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Most Common Surnames [Last Names] in the United States (top 1000) Edutopia. Editor’s Note: A version of this post first appeared on Techie Teacher and Character Coach.

edutopia

“But Miss Parrish, I can’t think of anything to write!” Haven’t we all heard similar lines in our classrooms? We see hesitant writers sit with pencils in their hands and paper on their desks, almost as if they’ve been handicapped by the task we have set for them. How is it that some students have so much to say when talking, but when a pencil is put into their hand they suddenly hesitate, struggle, and have nothing to say? How can we help these hesitant writers eliminate the barrier that suddenly appears when they’re asked to write? The answer is to have them produce ideas without writing at all. Strategies That Work 1. Have your student stand up while you sit at the desk.Pick up the student’s pencil and say, “You talk, I’ll write.”This usually catches students off-guard -- it takes them a moment to realize this is a real option. 2. 3. Pick an app or tool that transcribes speaking as text. 3 Tips for Weaving Together Your Story's Pieces (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 6) - Helping Writers Become Authors.

How to Self-Edit Infographic. Learning how to self-edit your writing empowers you to polish your prose.

How to Self-Edit Infographic

Ernest Hemingway famously quipped that you should ‘write drunk and edit sober’. 7 “Tricks” to Improve Your Writing Overnight. No matter how bad (or good) your writing is today, it’s possible to improve it overnight.

7 “Tricks” to Improve Your Writing Overnight

Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MiquelMunill Here are seven quick “tricks” that can improve the very next piece you write. Know your reader. This means more than knowing a few demographics (how old they are, their average income, etc.). To know your readers means you understand their fears, frustrations, and aspirations. 5 Tips for Writing a Strong Short Story. Finish this Book, back cover. In the world I live in inside my head...: May 2011. Author, Jody Hedlund: Describing Characters: Moving Beyond Hair & Eye Color.

By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund Whenever I'm in the planning stages for a new novel, one of the things I try to do is get a clear picture of what my characters look like.

Author, Jody Hedlund: Describing Characters: Moving Beyond Hair & Eye Color

How to Improve Your Handwriting Style: 4 Steps. Steps.

How to Improve Your Handwriting Style: 4 Steps

Revising Your Writing (& Awesome Editing Symbols You Should Know) Maybe I’m a nerd, but I love the editing process.

Revising Your Writing (& Awesome Editing Symbols You Should Know)

I love recasting sentences to make them stronger, choosing specific words to make dialogue sing, correcting grammar until it’s fit to print and drawing little squibblies all over the page (mainly because I like the way squibblies look). Honestly, I use editing marks so much that sometimes I get bored with the usual suspects and make up my own.

Here is a list of Well-Known Editing Symbols, just in case you aren’t familiar: Here is a list of the Brian A. Bridgid Gallagher - Struggling to reach "The End"? How to Finish Your Novel. Just in time for National Novel Writing Month: If you struggle to finish stories, then this is the blog post for you.

Bridgid Gallagher - Struggling to reach "The End"? How to Finish Your Novel

Learn how to identify what's holding you back, and then get my best tips to help you finish your novel. Are you struggling to finish your novel? Lately, I've been getting questions from writers that sound a lot like this: "My biggest struggle is finishing a book. How to Grow as a Writer: 5 Ways. Perhaps one of the questions that gets tossed around the most in writing circles the question of how to grow as a writer.

How to Grow as a Writer: 5 Ways

It can feel elusive and unclear–how does one grow in a skill that can’t be quantified, like math? How does one get better as a writer when the skill can’t be taught like teaching someone to ride a bike? There’s no ten-step process to becoming an exquisite writer (although many of us wish there was). From Hemingway to Dickens, from Voskamp to Niequist, there is a wide and maddening range of what readers love and what any particular reader might consider “good.” How to Write a Horror Story - 6 Terrific Tips. This guide to how to write a horror story covers the basics.

How to Write a Horror Story - 6 Terrific Tips

First, read a definition of horror and common elements of horror fiction. Then read 6 tips on writing horror stories that you can use to evoke intense feeling in your readers, even if you don’t exclusively write horror: Defining horror The word ‘horror’ means ‘an intense feeling of fear, shock or disgust’ (Oxford English Dictionary). The word comes from the Latin horrere, meaning ‘to tremble or shudder’. 5 common elements of the best horror stories. You Need To Try This Guaranteed Method of Creating Depth In Your Writing – Sacha Black. One of my favourite quotes is a juxtaposition, pitting perfection against failure.

You Need To Try This Guaranteed Method of Creating Depth In Your Writing – Sacha Black

“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” Writing Dialogue - 7 Tips. Writing dialogue presents a unique set of challenges. A single italicized word can change the whole tone and meaning of an exchange, for example. Compare a person telling a questioner ‘that’s all I can remember’ with ‘that’s all I can remember.’ The difference in emphasis alters the meaning of the sentence. Natalie Goldberg - How to start writing. The Four Rules of Using Fake Words – Mythcreants. If your story takes place in another world, none of your characters are really speaking English. They aren’t telling stories or recording history in English; they’re doing it in the language you invented for them.

An English language book describing their journey is clearly an anachronism. Why not write your novel in their language instead? Because you would be breaking these four rules, that’s why. The First Rule of Using Fake Words Avoid Using Fake Words. Guide To Using Pinterest for Writers (Infographic) - mandy wallace. Here’s a kick-ass tool for writers. Are you on Pinterest? It’s yet another powerhouse tool for the savvy writer. Some of the Pinterest/writer team up techniques below are obvious, like creating a Pinterest board for each of your characters.

But I bet there are a few ideas on this infographic you haven’t thought of yet. Maybe you did. For the rest of us, did you know each of these ideas can make your story richer, deeper, more complex, or read by a wider audience? 15 Great Plots from European Mythology and Ancient Literature – Bryn Donovan. Some of you gave me some nice feedback on the rough excerpt I shared at the last WIP Wednesday (and if you shared something as well, thank you! I love seeing your stuff!) That scene is based on a famous ancient story from Greece that I read as a kid, and it always stuck with me. I think some stories survive through history because they resonate with something deep inside us. Must-visit sci-fi websites for writers. The imagining of possible worlds is the staple of science fiction. As expert Bruce Sterling puts it, science fiction (or SF or sci-fi for short) is ‘a form of fiction that deals principally with the impact of actual or imagined science upon society or individuals’.

In speculative fiction this impact can be strictly technological (as in novels featuring robots or degrees of space exploration not yet possible) or it may be environmental (as in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood). Here are 43 must-visit sci-fi websites for writers: Informative and research sites The Gunn Center for the study of Science Fiction is Kansas University’s online portal to all things sci-fi. 13 Inspirational Lessons From Stephen King’s On Writing. A Guide to Fantasy and Fairy Tale Fiction for Self-Published Authors - danieladorno.com. The TV show, Once Upon A Time, has become popular in the last few years and established a large fanbase. The show takes well-known fairy tale characters like Peter Pan, Cinderella, Snow White, and many others and plants them in a modern setting with a very fantastical feel. Recently, the insanely popular Elsa and Anna from Disney’s Frozen were added to the show’s long list of characters. I’m not a fan of the show, but I can easily see its mass appeal.

Fairy tales are making a strong comeback in mainstream movies, shows, and fiction. Formatting your Novel Manuscript – Lara Willard. Quill - Packs of Interactive Writing Lessons. Quill is a free service that puts a new spin on the old writing worksheets that most of us used in middle school. The service offers more than just the writing practice activities, but that is its core feature. There are three activity categories within Quill.

Those activities are Quill Proofreader, Quill Grammar, and Quill Writer. In Quill Proofreader students are shown students passages that have grammatical errors placed in them. Students have to identify and correct the errors in the passages that they read. Quill Grammar requires students to complete short exercises in which they finish the construction of sentences by inserting the correct words and or punctuation marks. Hemingway Editor. Create a Book - It's Simple, Free and Fun. Something Sketchy: A Beginner’s Guide to Storyboarding.

Interactive Fiction

Imagination Prompt Generator: Random Writing Blog Prompts, Writer's Prompt Tool / Creativity-Portal.com. Writing prompts. Creative Writing Activities. PDF to Flash page flip - flipping book software. Myths and Legends from E2BN. Instant Grammar Check - Plagiarism Checker - Online Proofreader. Inklewriter.

Writing Guides. Samples of persuasive writing. Cure writer's block with writing prompts, exercises, generators & gizmos. The Character Name Generator: Generate a Character Name and Personality. The Great Animations Shed. Gone Google Story Builder. Read, Write, Compete... And Get Published! A Handy Interactive Visual on The Digital Storytelling Process. June 24, 2014 Here is a great interactive Thinglink image on the process of digital storytelling I want to share with you today.

This graphic is created by Tonia and features a wide variety of iPad apps that go with each of the stages of the digital storytelling process. Tonia used the concept of process writing (popularized by Donal Murray) to design this digital storytelling process visual. This process is made up of 7 stages namely :prewriting, drafting, editing, conferencing, revising, publishing, and sharing.

Grammar Bytes! Grammar Instruction with Attitude. Grammar Instruction with Attitude. Road to Grammar - Your Road to Better Grammar. Go for Grammar Gold. Grammar videos. English Grammar Rules.

Twine / An open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Poetica: Make words easy. StoryJumper: Publish and read children's story books. Narrable. Docs Templates. Printing Press. The interactive Printing Press is designed to assist students in creating newspapers, brochures, and flyers. Teachers and students can choose from several templates to publish class newspapers, informational brochures, and flyers announcing class events. Text added to the templates can be modified using a simple WYSIWYG editor, which allows students to choose text features, such as font size and color.

Documentation for the Printing Press includes instructions for using the tool. Customized versions of the tool, which include additional instructions and more focused choices, are included with some lessons. Creative Writing Prompts. After weeks of secret detective work, partners Barbara and Nolan are on the verge of cracking the case.

Pre-writing with Dr. Seuss. 5 Tools Students Can Use to Create Alternative Book Reports. Activeprompt. 8 Excellent Rules to Improve your Writing Style. Batalugu. Meograph – 4 Dimensional Story Telling Web 2.0 Style. Cube Creator. Esltevfikileri - home.

StoryKeepers - home. The Original Fantasy: Beginnings Part 1: Cast The Spell In The First Line. Writing Rules! Advice From The Times on Writing Well. DRAFT - Opinionator. Flash Fiction Online. Create a PicLit. ACMI Story Monster. Children's Books: Story Scrapbook. A Simple Guide for Teachers to Create eBooks on iPad using iBook Author. Writing prompts. FREE Graphic Organizers for CSI.

A List of The Best Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Teachers. Widbook - Write, read and share. Story Starters. StoryKeepers - VideoMaking ToolKits. Four Web 2.0 Collaborative-Writing Tools.