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Toasted cheese – daily writing prompts

Feel like starting your English class with a short writing exercise? Here’s a quick and easy way to make this happen – check out Toasted Cheese.

Or why not have the students collaborate to create a classroom calendar for writing prompts?

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Writing prompts

 

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About writing – Plot

Sarah Dunant talks about plot in writing here. It’s worth listening to.

Sarah has written 11 novels and 3 screenplays.

Plot is not just when somebody is dead and you don’t know who did it and why. It’s about an issue around what happened. Plot has to be exciting because there’s something you don’t know, but it also has to have some weight about it.

It’s a complex world, a very rich world, where nothing is black and white, where notions of good and bad are grey.  Research is very important. If you write about scientific experiments and animal right, you need to research this properly. Research is a key factor in the creation of complexity.  But if you overload the information, it doesn’t work either. You need balance.

“If you don’t surprise yourself, you’re not going to surprise your readers.”

“You never know if it’s going to work until it’s finished.”

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in About writing

 

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Writing prompt #5 – Emoticon story

Write your own emoticon story.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Writing prompts

 

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Writing prompt #4 – Vincent Malloy (a poem)

Write a rhyming poem about:

  • a boy who can’t sleep
  • a girl with purple hair
  • a cat who can talk
  • a teacher who loves to sing

or anything else you can think of.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Writing prompts

 

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Writing prompt #3 – Storybird

Storybird is a very easy way of creating an e-story using picture sets shared by various artists. It’s easy and it’s cool.

Once you have an account, you can browse existing stories or just click create and write your own.

I whipped one up in a matter of minutes (so it’s not great) but it looks good! You can read my story here. Once you choose an artist, you just drag the pictures you like onto your page, then keep creating (or deleting) pages until you’ve finished.

You can write your own story or collaborate with a friend.

If you scroll down this page, you can search images by theme.

I like the way you can use somebody’s shared art. The artist I chose is Dwell Deep (Sam) and you can read a little about her here. She has a website and a blog. It’s a good feeling to have created a story in collaboration with an artist.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2010 in Writing prompts

 

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Writing prompt #2 – Are you ready to play Five Card Flickr?

Photo by Serenae on Flickr

Are you ready to play Five Card Flickr?

It’s a quick and fun way to write a story using Flickr-generated images. In fact, you can write it right there on the website.

It’s simple –

Firstly, you choose one out of five images randomly selected for you, then you get a new set of five from which you choose another image – and so it goes until you have 5 images which form the prompts for your story.

Once you have your 5 images, you enter your title, your username and write the story itself. Then, after you prove you’re not a robot by typing in the CAPTCHA, you save the story and it’s shared with others. You’re famous.

You can use the pictures in any order. Try to choose images which give you a location to set the scene, character or characters you can develop, and leave a picture which you think will inspire an ending (logical, surprising, shocking, hilarious…)

There are different ways you can write your story –

  • rhyming poem
  • unrhyming poem
  • prose
  • short play
  • song
  • in any language

Don’t forget to grab the photo credits at the bottom of the page. If people share stuff with you, you should always credit them – it’s good manners.

Have a go!

I’ve tried this activity in class, so if you want to read about the experience, click here.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2010 in Writing prompts

 

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Lightning Bug

Photo courtesy of Yagosan on Flickr

Lightning Bug promises to help you write a story from beginning to end.

There’s so much here; you’re sure to find something to help you in your writing process.

Author websites are often full of ideas and tips for writing.Here is a list of author websites from Lightning Bug:

Writing World is a recommended website, and features articles like Creative uses of magic in your fantasy story.

Very useful is the dictionary of last names to help you with all your character names.

Lightning Bug even has writing exercises to help with writers’ block.

When developing your story, Lightning Bug helps by getting you to think about your characters, getting you to think about what sort of writer (and person) you are, helping you with structure and voice (show, don’t tell), and giving you an idea of how to mindmap your story or storyboard it before you start writing.

I like the way Lightning Bug talks about developing a sense of place in the story:

Your sense of place or setting are the things that make up your world. Think of it like the colour in the page … it helps your readers immerse themselves in your story.

I think you’ll find something that’s useful on Lightning Bug – have a look for yourself.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2010 in Writing help

 

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