Saturday, August 15, 2009

What makes a good book?
Making the New York Times Bestseller List? Being an Oprah pick?

Go to any bookstore or library and you will find shelves filled with "How to Write" guides to help you craft that perfect story. There are countless blogs devoted to the subject from readers, writers, and editors.

Schools teach the Six Traits+1: Ideas: the main message, Organization: the internal structure, Voice: the personal tone and flavor of the author, Word Choice: vocabulary the writer uses to convey meaning, Sentence Fluency: rhythm and flow of language, Conventions: mechanical correctness and Presentation: how the writing looks on the page.

There are creative writing classes in college and adult learning centers. Not to mention literary group discussions.

Here's another take on the subject from a 9th grade student.

"There should be a little voice in your head
like the storyteller is saying it.
And if there's not, then
you're just lookin' at the words."
LaKeisha (9th grader in San Francisco)

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