Friday, November 21, 2014

Over the break...

Have a wonderful break and a happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully you have spent the last three weeks setting yourself up for success with your novel! You must reach 100% of your word count goal and update it in the word count validator in NaNoWriMo no later than midnight on November 30. We are almost there!! When you return in December, we will discuss revision, editing, and assessment. In order to get the best grade possible, be sure you have included all of the writing elements on our checklist.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

60% checkpoint today

YOU CAN DO IT! 
Your 60% checkpoint is today. Keep up the great work! Novel on...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Novel progress checklist

We are more than halfway there! You should be proud of all that you have written so far!

One of the ways that I will be assessing your novel writing is by looking at examples of how you incorporate the narrative techniques we have been discussing in class. Have you incorporated the following techniques into your novel yet?

  • characterization (both direct and indirect)
  • setting that reinforces and character and setting that creates the mood
  • sensory details 
  • precise diction (such as strong verbs and adjectives)
  • purposeful dialogue
  • a climax that addresses the conflict
  • time shifts (flashback/forward, foreshadowing)
  • subplot
If you haven't used all of these techniques yet, it's time to start thinking about how you will incorporate them! Happy noveling!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Flashback and foreshadowing

Today's mini-lesson is about incorporating flashbacks and foreshadowing into your novels. If you missed the PowerPoint (or just want to view it again) it is now located in our shared English folder in Google Drive.

Also, don't forget that your next book review is due tomorrow (11/14). You have the option to either complete this review at home or write it in class tomorrow. Don't forget about all the resources available to help you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Using text message conversations in your novel

Many of you have asked how to incorporate text messages into your novels. Do you use quotation marks like normal dialogue? Change the font or style? Create a new paragraph? Honestly, with the invention of text messaging being fairly new, there is not an officially correct way to format it. However, with a little bit of research, here's what I found...

Sammy Bina of "Let the Words Flow" gives six "rules" to follow when incorporating text speak into your novel:

1. Things like “How r u?” “C u l8r,” and “I’ll c u 2morrow” are things easily understood by a reader. “W@ up d00d adsouyasdh” is not.
2. Is there a purpose behind using text messages? Could the information be incorporated in another (better) way? If so, it’s probably best to go that route.
3. If your characters are in the same room and could freely speak to one another, don’t resort to a conversation through text messages. Readers will always prefer actual dialogue to a text message.
4. One of the main rules of writing is to show, not tell. Texting is strictly telling, so you want to keep it to a minimum.
5. Keep it consistent. If you’re going to use text speak throughout your novel, spell everything the same way.
6. There should never be more text speak than legitimate writing. Never.



As for formatting, I would suggest italicizing and indenting the text message (this is also called a block quote). For example:

It occurred to Maria to check her phone for text messages. She went to her purse to get it. There was indeed a message from James.    
   My boss just called. One of the freezers broke last night so we have to move all the food to another one before it gets bad. I think I'll spend the whole morning on it. Have breakfast first. I'll call u as soon as I'm done.
   Maria let out a sigh. How could James stand this? 

I've also seen some authors that choose a different font to show text messages. For instance, something more "digital" looking.  

It occurred to Maria to check her phone for text messages. She went to her purse to get it. There was indeed a message from James.    
   My boss just called. One of the freezers broke last night so we have to move all the food to another one before it gets bad. I think I'll spend the whole morning on it. Have breakfast first. I'll call u as soon as I'm done.
   Maria let out a sigh. How could James stand this?


You could apply this same formatting approach to incorporating poetry, song lyrics, newspaper headlines, or TV dialogue into your novel:

Making sure there were no other customers, she brought them back to her sea, and began scanning each headline.
   Typhoon Jelawat Kills 62 in Okinawa. Dangerous Toxin Found in Fish for Sale. Price of Rice Raised. Employment Rate Going Down. Tina folded the newspaper and moved to the next one. Taxi Collides with Car Causing 5 Deaths. Man Arrested for Trying to Rob a McDonald's. Temperatures forecast to be higher than average for Aug-Sept. Woman Finds Hat in a Tree.
   By the time Tina was done, she had read nearly forty headlines.

 


Monday, November 10, 2014

40% checkpoint

Enjoy your Veteran's Day holiday tomorrow, but don't forget about your 40% NaNoWriMo checkpoint on Wednesday when you return!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Subplots

Every good novel needs at least one engaging subplot. Although the primary story follows the journey of the protagonist, the supporting characters have their own hopes, desires, and goals, as well. Most of you are about 30% through your novels so far, so this is the perfect time to introduce a subplot for one or more of your supporting characters.

A great way to learn more about subplots is to watch TV! In a typical 30 minute sitcom, the supporting characters usually have their own storyline or subplot, in addition to the main story. Use this form to do some TV subplot research. Turn it in by Monday 11/10 for some extra credit points added to your next NaNoWriMo progress checkpoint (on 11/12).