Making Writing Visible

Making Storywriting Visible

My sixth grade writers are in the midst of a fiction writing project, where our focus has been on plot design, dialogue writing, proofreading, openings and more. As usual, as they have been writing, I have been writing, too, and as I try to do, I have been sharing my drafts and process as we go along.

Yesterday, I shared out this opening to my story, in which the narrator is sent back in time by Book (a character I’ve pilfered from our reading of Book: My Autobiography) to Gutenberg’s time, in order to help him with the printing press and find a way back home for the narrator. I made lots of notes in the margins, and read them out as I read them the story, trying to articulate my “moves” as a writer.

It’s not that I want them to emulate my story construction, but some of the techniques become more visible this way.

It occurred to me later that a good activity would be to do a crowd-sourced annotation of a story with them, and ask them to identify and annotate places where various writing techniques are visible in the text.

Hmmm …

Peace (stories abound),

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