Claim, Frame (on your chart) • How does writer’s craft impact the reader?
Writer’s Craft is EVERYWHERE! You can analyze ANY type of text for Writer’s Craft… poetry film clips informational text argumentative text
Also Analyze Craft for… • Writer’s Style • Text Features • Text Structure • Idea Development/Support • Argumentative Techniques • ANY text you read can be analyzed for craft
Tips for Use • I have students analyze writer’s craft on most everything we read. • We started small… • Only looked at literary devices/figurative language for period of time • Used with Lit Circles • Students created our definition sheet • Then we analyzed for stylistic devices, then text structure, etc. to build our writers’ eyes.
Tips for Use • I have students analyze writer’s craft on most everything we read. • We keep craft sheets in sheet protectors in the middle of their 3 pronged writing folders. • We refer back to craft findings for revision of writing.
Sources • Ray, Katie Wood. Wondrous Words. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1999. • Laminack, Lester. Cracking Open Author’s Craft. New York: Scholastic, 2007.