This is a very early draft of what will,
I hope, become a very detailed, sequential set of suggestions and
assignments for teaching writing. I have started it now because I just
made "A Study of Focal Sentences in Professional
Writing" for my current college Freshmen.
In the early grades (and for remedial
writers in the upper grades), a basic assignment is simply to write their
own version of the story (or play). Weak writers are often weak because
they do not have anything to say. They write a sentence and then stop to
think of what they can say next. It's no wonder that they hate writing.
Experienced writers writers have the opposite problem--the pen is always
behind the head. If they do stop to think, they do so either to consider
what to leave out, or to consider just how to say what is in their head.
Rewriting a short story that they have read a few times puts inexperienced
writers into the same position as the experienced. They get to feel what
it is like to try to make the pen keep up with the head.
Writing as a Product
A Study of Focal Sentences in Professional Writing [This is an MS Word document.]Details
Writing as a Process