Category Archives: Fiction in education

Fiction writing aimed at the secondary level

What makes a character, a character?

Recently I was following a thread of writers discussing how to find names that make characters memorable.  Honestly I believe that writers should be looking at the reverse situation.  It is the skillful creation of a character whose strengths and … Continue reading

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Keep it moving

One of the solutions touted to teach writing to the literary challenged adolescent has been the use of a device called the “freeze frame.” Named after the cinematographic technique that stops the action for added intensity, it was intended to … Continue reading

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The writing game

I have yet to see an app that adequately teaches and assesses writing skills. However, the realm of computer games can help. The students don’t play a ‘writing’ game, but they write the scenarios of the game itself. The more … Continue reading

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Looking for an antihero

Most of the students are already dreading their “special” assignment. As they walk dawdling into the room and see the prompt “Write about someone who was a good influence on you” the moans begin to crescendo. Many students quickly run … Continue reading

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The rise and fall of…

Sit still in a swing, and it is a bit boring. Start moving, pumping with your arms and legs to move in an ever higher arc, and it becomes a thrill ride – at least until you become tired. Then … Continue reading

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What’s the problem?

When students embark on writing fiction, they can typically handle coming up with characters and settings. The element that causes the greatest problem for the students is the problem  (a.k.a. the conflict). Reading fiction may be a form of escape … Continue reading

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Hiding the truth in plain sight

  “I don’t get it. It just about a bunch of animals, but the pigs are mean.” I still cringe when I hear students make comments like this. My own children were introduced to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, when they were … Continue reading

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What do you do with the dead body?

The freshman in the learning lab was finally beginning to adequately describe people with believable motives, but had run into a problem with his narrative. I was quietly explaining to the student that in his story many people saw Jack … Continue reading

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Classic fan fiction

During 1960’s there was an outbreak of science fiction written by amateurs who used already developed and idolized characters – those from Star Trek were favorites – from there came the term fan fiction. However, with the advent of the … Continue reading

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