In conclusion….

  One buggaboo that boggles me is how to really explain to budding authors why it’s not stylistically adroit by ending any piece of writing with a statement such as “this is my story about and I hope you liked it” or “this is my paragraph assignment for today.” Yes, I do this, yes, I teach many lessons, model, set examples, etc., but why is this not an innate act? Perhaps that’s my real question: why do we communicate so differently, so awkardly,  while we’re learning the craft of writing, than from our conversational tone? Analyzing the act of writing itself perhaps provides an answer:…

Wrapping Up a Year…My Gift to You

As I begin to write out the last two weeks’ worth of lesson plans and agendas, it strikes me that I really don’t want this to be quite over. Yes, I can hear you all now, that you can’t WAIT to get out for summer vacation, not have to worry about a darn thing, and mentally and emotionally prepare yourselves for high school. Well, I’m looking forward to summer break, too. But it shouldn’t feel like this permanent boundary, that once crossed, you can never return. I haven’t taught 8th grade students before, and while I was teaching 7th grade,…

Take A Bow — Great Endings

http://www.freewebs.com/glasgow-empire/thefinalcurtain.htm When you’ve read a great story, what do you think when it’s over? Does the ending leave you surprised? With a thoughtful quote? Is it a “cliffhanger” that leaves you not knowing (like in the “Series of Unfortunate Events” novels by Lemoney Snicket). Designing an ending is challenging for a writer–it’s as important as the “hook” in the beginning of your story. Here are some different kinds of endings: Splashy Surprise Funny Sad Small Detail Circular Factual Quotation Cliffhanger As a writer, it is up to you to think of the last thoughts or message you want your audience…