Exploration and Discovery

Exploration and Discovery
The Outdoor Classroom

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reading like a Writer

The first week in New York was the Writing Workshop intensive and the second week was the Reading. I have become very aware of my own "bad" habits surrounding both. One of my most profound take aways from the Writing Workshop was the need to stay in your own skin when you are writing as narrator. The example that Lucy used was when she was washing the dishes at the sink, with her hands deep in the sudsy water,  and the phone rang and her sister answered. When she first wrote about this experience she said, "It was my mom on the phone and she had been to the doctor."
If her hands were in the sink, how did she know that? When she stayed in character all she could see and hear were her sister picking up the phone and half of the conversation- "hi, mom. What? What did he say?"
By staying in character the story is real. You are storytelling not summarizing. Such a powerful lesson and it has made my revision process much more meaningful and productive.

Reading though has been REALLY eye opening. I have always been an avid reader. I love language and appreciate great imagery. I came back from the Intensive with plans to start a book blog for my classroom. What I am finding is ,I tend to race through books wanting to know what is going to happen, rather than lingering and appreciating the language. I think that is fine, but it makes me aware that a number of books warrant a reread. I notice and appreciate craft as I am reading, but I am a plot junkie first and foremost.

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