"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"After you write a chapter or part of your story, stop and read it aloud to yourself."

Suzy Kline came a visiting!

Suzy Kline visited with our third graders yesterday. 
Suzy begins by asking students, "What is the one thing you should always carry with you?" After hearing their ideas, she pulls a notebook out of her pocket and talks about how having a notebook has helped her as a writer. It holds all of her story seeds -- words and phrases that will jog a memory or experience. She does a fabulous job of connecting these story seeds to her stories. 

She tells the students that she never knows how here stories will end, but she always know how they will begin - with the story seed. She gives an example of how a student came into her classroom with a long yellow scarf - not just any scarf, but a scarf that could be worn as a dress because it was sewn like a tube. Suzy thought about which of her characters would wear a scarf like that and then imagined that character wearing it to school. Then she thought about how a long scarf might drape over a should and fall to ground behind the student, where another student might do something mischievous. "What might that student have done with the tail of that long yellow scarf?" Now there is a problem and now the story has begun.
Like all the authors my students are lucky enough to meet, Suzy told the students that she reads all the time and that she gets inspiration from other authors stories. One tea party in a book was inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

Along with answering many questions and helping the students perform a skit, Suzy gave some important writing advice to the students: 

Find a place to write that is away from the business of life and distractions like television.

After you write a chapter or part of your story, stop and read it aloud to yourself. You are your own best critic.

Here's what the students had to say after her visit:

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