Category Archive: fiction

Staying on the Rails: Structuring Fictional Stories

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How do you broaden creativity while fostering story structure?

Where to Begin: Developing Fiction Writers

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My students have been getting sparked by a character to develop believable stories in their realistic fiction unit.

Building a House of Fiction on a Foundation of Nonfiction

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Meet Lester Laminack at the corner of story and information. You’ll chat a while. He’ll introduce you to a couple of characters and walk with you through the South Carolina Lowcountry. And hopefully you’ll leave filled with new information.

Keeping It Real: Writing Realistic Fiction for Teens

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Author Renee Watson writes books that mirror what is happening in our world. It is her way of saying to a reader, “Yes, I see it too. I see you.”

The Freedom That Comes With Constriction: Flash Fiction

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Writing flash fiction can be liberating, exhilarating, and great writing process practice.

Ending Where We Began: Writing Realistic Fiction

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Looking for a way to end the writing year with transference, engagement, and noticeable growth? Choosing a familiar writing unit may be just the way.

Words that are Speaking to Me

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Fiction is not a dream, nor is it guesswork. It is imagining based on facts, and the facts must be accurate or the work of imagining will not stand up. —Margaret Culkin Banning

Bits of This & That

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Remember this letter that Allie sent to Eve Bunting last fall along with The Ghostly Scary Mystery she wrote dedicated to Eve Bunting? Allie got a response! Yes, there was a form letter,… Continue reading

Plotting Short Fiction

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Last month at MRA, I listened to Jacqueline Woodson speak about her writing process. It wasn’t the first time I heard her speak and I hope it won’t be my last. She is… Continue reading

Fiction + Research

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Some of you know I’ve been dabbling with writing fiction for the past six months. I’ve also had the pleasure of leading a fiction writing unit of study in two different classrooms this… Continue reading

Stories Matter

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“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” —Barry Lopez Stories… Continue reading

Highlights from the Week

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I have been in a lot of different writing workshops lately. Just this week I’ve been in 13 writing workshops and have met with 13 different teachers in either reflective practice meetings or… Continue reading

Show Don’t Tell

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In narrative writing, it is difficult to shift from telling the story to showing the story. I’ve helped launch a fiction study in a couple of fifth grade classrooms this week, and we’ve… Continue reading

Words that are Speaking to Me

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Giving characters free will, instead of outlining them in detail before writing begins, allows the story to flow naturally and allows the characters to become more real and more interesting than they could be if… Continue reading

WIP?

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The past few months I’ve been reading several authors’ blogs and I keep coming across the abbreviation W.I.P. Finally I figured out it means Work In Progress. WIP is part of the language… Continue reading

Reflecting on Reading Like a Writer

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So I took some time to create a video about the system I created in order to track and reflect on my summer reading. Because I pushed myself to reflect in a new… Continue reading

Ruth’s Slice(s) of Life: A New Minilesson Idea

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Slice 1: All morning I waited for Laurie Halse Anderson’s post about the writing challenge for today. Although a little apprehensive about whether this would be worthwhile, I found myself writing interview questions… Continue reading

Logical Situations in Fiction

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Did you know that the Curious George Stories, written by Margaret and H.A. Rey, were inspired by many real-life circumstances the writers went through as they escaped from France in 1940?  Remember how… Continue reading

Developing Realistic Fictional Characters

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I was assessing my students in Reading in a colleague’s office today.  As a student was finishing up a passage silently, I began looking at her walls.  I found a great chart on… Continue reading

What’s Next?

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I received a question earlier this evening about what’s next in my Writing Workshop: What do you usually do next in writing workshop? I just finished persuasive writing, and this is the first… Continue reading