Needful Things for a Young Writer
I recently received this letter from a former student:
Dear English Teacher,
When I was young, I had great ideas for stories but could never hold my readers' attention. I was about to give up writing forever.
One night. while hanging out at the pet cemetary, my friend Carrie, on her way to the prom, walked by, wearing a shining dreamcatcher around her neck. She looked tired, so I invited her to sit down. It looked liked she'd already walked a green mile or two.
"What's the problem? Why are you hanging out here? Trouble with Christine?" she asked.
"Oh no," I responded, "I just don't understand how to create variations in my writing. It's like all my sentences sound the same. I even asked Dolores Claiborne for help but she didn't know what to do."
"I know this really cool teacher. He has some really great lessons. One in particular deals with parts of speech and varying sentence beginnings. So stop sitting here like a bag of bones and find him."
"CUJO!" I replied, "I'm going to find him Monday morning!"
Well sir, that teacher was you and you taught me the best way to vary sentence beginnings using parts of speech that I have ever seen."
I don't remember Stephen, but I do remember the parts of speech lesson plan. Here it is: