Friday, October 21, 2011

The Craft of Writing

Lately I have been reading several blogs about the art/craft of writing, and have been fascinated.  JE Fritz writes so well about etymology.  You are one smart lady, JE!   

Another blogger (name lost in brain fog—sorry) wrote about character development, and what drives it.  Another blogger wanted suggestions for names for the M/C, S/C, and sidekick.  I selected Dakota and Skylar (from a great list with name meanings) for the first two, but drew a total blank for the third name.  I may have suggested ‘Loki’.

This has led me to write about my own methods of character development. 

I have been writing all my life, literally.  Reading and then responding to literature were hand-in-hand for me.  That is how I taught every student, that is how I write.  There is a great series, Great Books, using ‘shared inquiry’ and ‘guided discussion’.   

Go to this site for further information.

Teaching writing also forced me to examine, and I do mean really examine the how and why of my own writing.  The most effective teacher of writing is a teacher who writes.
I was blessed enough to pursue improving my writing by interviewing with the San Diego Area Writing Project at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA.  I was chosen to participate in an in-depth, in-your-face, no-holds-barred writing program called SDAWP.  

 Every day, at least six hours a day, I wrote. Oh my, I wrote so much.  Other teachers wrote.  We shared and critiqued others’ writings.  We also taught each other about writing. 

It was humbling to stand in the front of a room filled with 25-30 talented and gifted teachers, and to teach them about my own passion for writing.

Go to this site for more about the program:

So, I will write more on this, tomorrow.  

p.s.  I hope the YouTube link thingy works.  I am dismal at stuff like this.


  1. Yes, it does work, in the early nineteen twenties a writer Dorothea Brande produced a book with this idea and I found it wonderfully helpful. Today's blurb on bookselling sites says it is perhaps the best book on writing ever written - I'd qualify that and say it is the best book ever written if you are just starting out..

  2. That program sounds absolutely fascinating. I would love to hear more about your experiences there!

    And I always love reading about how others develop characters. I'm looking forward to your post.

  3. Always fun to go around and see some helpful hints and such, I've seen quite a few lately as well.

  4. Great stuff. Information comes from so many different places. What a blessing!

  5. How wonderful! I can't wait to read more tomorrow.

  6. :-) I read an awful lot, but never about how to write!


  7. I enjoyed thinking about writing as I read your post. Donald Graves is superb, I agree. I also thoroughly enjoy Ralph Fletcher's books, on writing, and some of his story books to use as a launch for students writing.

    I popped over from mamawolf and I plan to visit to read more again soon!

  8. This is why I love the blogosphere. You learn so much from people working on exactly the kind of thing you're working on. The advice and wisdom is incredible. Including this blog. Thanks!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!