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AOS Discovery Creative Writing for the HSC
Transcript of AOS Discovery Creative Writing for the HSC
There are five key elements that markers will look for to assess your creative piece. It is vital that they can see evidence of these in your writing.
Creative Writing for the HSC
A lesson in creating setting...
A lesson in creating character...
The central character in a story is very important.
A good writer gives us an impression of the character’s personality by the way he describes them.
A good writer makes the reader respond to the character in the way that he intends- with sympathy, dislike or even fear.
Writer’s use a variety of techniques to show what sort of a person a character is.
SHOW, DON’T TELL.
The golden rule for creating character is to remember to show the reader what the person is like rather than just tell them about them.
The writer’s description of the character’s appearance should give an impression of the personality.
The character shows what sort of person they are by what they do.
Section Two, Paper One, Creative Writing, assesses how well you understand the concepts associated with
and how well you can compose texts that
uses a variety of techniques, originality, and general writing skills
to explore these concepts.
All in only 40 minutes.
This section of the HSC is designed to evaluate:
- How well you understand Discovery in the context of your studies
- How well you can organize, develop and express ideas using language appropriate to audience, purpose and context.
Watch the following presentation from George Weir about "How to Write a Short Story". You may wish to take notes as you are watching.
Section Two Paper One:
Things to avoid when writing creatively for in the HSC.
1) Plot driven stories
Keep your plot simplistic.
Marker's are not interested in complicated plots with multiple series of events and elaborate twists, and frankly, you do not have time. Focus on a moment in time,
5 minutes in a character's life. It is also advised to write in 3rd person to avoid a rambling stream of conscious piece. This style of writing often leads to a creative piece sounding more like a recount.
E.g. You are visiting a small village in Tuscany and the meal you order at a local restaurant reminds you of your Grandmother's cooking. You can easily spend three pages describing this moment. Describe the taste, smell, texture and the emotions and memories this meal evokes. Your character never has to leave the table.
Read the following short story
which focuses on a moment in time
2) Unrealistic stories
- Keep your stories realistic.
You do not have time for monsters, alien worlds, apocalyptic futures, ghosts, long lost relatives and supernatural elements and creatures.
While these are very creative you simply do not have time to do these justice in a 40minute time frame.
You only have a short window of opportunity to build a relationship with your reader, therefore you are better off making your piece relatable to establish a connection.
3) A reliance on dialogue
- Too much dialogue can become confusing.
It must be correctly punctuated and formatted.
Stories that rely heavily on dialogue, while they can build a strong and distinctive narrative voice tend to sacrifice description.
Without adequate description you can fail to create atmosphere, evoke emotions and demonstrate your skills in being able to effectively use a variety of techniques such as similes and metaphors.
4) Stating the obvious
- show your readers, don't tell them. Write around the word or topic.
Good writers don't say that it is raining, they recreate the feeling of being rain upon.
You find the following box.
In four to five sentences describe the box and what you find inside.
You are not allowed to use the words old, small, big, large, wood, or wooden. You may only use the word box in conjunction with an adjective.
You have discovered a lost Kitten in a drain. In four to five sentences describe what you see?
You are not allowed to use the words Kitten or Cat, or any other synonym.
Your turn – practice showing not telling
Remember -Good writers don’t say that it is raining, they create the feeling of being rained upon for the reader…
Therefore you must write around the concept – show, do not tell
You find your old teddy bear from when you were a
In four to five sentences describe your emotional response to this discovery, how the teddy bear feels and looks?
You are not allowed to use the words sad, happy, old or fluffy. You may only use the words teddy/bear, if you combine them with at least one adjective.
You remember the first time you were allowed beyond the back fence.
In four to five sentences describe how you feel and what you discover?
You are not allowed to use the words scared, excited, or happy. You may only use the words fence, and gate if you combine them with at least one adjective.
You have discovered this never before seen photograph of your Grandfather.
In four to five sentences describe what you see and your emotional response to this discovery?
You are not allowed to use the words photograph, discover, or soldier.
You have just discovered chocolate for the first time. You have never tasted this food before.
In four to five sentence describe the experience of eating this delicious treat for the first time.
You must describe its taste, smell and texture.
You are not allowed to use the words sweet and chocolate.
Never is the word rain mentioned…but we still know that it is raining. We also know the person is content. A refreshing, clam atmosphere has been created.
Example: The cool, refreshing droplets pattered against the plastic canopy of my umbrella, running down its curved surface, dripping gently onto the exposed skin of my outstretched palm.
The setting of a story helps the reader to imagine what the place is like.
It is a picture in words.
It is the backdrop against which the action takes place.
It is easy to do this with visual images as happens in films, but much more challenging to do it in words.
All writers let their readers know where and when the story takes place by describing the setting. This usually happens at the start of a story(but not always!).
To create a setting for your reader you need to describe:
What the place looks like.
If the place is light, dark or has certain colours.
What the weather is like.
What sounds there are.
Any other impression made on the senses- touch, taste, smell.
How to study and prepare for creative writing...
Know the Rubric
- You can not be asked anything that does not appear in the Rubric.
Break down the Rubric into bullet points or summary points
Brainstorm possible scenarios that cover all aspects of the Rubric. Ideally you want one scenario that overlaps with a number of syllabus focuses.
E.g. A blind man finally being about the take off his bandages after cataract surgery -
transformative experience, intensely meaningful
Turn these brainstorms into
vignettes (short, highly descriptive pieces of writing)
or draft creative writing pieces to practice your skills.