WRITING ABOUT MYSELF
Choose one of these topics as the basis of a narrative about yourself. Tell a good story: give colourful details and all the facts needed to help your reader understand and appreciate the event. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
1. My traffic accident
2. The day I learned to be honest
3. My moment as a sports hero
4. The day I learned to recognize people of the opposite sex as
5. My visit to the dentist
6. My brush with the law
7. An occasion when I surprised myself
8. My first date
9. The day I learned to like (or dislike) school
10. The day I was a victim of prejudice
11. The day I learned to tell the truth
12. The day I got lost
13. The day I realized what career I wanted
14. My escape from another country
15. The day I realized I was an adult
WRITING ABOUT OTHERS
From this list of events, choose one that you witnessed in person. Narrate it, giving colourfulI details and all the facts needed to help your reader understand and appreciate the event. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
16. A brush with death
17. A rescue
18. An incident of sexism
19. A catastrophe
20. An example of charity in action
21. An assault
22. An historical event
23. A major failure of communication
24. An important event in the life of a child
25. An important event in the life of an elderly person
26. A violent incident at a sporting event
27. A practical joke that backfired
28. An alarming mob scene
29. An example of courage in action
30. A success in the life of a teacher
Process in Writing: Guidelines
Follow at least some of these steps in the act of writing your narrative.
1. If you keep a journal, search it for an incident that could develop one of the topics.
2. When you have chosen a topic, free write on it for at least five minutes, never letting your pen(or keyboard) stop. The results will show whether your choice is good. If it is, incorporate the best parts into your first draft. If it is not, try another topic.)
3. Write your first draft rapidly, spilling out the story. Leave room for revision (extra white-space). But do not stop now to fix things like spelling and grammar, for you will lose momentum. Consider narrating in the present tense, making the action seem to happen now.
4. Look over this draft: Does it begin and end at just the right places, narrating the event itself but omitting parts that don’t matter? If you see deadwood, chop it out.
5. In your second draft, add more SENSE IMAGES to heighten the realism. Add more time signals such as “‘first,” “next,” “then,” “suddenly,” and “at last,” to speed up the action.
6. Read a draft to family members, friends, or classmates. Does it sound good? Revise awkward passages. Does it communicate with your AUDIENCE? Revise any part that does not.
7. Finally, edit for spelling, grammar, and other aspects of “correctness” before (re)writing and proofreading the final copy. (Save this version in case your teacher suggests further revision.)