This is a reference book that is divided into six sections. Each section contains units and sub-units.
Section A: The Dynamics of Writing
What is a genre ?
A genre or a type of writing can be expressed in various forms.
The narrative genre can also be in the comic genre and take various forms, such as that of a story, a letter, an advertisement, be part of a speech, a news story, a film script, a dialogue between two friends, a diary entry, a biography, an autobiography and so on.
Any piece of writing that has a distinct format and style, can be generally termed as a genre. They are often sub-sects of the major genres of writing. Newspapers, cartoons, research papers, billboards, graffiti, collages, posters, CD covers, menus, movie posters, greeting cards, travel brochures, agony-aunt columns and diaries can also be classified as genres as they are distinct in format and style……………………..
Vocabulary And Usage In Writing
Words enrich and empower. Words are alive with connotations, associations, flavours and suggestions that stick to them. Words have several synonyms that not only change the flavour of the writing, but also change the intention. Then again, one word may have various uses…………………
• Radha was a slim/ thin / scrawny / lissome girl (connotation)
• He lumbered/ staggered/ sauntered/ ambled/strolled home after work (synonyms for ‘walk’)
• He bolted for the door/ he bolted down the food/ he bolted the door/ (different uses of one word)
Section B: Genres of Writing
How to write a ghost story
• Use structure of the narrative genre
• The plot must have mystery of the unexplained and intrigue with an out-of-the-ordinary situation
• Settings can be either in lonely places associated with death or perfectly ordinary spaces that turn scary………………………………..
The Narrator and Point of View
Point of view decides through whose eyes the story unfolds to the reader. This person is the narrator.
In a short story the narrator may be one of the following types:
• The first person (uses ‘I’) narrator is one of the characters in the story, and the story is revealed through his/her eyes.
I felt a large hand on my shoulder. The fine hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end in fear, as I turned around and came face to face with the tallest, and most bulky man I had ever seen. He seemed to glower down at me, breathing hard. His breath smelt of stale garlic, as he whispered menacingly, “Who are you?”
• The third person (uses ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’) objective narrator is outside the story and can only give information about how the characters appear, what they do, their body language and what they say on the outside.
Samir felt a large hand on his shoulder. He shuddered and turned around to be confronted by Hawkeye, who towered over his puny frame. Hawkeye glowered down at Samir, who seemed to shrink in size. Then Hawkeye pushed his face close to Samir and whispered menacingly, “Who are you?”
Section C: Forms of Writing
Images convey feelings
Words convey emotions; and action verbs add power to writing.
Words can create positive feelings of delight and nostalgia
I was immediately transported to the foot of arid mountain peaks, with narrow little defiles twisting in and out amongst their towering heights. I could see the string of camels bearing the merchandise, and the company of turbaned merchants, carrying some of their queer old firearms, and some of their spears, journeying downward towards the plains
From ‘The Cabuliwallah’ by Rabindranath Tagore
Words can create negative creating feelings of trepidation and gloom
I started from my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed; when, by the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I beheld the wretch -the miserable monster ……………….
From ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelly
Section D: Literary Tools and Skills
Within the genres and forms writers use literary devices that create effects that take the story forward, create atmosphere, style, intrigue, clarify and comment on a character or event. We use literary terminology to identify and label these effects when critiquing the writer’s work.
Section E: Word Formation
Categories of Prefixes
• Opposites: un-, de,- dis-, in- (unwind; defreeze; disappear; inattention)
• Negatives: non-,in-, a-, dis-, mis-, ………………………..
• Degree/size: arch-, sur-, hyper-, ultra-, …………………………….
Relationship words: father figure; parent organization; sister concern.
Occupations: attorney general; student teacher; postmaster general.
Size words: ‘quasi’; ‘vice’; ‘self’; ………………………..
Compound expressions : stick-in-the-mud; out-of-the-box; devil-may-care.
Synonyms for common words can be found in a thesaurus. A thesaurus is as important as the dictionary when it comes to improving writing skills. Here is a ready synonym reference for the most commonplace words used in writing to help you write with greater power. Synonyms must be used with care after checking their usage. They may be similar or close in meaning to the word but they should not be indiscriminately interchanged with the word without paying attention to their correct usage.
Index to Instant synonym reference
Section F: The Final Word
Ideas For Reluctant Writers
Pictures are excellent prompts for writing and the newspapers are full of them. Make a collection to choose from, for writing. Simple descriptions can be written about what the picture is, or an imaginative description can be done on any one character, or you can speculate on what happens next in the picture, or write a make-believe story. You could also write a dialogue, or a mystery around the picture.
Family and photo albums are great ways to write about family and friends and occasions when the pictures were taken.
Don the reporter’s cap. You could look at news items on sports, films, technology, advertisement or weather every week and make a news page. Read a news item on what is happening in the world that particularly grabs your attention and report it in your own words……………………………………