What I learned from my English Tutor - 3 smart tips to improve your writing // Cookie book tag

October 21, 2017






 {all pics via pinterest}



I love my English tutor...many say she is too hard on her students or too strict but I find her to be my greatest source of inspiration and advice. She's funny and loves books and can never pass up a good conversation. She marks up my papers until black ink consumes their depths, but instead of being discouraged I'm inspired by all the smart corrections and little tweaks she offers. She yells about how much she likes my writing until she remembers we are in a room where someone else is also trying to tutor their student. She is just as honest when it comes to offering praise as for her corrections. We share the same faith and she encourages me to dig deeper into my beliefs, challenging any superficiality that may lie on my page.

I've learned a bunch of things from my tutor but today I'm going to share three, even though I've acquired them while discussing English essays they apply to ANY sort of writing.





1. Tie Your Shoelaces Sentences Together

Guys you know I love metaphors, I CAN"T EVER resist weaving a concept down my writing or posts. Ok what I'm about to say is going to sound overly simple, yet don't doubt it's power of coherence...
Sentence number one is tied to sentence number two, then sentence number three is tied to sentence number two AS WELL as Sentence one.

Your stream of thoughts should flow down your writing and when you introduce a new one it should begin a new paragraph. The smartest way to connect your writing is by seeding a metaphor. Circle the most packed and powerful words and use their depth to continue seeding more related concepts down into your WHOLE work, or perhaps chapter.

Example 
{so and so had a} ...thorn in the flesh.


 This is an  actual and real example we discussed.
IMAGINE how many implications thorn has, for a second jot down every association a thorn carries. Good questions to ask yourself would be this.

Where are thorns found? (packed metaphor/simile hints!)
What hurts so much about a thorn? (character backstory opportunity, thought process gap, metaphor/simile)
What are the characteristics of a thorn?


Do you see how powerful metaphors in our stories can be??? Theme is much developed through these weaving concepts. Enjoyable books often retain an element that weaves down the story carrying intrigue and hints that lead the reader forward. Which leads us to our next point...







2. Bread Crumbs!

Do you remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? At one point to find their way back home they dropped bread crumbs so they could follow them back (never mind that it didn't work so well). 
Drop tantalizing little bread crumbs in your writing AKA little hints. Your readers will be eagerly searching for the next bread crumb and get fascinated and drawn along by your story.


These bread crumbs could include but are not limited to...

1. Character backstory
2. Foreshadowing
3. Symbolism
4. Alternating character scenes
5. Letting the villain action's be seen by the reader and not the MC
etc.

Now as in anything...TOO MANY bread crumbs and your readers will get full and bored. TOO LITTLE bread crumbs and you will have raised up your reader's hopes for nothing. 



3. Read Your Manuscript Out Loud (and no I'm not talking about your handy computer voice)

You will catch so many silly little mistakes your eyes miss. 
You will correct awkward dialogue
You will get into your characters' shoes
You will bond with your story
You will cut the useless words

  

• COOKIE BOOK TAG
the yummiest tag on the blogger block
 THANK YOU IVIE for tagging me <3




CHOCOLATE CHIP // A BOOK THAT NEVER GETS OLD 

the hobbit and lord of the rings
 (*considers inserting all the fandom pictures and songs*)
  
DUTCH SNOWBALLS // A BOOK THAT GAVE YOU AN UNEXPECTED SURPRISE

 princess bride

(i was seriously amazed and confused by the outcomes of this tale)



MOLASSES  // A BOOK WITH A CHARACTER THAT GETS INTO A STICKY SITUATION

to kill a mockingbird

(the premise of almost any book but this is my favorite and most notable incident)






OREO // A BOOK DEALING WITH LIGHT AND DARKNESS

 the giver

(in a way i guess it does...) 





SUGAR // A BOOK WITH A SUGARY SWEET VILLAIN

robin hood

false prince trilogy ( i could totally see him {spoiler if revealed name} being sugary sweet)




 MONSTER // A BOOK THAT CONFUSED YOUR EMOTIONS

lust for life

( very very mature book: not really recommended even though I found it painfully good)



SNICKERDOODLE // A BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH

summer of the monkeys

(hands down funniest, got me scream out loud laughing, childhood book, READ IT...you aren't too old for it, it's the best dog/boy story)


PEANUT BUTTER // A BOOK WITH A NUTTY CHARACTER

charlie and the chocolate factory

(very nutty characters ^^^)

distant waves

(warning: interesting story but spiritualism is an important part of the story...seances etc. Not too graphically detailed but disturbing at times)

 




I apologize for this horrendously long post! Did you read any of the books I mentioned? Any thoughts on the writing tips?

Any fun fall things going on for you? Is anyone going to homecoming? How's nano prep going!
Whatever it is talk to me below!!! <3


He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.

 (Psalm 23:3)

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25 comments

  1. This is amazing and now I need a cookie. Those tips are awesome. Maybe I will read my manuscript out loud. This is such an awesome post. Great job!

    ~Ivie
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And samee, my mouth was watering when I was finding pictures for this post. *hands you a bowl of virtual cookies*
      You should try! It's a great idea!
      Thank you so much Ivie!!! <3

      Delete
  2. Gosh darn it! I'm hungry now!!! XD

    Brilliant tips. <3

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    Replies
    1. xD *showers you with freshly made oreos*

      Thank you Gray :) <3

      Delete
  3. I loved the writing tips and the tag answers! I need to remember those tips for when I pick up my writing pen again (which will be soon, I hope).

    Your sugar cookie answer!!! How in the world did I MISS that??? He's the most obvious sugary sweet villian! *slaps face*.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Catherine! They were some helpful little tips I couldn't help but share :)

      XD That was my same reaction coming up with the answer...I had always thought there was no answer to the question until BAM.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Catherine :)))

      Delete
  4. Awesome post, Anna!:) And awesome advice.
    -Quinley

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Quinley! :)

      Delete
    2. You're welcome, Anna!:) I love reading your posts.
      -Quinley

      Delete
  5. Those tips were much-needed! I knew them, but with all the other tips I pick up all the time, older ones get pushed to the back burner, if you read me. :) So thanks! And your tutor sounds wonderful. <3

    (also, I almost freaked out when I saw the phrase "Hansel and Gretel." EEP. THAT FAIRY TALE IS MIIIINE. XD)

    Aaah, I love your answers to that tag!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EXACTLY, They are pretty simple but refreshingly eye opening and I really get you! The same thing happens to me all the time honestly!

      She really is great :)

      Hahah, that fairy tale is so intriguing! I LOVE FAIRY TALES xD <3

      Thank you so much Lila! <3 xxx

      Delete
  6. Those writing tips are BRILLIANT! <3 <3 <3 Thanks for sharing Anna!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU DEAR! <3 <3 <3 Thank you for dropping by and commenting! :)

      Delete
  7. Your English tutor sounds awesome! It's always great to have someone who pushes you and constantly inspires you to be better. These are cool tips! I definitely need to hide more bread crumbs in my story for readers to go back and find later. And I loved The Giver! That book gives me chills every time I read it!!

    PS Thanks for the super sweet comment on my blog! :D <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ERIN, I am so happy to see you here ^.^ :) AND OFC i'm totally gonna be hanging around your blog you can bet ;)

      Absolutely! I couldn't have said it better.

      And yes! it really was a smart tip! Simple yet powerful...

      Omw the Giver is the BEST. It inspired me in so many ways...

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment Erin! :)))

      Delete
  8. Hey, Anna!

    I am so sorry I haven't commented on here is awhile! Things have been crazy, but I am reading your posts even if I don't comment.

    Your English teacher sound very nice and helpful!! :)

    Aha! Yes! #2: #5. It is very good, even if you want your character to eavesdrop, don't let it happen! :)

    Reading out loud is very good. :D

    The Hobbit and LOTR NEVER GET OLD!!! <3 <3 <3

    Are you kiddind me!? What are the chances!? I JUST read The Princess Bride and Summer of the Monkeys!!!!! I had seen the movies first, but they were still both really good!!! <3 <3 <3 <3

    To Kill a Mockingbird is very good.

    Talk to you later, Anna! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feel bad at all! I totally understand because I do it myself... <3

      Haha yes to all of those! xD AND HOW COULD LOTR AND THE HOBBIT EVER GET OLD??? *clasps heart proudly*

      SERIOUSLY!? Those are two incredible books! I saw only Summer of the Monkeys...I'll have to watch Princess Bride too! :)

      And yes...honestly that book is my favorite.

      You too Clare! Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment :) ^.^ God Bless

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    2. They will never get old!!!!! Never, ever, ever!

      You haven't seen the movie, The Princess Bride!? *shocked face* Seriously, you NEED TO SEE IT. It is so quoteable and good! The same guy who wrote it wrote the screenplay...

      I love reading your posts. Thank you, Anna! God Bless you! <3

      Delete
    3. ABSOLUTELY <3
      I'LL NEED TO! :D

      Thank you Clare! God Bless you <3333 :)

      Delete
  9. Ahh I loved this post! Your English tutor sounds amazing. It's great that you have someone to offer you constructive criticism and help :) Those tips are all so good too! READING MY WORK OUT LOUD HELPS SO SO MUCH YESSSS. I've done that so many times xD I find it almost easier to tell a story verbally, so I think when I read out loud it helps me realize how it could be better.

    ALSO THAT PICTURE OF THOSE COOKIES IS MAKING ME HUNGRY GAH

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    Replies
    1. ABSOLUTELY, I"M BLESSED :) IKR??? Reading out loud is so underrated. I literally see a movie in my head when I write...lol it's pretty fun that way!

      ME TOO HONESTLY :")

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  10. Robin Hood, The Giver, TO Kill a Mockingbird - all so amazing! Great list!

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    1. THANKS Kara! They are all pretty incredible! <3

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  11. Thank you for your tips about writing. I will try to improve my writing using your tips. I am eagerly waiting for your first book. (whispers... I think your book will be reflection of your heart) Tell me something about it. Have a nice time, Anna! :-)

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad they could help you :)
      I also can't wait for your first book :) Honestly it's hard to say with me since I am working on a few projects and I am so busy with school... though one of them that I am working on is a short one so I should be done with it not too far from now ;) I can't reveal much but it has to do with a girl dealing with loss, and the main theme is family. :)

      Thank you so much for commenting and I hope you have the best October ever! :)))) You're always in my prayers <3

      Delete

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Have a Blessed day <3

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