Saturday, February 23, 2013

Terry Kay Shares Five Terrific Writing Tips

This week I am participating in the Georgia Council of Teachers of English conference.  It is my first time attending the conference but I was encouraged to create a presentation by the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project.  I presented two.  The first was on the importance of understanding our personality style in writing.  I love teaching and writing about the DISC personality profiles!  I've written about it before:  DISC personality.

The second presentation was in conjunction with a fourth grade teacher at my school, Candace Meek.  We presented a workshop on how to start a writing club after school.  This is also a favorite topic of mine. You can see some of the content and link to the Prezi we showed here:  Writing Club Presentation.  Candace and I had a blast presenting and networking with the teachers.  I want to give a special shoutout to the teachers at Oakwood Elementary School in Hall County Georgia who were such enthusiastic participants!!

Try to be Occasionally Different

The highlight of the conference for me was the keynote speaker, Terry Kay. A favorite quote from Kay was, "Don't try to be extraordinary in your writing.  Try to be occasionally different."  The author of three books that have been made into Hallmark movies, Kay is an entertaining and educational speaker. He knows his stuff.  I was privileged to not only hear the keynote but to participate in a two hour workshop on writing. Here are some of things that I learned that I will be incorporating into my writing and teaching.

Five Writing Techniques from Terry Kay

  • Verbs are the power of the senses.  When writing, ask yourself, "Can it be seen or heard?  How does the verb relate this?"
  • Rhythm is one of the most important techniques you can use to create writing that engages rather than bores the reader.  It is easy to do and teach.
  • The single most important element in writing is contrast.  How does what you are writing contrast opposites:  good and evil, light and dark, activity and passivity? 
  • What you leave out of your writing is often as important as what you leave in.  You can describe a character through omission of details and excellent dialogue.
  • Everyone should have two readers of their work;  one who is brutally honest and one who loves everything you do.
Kay's workshop was two hours well-spent.  I will be applying his strategies for a long time to come! 

Want to learn more about goal setting and how to Be Do Have, even with a busy life?  Listen to my teleseminar  with Jen McDonough where I talk about goals and goal getting! Details are here: Teleseminar

Want to spend an entire day learning more about following your passion and making your goals happen? Attend the Called Woman Conference in March and listen to an impressive line-up of speakers who can teach you how to take your dream to reality.

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