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Writing with style

Using strong verbs, figurative language and sensory language

Jennifer Hester

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Writing with style

What is a cliche?
a trite, stereotyped expression, anything that that has lost meaning due to overuse
Common cliches in English 11A
The characters
want something
to win!
to fall in love...
an adventure!
to fit in
Falling for the "bad boy"
-romance cliche, found everywhere
-jerk gets the girl(s)
Psychological perspective: true...sort of-
higher testosterone = more attractive
BUT: more impulsive, arrogant
usually short-term
And they all lived
happily ever after
Neuroscience AS cliche:
Childhood Flashbacks
often after accident
usually not valid
Examples: 50 First Dates (X) vs...
Finding Nemo: Dory
everything can be explained!
nurturing, later stress response
symbolism, deep subconscious
esp. popular 20th century
Freud vs. current explanations
-seen across genres
-children's books: almost exclusively
-not "happily-ever-after" more memorable
abuse = delinquency more likely
vs. patient HM?
41% happy endings
2.2% sad endings

different age groups
-represent personal
goals, hopes
-escape into fiction
Aamodt, S., & Wang, S. (2008). Welcome to your brain: Why you lose your car keys but never forget how to drive and other puzzles of everyday life. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Arnold, C. (2011, September/October). Following the crowd: changing your mind to fit in may not be a conscious choice. Scientific American Mind, 22, 6.

Basic information [Diagram]. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2012, from Psychology Department, Macalester College website: http://www.macalester.edu/psychology/whathap/UBNRP/mirrorneurons08/basicinfo.htm
This branch of Macalester College’s webpage provides a detailed image of mirror neuron areas.

Bear, M. F., Connors, B. W., & Paradiso, M. A. (n.d.). Neuroscience: Exploring the brain (E. Lupash, Ed., 3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (Original work published 1996)

Bourtchouladze, R. (2002). Memories are made of this. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Cohen, L. J. (2011). The handy psychology answer book: Your smart reference (K. S. Hile, Ed.). Detroit, MI: Visible Ink Press.

Ezard, J. (2006, March 1). Pride, prejudice and happiness: Readers choose favourite endings. The Guardian, p. 3.

Feng, C. (2002, December). Looking good: The psychology and biology of beauty. Journal of Young Investigators, 6. Retrieved from http://www.jyi.org/volumes/volume6/issue6/features/feng.html

Lilienfeld, S. O., & Arkowitz, H. (2007/2008, December/January). What “psychopath” means: It is not quite what you may think. Scientific American Mind, 18, 80-81.

M, P. (2009, November 29). Happily ever after and other cliche endings. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977922896
An avid reader and author writes about his most despised ending cliche: the “happily ever after.” The more memorable movies, he claims, gain popularity by avoiding this predictable, genre-crossing cliche.

McCormick, C. (2010, April 9). Love interest a must in YA? [Web log post]. Retrieved from Literary Rambles: http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/2010/04/love-interest-must-in-ya.html
The author, a literary agent and member of a children’s literature society as well as a blogger, posts about the importance of a love interest in fiction aimed at young adults. She argues that, because of the target audience’s interests, a love interest is of greater necessity in this genre.

Mittelmark, H., & Newman, S. (2008). How not to write a novel. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Oatley, K. (2011, September 27). Narrative empathy. Retrieved March 2, 2012, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-psychology-fiction/201109/narrative-empathy
Dr. Oatley, psychology professor, analyzes the role of empathy in a variety of formats, including fictional narratives. Using the latest research regarding brain activity in conjunction with emotional interactions, he draws conclusions about the importance of empathy while reading fiction.

Oatley, K. (2012, January 26). Liking for stories. Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-psychology-fiction/201201/liking-stories
Oatley looks at the science behind one’s preference for certain stories. He explains that personal goals and beliefs, as well as one’s morals, play a role in which stories are enjoyed.

Pelusi, N. (2009, January 1). Neanderthink: The appeal of the bad boy. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200901/neanderthink-the-appeal-the-bad-boy
As a psychologist and contributing editor to Psychology Today, Dr. Pelusi comments on the stereotype of bad boys being more attractive to women. He finds considerable evidence to back up the saying “nice guys finish last,” but also notes that the nice guys have a chance in the long run.

Riggio, R. E. (2010, January 4). Why we love (and hate) our leaders. Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201001/why-we-love-and-hate-our-leaders
Riggio examines the leader-centric culture that sets the United States apart from many other countries. This way of thinking, he states, is the reason that our leaders so easily go from beloved to despised, or vice versa.
who I am today

bad decisions
the most amazing
That being said
At the end of the day
connect the dots
throw under the bus
Use vivid language
figurative language
strong verbs
sensory details
avoid using cliche
no boring words
Using the same consonant sound to emphasize words
drop, dead gorgeous
crumbly cookies
pliable plastic poles
This language used to describe objects, events, and people is called imagery. Imagery is the use of language that engages the

five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

describe your foot using at least 3 of the senses
Type in the chat box
Using like or as to make a comparison to two unlike things.
The woman was as unattractive as a mole rat.
Her eyes were as red as a cherries.

The hills roll away like sleeping lions.
Describe what you can see outside the closest window using simile
Strong verbs
If you are watching the recorded session, please do the practice and send to me via message.
Enhance your writing style
Love you to the moon and back.
Watch the video
Now you try! Tell me you did as soon as you woke up this morning using strong verbs!

Type at least two sentences in the chat box.
Remember to make your writing vivid
Full transcript