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Postby LadyBug3 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:58 pm

The Alternative Story wrote:
LadyBug3 wrote:Hi TAS,

What do you mean by 'building tension'? I read in your book about it and can understand but how to get a child to understand it better? :?


Hi LadyBug3,

Most children do not know how to build tension, their stories
tend to jump from one point to the next or they tend
to solve the problem too quickly and as a result the
stories are not gripping.

Example:

I heard a creaking sound in the house. I wandered
downstairs and saw, to my horror, a masked man. He must be
a burglar! I stood rooted to the ground, I was shaking with fear.
The burglar suddenly turned and saw me. He advanced towards
me and then he caught me and gagged me.


In the above example, the writing seems good in the sense that
it has no grammar mistake and there is a smattering of
good vocabulary used, however, as a reader, you are not
gripped by the problem. The tension in the story is not built
up, the burglar catches the main character too fast.

Here is another example of the same story but one where
the tension is built up:

Creak..creak. What was that? I heard a strange creaking
sound come from the ground floor. There was no one else
at home. My parents had gone for a holiday. Was it a ghost,
a burglar or simply a stray cat?

Shivering, I tiptoed down the stairs. The hall and dining room
were dark and forbidding. Shadows loomed in the corners.
Just as I reached out to switch on the lights to dispel
the gloom, I heard the floorboard creak again.

Turning around, I saw a masked man advancing towards me.
Petrified, I stood rooted to ground, too frightened to move.
With a sneer on his face, the man came nearer and nearer.
I had to escape. I had to. I forced my trembling legs to move.

"Get back here!" the masked man threatened.

Without a backward glance, I ran up the stairs, slammed the
bedroom door shut and opened the window to call for help.


In this example, the tension is built by slowing increasing the
intensity
of the problems the character faces:

1) Heard a creaking noise

2) The character is alone at home and in a
big house
- being alone makes it more scary for the character and being
in a big house makes the source of the sound harder to pin down,
you need some time before you discover who or what caused the
noise

3) The rooms were dark and shadows loomed in the corners,
making the character more fearful

4) Just before the light is switched on, the creaking sound is
heard again


5) The character finally finds the source of the sound-
the masked man

6) The masked man advances

7) The character bolts for the bedroom

At this point, the masked man has yet to catch the character.
Unlike the other example, where the problem escalates too fast,
here the intensity of the problem slowly increases, thus
making it more gripping for the reader.

You can get your child to do this when he writes, get him to think of
how he can increase the intensity of a problem slowly and write down
the points of increasing intensity before writing his story.

TAS


Thank you TAS for the clear explanation. I do not have the time to look through your old treads but I heard there is a lot of good stuff on synthesis, grammar etc. Do you mind if you can type out the links here? Thank you very very much! :lol:

LadyBug3
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Postby The Alternative Story » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:41 pm

LadyBug3 wrote:
Thank you TAS for the clear explanation. I do not have the time to look through your old treads but I heard there is a lot of good stuff on synthesis, grammar etc. Do you mind if you can type out the links here? Thank you very very much! :lol:


Hi LadyBug3,

Sure no problem.

This is a link that you can go to that has a number of our grammar and
synthesis replies compiled on one post by another parent:

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum ... &start=700

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Postby Balim05 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:33 pm

Hi Parents,

Any parents had send kids to try Jalynn Yap @ Yokairei Creative Writing before? It is her website: http://www.jccreativewriting.com/profile.htm

:pray:

Balim05
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Postby numericrhapsodies » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:42 pm

Balim05 wrote:Hi Parents,

Any parents had send kids to try Jalynn Yap @ Yokairei Creative Writing before? It is her website: http://www.jccreativewriting.com/profile.htm

:pray:

I actually wanted to go, after using her synthesis book, but my mum said it was a waste of money on me, I'm too "creative" in writing for my own good. :P

numericrhapsodies
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Postby clblinym » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:42 am

Hi, TAS
Merry Christmas.

Can I ask you which of the following sentences are correct. Thanks in advance.

1) I would rather eat apples than oranges.
2) I would rather eat apples than eat oranges.
3) I prefer apples to oranges.
4) I prefer eating apples to eating oranges.

Regards,
Amy

clblinym
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Postby clblinym » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:40 pm

Hi, TAS & parents,

I have S&T question.
It has been discussed before.

Mr Yong last saw his neighbour fifteen years ago.
______________________________ since __________________.

The correct answer is
- Mr Yong has not seen his neighbour since fifteen years ago.

My son gave me the following answer and i am not sure whether it is correct and why? Thank you.

It has been fifteen years since Mr. Yong last saw his neighbor.

clblinym
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Postby The Alternative Story » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:02 pm

clblinym wrote:Hi, TAS & parents,

I have S&T question.
It has been discussed before.

Mr Yong last saw his neighbour fifteen years ago.
______________________________ since __________________.

The correct answer is
- Mr Yong has not seen his neighbour since fifteen years ago.

My son gave me the following answer and i am not sure whether it is correct and why? Thank you.

It has been fifteen years since Mr. Yong last saw his neighbor.


Hi clblinym,

Your son's answer is correct.
The 'since' in this context given is used to show
the starting point of a specific event.

Eg:

It has been 3 years since I started thai-boxing.

So we can see that that the starting point of the person doing
thai-boxing was 3 years ago.

In the same way for the question, "It has been 15 years since
Mr Yong last saw his neighbour"

The starting point of Mr Yong not seeing his neighbour began 15
years ago.

However, the given answer 'My Yong has not seen his neighbour
since 15 years ago' is wrong.

You usually do not use 'since' and 'ago' together as it is redundant.
Both mean the same thing. 'since' shows the starting point of an event
and 'ago' also means the same thing here, it shows you when
the event started.

Hence, the correct answer is actually your son's answer.

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Postby The Alternative Story » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:06 pm

clblinym wrote:Hi, TAS
Merry Christmas.

Can I ask you which of the following sentences are correct. Thanks in advance.

1) I would rather eat apples than oranges.
2) I would rather eat apples than eat oranges.
3) I prefer apples to oranges.
4) I prefer eating apples to eating oranges.

Regards,
Amy


Hi Amy,

Merry Christmas to you too :D

Options 1 and 3 are correct.
For options 2 and 4, you do not have to repeat 'eat' and 'eating'.

Instead of 'I would rather eat apples than eat oranges',
it should be 'I would rather eat apples than oranges'.
You do not have to repeat the 'eat' because it is implied
that the oranges are to be eaten as well.

In the same way for option 4, instead of 'I prefer eating
apples to eating oranges', it should be
'I prefer eating apples to oranges'

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Postby clblinym » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:00 am

The Alternative Story wrote:
clblinym wrote:Hi, TAS & parents,

I have S&T question.
It has been discussed before.

Mr Yong last saw his neighbour fifteen years ago.
______________________________ since __________________.

The correct answer is
- Mr Yong has not seen his neighbour since fifteen years ago.

My son gave me the following answer and i am not sure whether it is correct and why? Thank you.

It has been fifteen years since Mr. Yong last saw his neighbor.


Hi clblinym,

Your son's answer is correct.
The 'since' in this context given is used to show
the starting point of a specific event.

Eg:

It has been 3 years since I started thai-boxing.

So we can see that that the starting point of the person doing
thai-boxing was 3 years ago.

In the same way for the question, "It has been 15 years since
Mr Yong last saw his neighbour"

The starting point of Mr Yong not seeing his neighbour began 15
years ago.

However, the given answer 'My Yong has not seen his neighbour
since 15 years ago' is wrong.

You usually do not use 'since' and 'ago' together as it is redundant.
Both mean the same thing. 'since' shows the starting point of an event
and 'ago' also means the same thing here, it shows you when
the event started.

Hence, the correct answer is actually your son's answer.

TAS



Hi, TAS
Thank you very much for your detailed explanation.
Follow-up to my son's answer :
It has been fifteen years since Mr. Yong last saw his neighbor

Can I say
It is fifteen years since Mr. Yong last saw his neighbor.

If both are ok, which is better used? Please advise. Thank you very much.

Regards,
Amy

clblinym
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Postby The Alternative Story » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:05 am

clblinym wrote:Hi, TAS
Thank you very much for your detailed explanation.
Follow-up to my son's answer :
It has been fifteen years since Mr. Yong last saw his neighbor

Can I say
It is fifteen years since Mr. Yong last saw his neighbor.

If both are ok, which is better used? Please advise. Thank you very much.

Regards,
Amy


Hi clblinym,

Sorry to keep you waiting for our reply. This post slipped our attention for a while.

In a statement, when there is the word 'since' and 'for' followed by a duration of time eg: since 1998/for 2 years,
the correct tense to use is either a present or past perfect tense
(eg:had done/ have done/have been doing).


This is because the present/past perfect tense emphasizes on the
duration of time while the past tense/present tense just focuses on
the completion of the activity-whether it was completed in the past or
in the present.

Hence the answer should be 'It has been fifteen years since Mr
Yong saw his neighbour'

TAS

The Alternative Story
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