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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:21 am

Joy wrote:Hi chiefkiasu

I have been doing lots of homework on the above and found this that you have written.Could you kindly enlighten me how to train a kid on Organization skills and techniques and content building for creative writing

Thanks


Hi Joy, learning creative writing is not different from learning an aesthetic artform such as playing the piano - you must first learn the vocabulary (music notes), and then the grammar (key signatures, tempo, etc), and finally the composition (playing a complete piece). You become a master when you are actually able to value add by putting your own thoughts and ideas that uniquely defines your own style (variations).

Now, if you buy what I said above, then think about how long it takes a child to get from learning the sounds of individual keys on a keyboard, to the point the child is able to play a complete song with both hands on the piano. The time varies from child to child, depending on the child's innate predilection towards music, ie. his/her "giftedness". But regardless of the level of giftedness, any child can reach as high a level as the effort he/she puts in - a not-so-gifted child will just have to put in a lot more effort.

Every story has a specific concept to be told, and a specific manner by which it is told. The concept is basically the essence of the story. For example, "Little Red Riding Hood" is about a little girl who was saved by a wood-cutter from being eaten by a way-laying wolf who kidnapped and impersonated her grandmother just to trap the girl. That is the concept. The "3 little pigs" is about how a pig learnt to avoid the fate of his siblings and outsmarted the predatory wolf by building a house on solid foundation. That is the concept too. Concepts by themselves are uninteresting. It is how we describe the concept that gives life to the story. If you can sell ice to Eskimos, you would have reached the zenith of creative "write-manship".

Do check out "Classroom Creative Writing Guide" by Eliza Chen. It is one of the better guides.

In general, here are the steps:

1. Lay out all the facts. You may classify the facts under sections such as:
a. Characters - Actors, entities, and their characteristics and relationship eg. Red Riding Hood, her mother, delicious cookies, granny with glasses and nightie, the wolf with big nose and teeth, the woodcutter

b. Scenario - The setting eg. the forest, granny's home, granny's bed

c. Events - The action eg. RRH carries delicious cookies baked by her mother to visit her granny, RRH walks through a forest on the way to granny's home, RRH meets a wolf who tries to talk her up, ..., the wolf ties up granny and puts on granny's glassy and nightie and waits in granny's bed.

2. Draw a mind map of all the facts. Some call this story webbing. The end result of a mind map should tell the story at a glance. This is the organization part which I was talking about. Tony Buzan specializes in training young children to do this effectively.

3. Start writing the story:
- Introduction (Guess what? - somethings going to happen to so-and-so at such-and-such a place on such-and-such a day)

- Body (What happened? - This happened and then that happened which causes something else)

- Conclusion (So what? - Punchline, learnings, etc).

Putting it all together:

Little Red Riding Hood had a omnimous feeling that something was going to happened that day. As she put on her freshly-washed hood, a cold shiver ran down her spine. "Hmm... time to change detergent," she thought, "this one makes too much static lah."

She bent to picked up the small basket on the ground, and wrinkled her nose as the aroma of freshly baked cookies wafted from under the thin cloth covering it. She had spent the entire morning as her mother's unofficial food taster, sampling different batches of cookies coming off the production line of her mother's kitchen, before her mother declared that batch number 7 was fit for human consumption, ostensibly by noting that RRH's face was not as green as was the case in the earlier experiments.

Now she is charged with the task of delivering the same batch number 7 to her eccentric granny who lived deep in the forest. RRH has once asked granny why she chosed to live alone in such an awful place, only to be lectured on how little children should mind their own business and study hard instead in order to do well in PSLE, so that they won't get to stay deep in the forest like granny.

So off RRH went, basket in hand, walking rapidly on the narrow beaten path through the forest that seem to be the only way to get to granny's house. Normally, she would have skipped her way there, and stopped to smell the flowers, but today she just want to get it over with because she wants to get home in time to watch the Channel 5 news to find out what is happening to her University's education fund which her mother invested in Sand's shares. "Tsk," she said to herself, "this recession so terrible lah... woah... who's there?!"

... [fast forward past some the innane events] ...

"The better to eat you with!" cried the wolf, and granny's glasses came flying off its nose as it grabs RRH by her neck and opened its massive mouth. "Sheesh... you really need Listerine..., " gasped RRH as she choked on the bad breath emitting from the wolf's mouth.

"And you need more salt and pepper!" cried the wolf as it prepared to swallow RRH whole. Suddenly, there was a loud bang and the wolf found himself eating lead instead. It gave a horrible shriek and collapsed in the heap that was granny's nightie, missing several of its big teeth that RRH so admired earlier.

... [more fast forward past more innane events] ...

And so RRH and her granny thanked the burly wood-cutter (who somehow was carrying a shot-gun that day instead of an axe) and gave him the batch number 7 of now cold and hard cookies as a reward for saving their lives. Granny decided that she has had enough of staying in the deep forest and will be going home with RRH the next day to help monitor the maid while the mother went out to work. As for RRH, she decided it was time for her to get a pair of new spectacles for not being able to tell the difference between her granny and a wolf. And they all lived happily that weekend, because Nanyang Optics at Parkway Parade had a 50% discount for Deep Forest Primary school children.

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Postby ksmama » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:38 am

Excellent!! A*

ksmama
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Postby EN » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:02 am

CKS, :lol: Love the story. Very creative indeed!

EN
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Postby Joy » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:32 am

Chiefkiasu

Great piece of work.I will show it to my p3 girls.Just check, if this creative writing is not about a fairy tales story but a four pic composition type, how can we show the child the content building part.My girl is able to read and write story well but not the real life type of creative writing and most of all failed to expand.Probably she lacks the exposure and indepth thinking and I know she needs help, hope to hear your advice.

Thanks

Joy
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:53 am

Joy wrote:...In this writing class, teacher will give her structure with detials for a piece of compo, and phrases.So, she merely connect and there goes her creative writing...I think that is not right.Its true that it has guided her on the flow of compo, but her writing style is totally gone...Do you think there is a way that I can help her , with the proper structure given by the class?

In sum,that is how can I use the structure as a guide and yet able to encourage her to write with her own style...instead of filling up the blank and finished a creative writing...thanks


Hi Joy, it would appear that you are hoping for your girl to find her own style of writing. That's a good thing, but it cannot be rushed. As they say Rome was not built in a single day.

I think the enrichment course itself is not doing anything wrong with the method you described. While the method is rather trite, the constant drills will result in students doing better in Primary school composition simply by learning the flow of thought offered by the authors of the passages. This is an efficient method for training children to learn to organize their thoughts and get better grades for composition, but it won't make them into Pulitzer prize winners.

Don't worry so much about having your child lose her "style", because she is unlikely to have any to begin with, at her age. Style is assimilated from reading material from a multitude of sources, which also help build up the child's knowledge base of facts which she can apply. As she grows older and become more expository in her thoughts, she will automatically develop her own style.

One of the things which you can do is to point out someone or something that you see when you are outside with your child and get your child to verbally
1. describe the person to you words - eg. what the person looks like, what he/she is wearing, and his/her disposition (hurried, happy, sad, angry, etc).

2. make up a story about why the person is at that particular place or time - eg. rushing to work, visiting a friend, going shopping, etc.

If you do this constantly, the child will start to become more observant and be able to fluently collect her thoughts and become more descriptive in her compositions and creative writing.

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:06 am

ksmama wrote:Excellent!! A*


Cannot lah... reasons:
1. Full of grammatical errors.
2. Inconsistent use of past and present tense.
3. Singlish not allowed.

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Postby Working_Kiasu_Mum » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:05 am

jedamum wrote:
Working_Kiasu_Mum wrote:I came across this assessment book in popular on zoom in vocab for creative writing from casco.

is that the title of the book?


yes. But it's a little tough finding the book in the heaps of assess in the bookstore. I think books 1 and 2 may not be published yet.

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Postby Guest » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:47 pm

ChiefKiasu wrote:
ksmama wrote:Excellent!! A*


Cannot lah... reasons:
1. Full of grammatical errors.
2. Inconsistent use of past and present tense.
3. Singlish not allowed.


Wah....you not only ChiefKS, also Chief Entertainment Officer (CEO) of Ministry of Entertainment (MOE)...(its high time they have a fusion of private and public ideas) Laughter's the best medicine, I had my dose today from yr RRH story.... kakaka
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:35 pm

Joy wrote:Chiefkiasu

Great piece of work.I will show it to my p3 girls.Just check, if this creative writing is not about a fairy tales story but a four pic composition type, how can we show the child the content building part.My girl is able to read and write story well but not the real life type of creative writing and most of all failed to expand.Probably she lacks the exposure and indepth thinking and I know she needs help, hope to hear your advice.

Thanks


Hi Joy, I'm not sure if my piece is really fit for the perusal of children under 21 yo, but I suppose it is a good way of telling children how NOT to write for their compositions.

Why not post an example of a 4-tile picture composition, along with her writing on it, and let us decide if your child really needs "help"?

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Postby Joy » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:53 am

Hi Chiefks

I will try to post once she gets hold of her redo compo and the first draft(guided by the centre)that is being remarked by the teacher.thanks


rgds
Joy
ChiefKiasu wrote:
Joy wrote:Chiefkiasu

Great piece of work.I will show it to my p3 girls.Just check, if this creative writing is not about a fairy tales story but a four pic composition type, how can we show the child the content building part.My girl is able to read and write story well but not the real life type of creative writing and most of all failed to expand.Probably she lacks the exposure and indepth thinking and I know she needs help, hope to hear your advice.

Thanks


Hi Joy, I'm not sure if my piece is really fit for the perusal of children under 21 yo, but I suppose it is a good way of telling children how NOT to write for their compositions.

Why not post an example of a 4-tile picture composition, along with her writing on it, and let us decide if your child really needs "help"?

Joy
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