HOW TO WRITE – Ep. 2 – Dramatize!

professormatt_BackgroundHOW TO WRITE w/ Professor Matt is an animated web series that teaches the basics of narrative writing.  

In this episode:
-First drafts
-Figure out what’s working
-Dramatize, don’t summarize
-Eliminate repetition

Step 1

Read the Scene

Writer: Ariana
Title: “Play Ball!”

A scene from my childhood that I hold dearly to me would have to be the first time that I played softball. I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window. I was ecstatic for what the day was going to hold and in my haze slowly creaked out of my bed and made my way to the bathroom. As I climbed up my little step stool I stretched my arms as high as they could reach and displayed the biggest smile that I could give. Directly after smiling at myself in the mirror I turned to my right to see my Mom in hand with my outfit for the day. Next to her was my tee ball bag that had my miniscule bat and glove along with my cleats. I have never felt so much excitement, I had been waiting for this day for what felt like ages! With all of these thoughts in mind I decided it was time for me to start getting ready for my full packed day of fun. My Mom helped me get dressed into my uniform and before I knew it I was ready to venture downstairs so that I could get a hearty breakfast in before I headed off. As I made my way down the stairs step by step I came to the table where I was welcomed by the most delectable looking breakfast. Some mickey mouse shaped pancakes with chocolate chips, a couple pieces of bacon, and a small glass of cold refreshing orange juice. It was exactly what I needed to start my day off right. Once I was done shoveling my breakfast down I grabbed my lunchbox which was filled with snacks and a water bottle and made my way to the infamous minivan where I was to venture off onto my journey in. One of my favorite parts of riding in the minivan is the fact that we have a television that sits directly in the middle of the van which was always very exciting for me because I adored all 1movies especially while in the comfort of a vehicle. As I sat down a little lower in my seat I was quickly mesmerized by an episode of Rocket Power and before I knew it the ride was over and we were on the field. I had in one hand my water bottle and in the other my lunchbox with my parents not far behind carrying my bag. Once I make my way to the benches I look up at the sky to see the glimmer coming from the sun and how it reflects off of the batting cages. It is quite beautiful and leaves me in a momentary trance. I realize that I am up to bat as the game has started and as I make my way to the plate I take a deep breath and pull back my bat and full force slam right into the ball on the tee.

Step 2

Watch the Video

Now watch the tutorial and see the text the way a published author sees it.  You can apply what you learn to your own writing.

*If you’re a teacher showing these videos in class, you can have your students add their feedback in the comments before watching. 1) Favorite line or image, 2) What you liked about the scene overall (what is its potential?), 3) How can it be better?

Matthew Ross Smith is an author and award-winning writing professor.  His first novel, Lizzy Legend (Aladdin Books/Simon and Schuster) is out in early 2019.

MORE!

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EPISODE ONE – YOUR OPENING LINES

EPISODE TWO – DRAMATIZE!

Comments

  1. Jason Ngov says

    1) “As I climbed up my little step stool I stretched my arms as high as they could reach and displayed the biggest smile that I could give”
    2) The line gives the reader an image of how happy the writer is to play softball
    3) While the first half of the sentence gives the reader a clear image of her outstretched arms, the second half of the sentence can be improved by describing her smile, instead of using the word “biggest”. Changing a few words in the second half of the sentence would offer better clarity and perspective for the reader.

    Like

  2. Charlie Maly says

    1. “Some mickey mouse shaped pancakes with chocolate chips, a couple pieces of bacon, and a small glass of cold refreshing orange juice.”
    2. I like how through it was, it was very descriptive in describing the scenes and also what the child was feeling.
    3. The writer could catch the readers attention better with something exciting even though it is hard because getting ready is not always the most exciting thing.

    Like

  3. Kevin says

    1) “I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window.” This line really gave me a nostalgic feeling of the old summer days of not worrying about a thing in life and I remember the feeling of not being able to wait for the what the day had in store for me.
    2) The thing I like about it overall is the whole feeling of nostalgia it gives off. In the beginning it describes the weather for the day (clear blue sky, warm breeze). Towards the end it states of an old cartoon that I used to watch reruns of called “Rocket Power”. All of these images made me think of the summers back when I was still an elementary school student.
    3) The only issue I have with this short piece is the title. When I read the title and the first sentence, I assumed that it was going to be about a time when the writer was playing softball. Instead, I was given the morning before the first time she played softball. It also felt as if a middle-school student wrote it as the story jumps around with various transitions. The transitions seemed force as quoted “As I made,” and then the sentence after it states “Once I was done”. The writer should look for another way to tell the story without having to use repetitive transitions.

    Like

  4. Josh Murphy says

    1)My favorite line is “Some mickey mouse shaped pancakes with chocolate chips, a couple pieces of bacon, and a small glass of cold refreshing orange juice.” Because it is really good imagery and I am very hungry.
    2) There is a lot of good imagery that really lets you see what is happening through the writers eyes almost like a tv show.
    3) One thing that could make it better is adding something that appeals to the other senses and not just sight, that would make it feel like you actually experiencing it and not just seeing it.

    Like

  5. Jason says

    1. “I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window.”
    2. The above sentence can be changed to include how emotions that the writer felt. Many more sensory details can be included to achieve a complete expression of the writer’s emotions.
    3. Since the writer explicitly stated that he/she was ecstatic, the writer should have painted the outside environment in a more positive note due to his/her excitement. For example, the writer could have added sounds, smells, or more sharper visual details to show his/her excitement rather than simply stating his/her emotions and stating a rather lackluster description of the outside world.

    Like

  6. Maxwell Sullivan says

    1. My favorite line/image was the last line of her hitting a baseball off of the tee
    2. I liked some of the descriptive words that the writer uses. Like the bacon and the full force that she hit the ball with. It brings a very nice ding of the bat sound in my head.
    3. The story overall felt kinda fake to me. It was just this too perfect child on this really perfect day nothing seemed real it just all seemed amazing. Sometimes the adjectives she used didn’t make sense, for example, the infamous van. Noting about the van was infamous it was totally positive. I didn’t really care for this story.

    Like

  7. Jesse Stover says

    1) “I was ecstatic for what the day was going to hold and in my haze slowly creaked out of my bed”

    2) I liked the consistent use of imagery throughout, such as “slowly creaked out of my bed,” or “before I knew it I was ready to venture downstairs”. The author could revise this work keeping the imagery intact, and possibly adding more, to make it a colorful experience.

    3) The passage could be improved by better managing the pacing of the story. For example, the sentence “It is quite beautiful and leaves me in a momentary trance,” is abruptly followed by “I realize that I am up to bat”.

    Like

  8. Allen Wu says

    1) My favorite line was when she was “welcomed by the delectable breakfast”.
    2) This Story was great at building not only the characters excitement, but also the readers. I felt my pulse slightly quickening as the author described the excitement she hoped to have. Then the way the story ended just leaves you hanging, where did the ball go, and the like.
    3) It could probably leave out parts of the minivan drive as it lowered the energy the author built up.

    Like

  9. Jashanpreet Singh says

    1. “As I climbed up my little step stool I stretched my arms as high as they could reach and displayed the biggest smile that I could give.” is my favorite line because this was something I did as a kid.

    2. I like the amount of detail and the quality of detail the author chose to include in the writing.

    3. The writing is focused on the preparation to play softball but the title suggests that otherwise and the writing should be more focused on the author’s first softball game.

    Like

  10. Nathan says

    1. My favorite image/line is when the author describes the breakfast in front of her.

    2. I enjoyed hearing about a kid that was so excited to play her favorite sport. The story reminded me of my early days of playing ice hockey.

    3. The writing could have been enhanced if there weren’t multiple areas that had missing commas.

    Like

  11. Rayan N Shrestha says

    My favorite line throughout this story would be the last sentence when he is up at bat, taking a deep breath and hitting the ball because it reminded me of my time when I was in similar situations in sports. The story itself has potential but it is not central to its actual title. The story displays the events that occur before he gets to his big game but doesn’t actually depict the full length of his game. It could be better if the story title was changed to something about his procedure to go to a baseball game. Another way this story could be better if the details were focused on the game and not so much on the van, but besides that, this story gives back a feeling of childhood in the reader.

    Like

  12. Anonymous says

    1) Some mickey mouse shaped pancakes with chocolate chips, a couple pieces of bacon, and a small glass of cold refreshing orange juice.

    2) I liked the imagery the author used to try to describe how delectable the breakfast was. I think it could be used to enhance how well the morning was going.

    3) The grammar on this sentence is off. Since this is a list of items, it would’ve made sense if this sentence was after a colon instead of its own standalone sentence. More descriptive details about how delectable the food seemed would enhanced the overall impact of the sentence.

    Like

  13. Anonymous says

    1) “I climbed up my little step stool I stretched my arms as high as they could reach and displayed the biggest smile that I could give.”

    2) The first line is about how much she likes playing softball. There are only like two lines about actually playing softball, the rest is about getting ready to play softball.

    3) I don’t understand the word “hearty”. I should have to use a dictionary to understand a story.

    Like

  14. Quan Ta says

    (1) “As I climb up my little step stool I stretched my arms as high as they could reach and displayed the biggest smile that I could give.”
    (2) After reading this line I could imagine the whole image and action clearly. Also, the details in here brings back a lot of memory to me and that is why I like this line the most.
    (3) Maybe a little bit more detail about the surrounding like what the mirror looks like would be helpful for the readers’ imagination.

    Like

  15. Miles Cruz says

    1) “Some mickey mouse shaped pancakes with chocolate chips, a couple pieces of bacon, and a small glass of cold refreshing orange juice”. The specific scene painted in my head brings me back to my days as a kid. Compared to now I don’t eat anything close to that. I enjoying reading this line because it brought me back to a time when things were so much simpler. Having the pancakes be in the shape of mickey mouse used to be my favorite to make and the thought of this sparked a light of happiness in my heart
    2) Overall I enjoyed reading this. I remember as I kid enjoying the simple things. Even just admiring the weather was one of my favorite past times. That warm morning breeze the author mentioned is something that calmed me and made me feel alive. The potential that this story has if she would’ve kept going would excite me even more. To first imagine the excitement that the author felt that morning and then after feel the rush going through her head as a kid playing softball would make for a great story.
    3) The only thing I think that could be better would be for more description and more tiny details. The story felt kind of rushed but if little things were added it could be a bit more colorful in the way she tried to paint her picture.

    Like

  16. Jacky Huang says

    1) “As I sat down a little lower in my seat I was quickly mesmerized by an episode of Rocket Power”
    2) I like how every sentence is written with so much detail, enough so that one can vividly imagine what it was like for this girl’s experience of softball. I was experiencing what she was experiencing on her first day of softball. The style in which this story was written seems like it was written by the young girl in the story as well.
    3) When the writer describes the minivan as “infamous,” there was not much explanation as to why her minivan is so infamous. I feel that when describing the minivan, it could use a better adjective.

    Like

  17. Anonymous says

    1.”Once I make my way to the benches I look up at the sky to see the glimmer coming from the sun and how it reflects off of the batting cages.”

    2. I like how excited the writer is and how every event in her day building up to her debut in softball makes her happy. I like the fact that the story has not truly begun because the last line is the first sentence that has anything to do with the writer actually playing softball for the first time. It makes me want to read the rest fo the story and find out why exactly it was truly a special event.

    3. The story can be better if the narrator gives more mind-captivating descriptions rather than mundane descriptions

    Like

  18. Anonymous says

    1. “One of my favorite parts of riding in the minivan is the fact that we have a television that sits directly in the middle of the van which was always very exciting for me because I adored all 1movies especially while in the comfort of a vehicle.”

    2. I enjoyed how simple yet interesting the start of her day was. The author was able to make stepping on a stool to look in the mirror appealing to the reader. It has the potential to become a longer story.

    3. The author could slow down a bit and not time jump as much. Normally when we think of going up to bat for the first time it’s one of the longest walks of our life.

    Like

  19. Joseph Gomes says

    1. “I had in one hand my water bottle and in the other my lunchbox with my parents not far behind carrying my bag. Once I make my way to the benches I look up at the sky to see the glimmer coming from the sun and how it reflects off of the batting cages.”
    2. I liked this image because I used to play baseball and I can so vividly remember being so excited to play and then getting distracted by the littlest things like how much grass i can pull out of the ground or the sun reflecting off the coach’s sunglasses.
    3. This scene could be better if it showcased any interaction between the narrator and her teammates.

    Like

  20. Anonymous says

    1. “One of my favorite parts of riding in the minivan is the fact that we have a television that sits directly in the middle of the van which was always very exciting for me because I adored watching movies especially while in the comfort of a vehicle.

    2. I like this scene because of the tone that is used when it is read. The word choice and overall description evokes the feeling of child like innocence that brings the text to life.

    3. I think the story could improve the story by including details and not to rush the overall story so that the reader can have a better grasp on what is going on.

    Like

  21. Alex Gerlach says

    1) “I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window.”

    2) I really can relate to this because I had a huge window the length of my bed right next to my bed. It was always an amazing feeling to wake up looking at a bright blue sky, knowing just by looking that it was the perfect temperature, the perfect feeling. How you just wake up and everything feels right, the temperature is perfect, you got a good full night’s of sleep, and nothing can go wrong in that perfect serene moment of bliss.

    3) The author, although really showing how an exciting day to a little kid moves so quickly, seems to really want to fit so much information into such a small amount of words that it begins to feel really jumpy. In areas like seeing the batting cage to being up to bat it works, but other parts move to fast, where waking up and getting in a minivan feels rushed.

    Like

  22. Matthew Lipsit says

    1. “Next to her was my tee ball bag that had my minuscule bat and glove along with my cleats.”
    2. I truly enjoyed the childlike wonder throughout the passage. Her debut in softball was what she was looking forward to all morning. The story had a clear goal in mind it achieved that goal. From the morning the child woke up to when they hit the ball on the tee the excitement was evident through the writing.
    3. The story has a lot of potential to form into a “childlike wonder” novel. My only critique would be make more generalizations that the reader could relate to. For me reading, : Next to her was my tee ball bag that had my miniscule bat and glove along with my cleats” stuck with me as I never knew where my parents kept my baseball bag growing up but it always appeared with me. Other readers would bond and connect with their similar experience they’ve shared with the reader.

    Like

  23. Damo T. says

    1. ” One of my favorite parts of riding in the minivan is the fact that we have a television that sits directly in the middle of the van which was always very exciting for me because I adored all 1movies especially while in the comfort of a vehicle.”

    2. I liked this scene because it reminded me of my childhood personally. Also remember sitting in the third row of my parents van and watching a movie while we went on long trips. What I like about the scene specifically is the detail in the scene. It may seem like there isn’t much detail at first, but it’s one of those things where if you’ve had a similar experience, the details will fill themselves in your mind.

    3. One way to improve this passage would be to be a bit more leisure with the dialogue and prevent run on sentences. For example, when the author is talking about the location of the television, that sentence changes the topic completely by talking about the author’s feelings. If these two sentences were separated, the story would flow better and not read like one long thought.

    Like

  24. Anonymous says

    1) “Some mickey mouse shaped pancakes with chocolate chips, a couple pieces of bacon, and a small glass of cold refreshing orange juice.”- I’m ready for dinner and this line just spoke to me.
    2) Although the scene is interesting and the amount of detail included is just enough for my brain to fill in the blanks and make for a good read.
    3) I think that this story can be improved by making it less chunky. In the sense that the story runs in small chunks or her waking up, then going to the bathroom, then going down the stair, then this, then this, then this, etc, then, in the end, suddenly, a bunch of steps are skipped and she is already up to bat. I think that this story has much potential for a smooth flow, as opposed to the step by step, blocky explanation of her morning ‘pre-gaming’ if you will.

    Like

  25. Anonymous says

    1. My favorite line was: “I was ecstatic for what the day was going to hold and in my haze slowly creaked out of my bed and made my way to the bathroom.” Even though it’s pretty uneventful I really appreciated the memory of expecting something great to happen but still have that weird haze from waking up. It was very relatable.
    2. I liked how simple the author’s voice was. It wasn’t flowery or dramatic, it spat out what was happening like a child telling me the story themselves.
    3. I wished they described the snacks in the lunch box. Was it a fruit roll up?

    Like

  26. Zeke Zacierka says

    1) “Once I was done shoveling my breakfast down I grabbed my lunchbox which was filled with snacks and a water bottle and made my way to the infamous minivan where I was to venture off onto my journey in”
    2) The start of this sentence shows the excitement and how the writer as a child was so excited she wasted no time eating even a delectable breakfast. It truly showcases her enthusiasm to get out start her day, giving off rushed vibe of contained excitement.
    3) I was not sure how to feel about the “infamous minivan.” The whole passage has a bubbly and excited feel and it seems as this unexplained negative feature does not belong.

    Like

  27. Shanewaz Chowdhury says

    1. “Once I make my way to the benches I look up at the sky to see the glimmer coming from the sun and how it reflects off of the batting cages. It is quite beautiful and leaves me in a momentary trance.”
    2. I like how almost every event is described in the short story. Almost every single action and feelings is expressed in the piece so that there are no holes left for the reader to fill in or guess what happened. How she described waking up to going to the bathroom to eating breakfast and so on. I also enjoyed some of the vivid imagery like how the pancakes were mickey mouse shaped or how the sun glimmered off the batting cage.
    3. I feel as though there could be more vivid imagery in some places. At times it just feels like the author is just listing things that happened in chronological order. Maybe put more detail in some of those events like how cold the water was in the bathroom, how warm the pancakes were when she first bit into them. Just some more details here and there to make the reader feel more engaged and enveloped in the story’s environment.

    Like

  28. Kenneth Pham says

    1. “As I climbed up my little step stool I stretched my arms as high as they could reach and displayed the biggest smile that I could give.”
    2. I liked how much detail was given. While I read the story, I was able to visualize everything happening in the story.
    3. The details about the minivan and television seemed out of place. The car ride didn’t really add much to the story and there wasn’t anything too entertaining in those three sentences.

    Like

  29. Anonymous says

    1) Favorite line or image

    “As I climbed up my little step stool I stretched my arms as high as they could reach and displayed the biggest smile that I could give”

    2) What you liked about the scene overall (what is its potential?)

    I liked how the author was very descriptive in a way that made you feel like you were her. You could feel her joyfulness and excitement which also made you feel that way. 

    3) How can it be better?

    She could avoid starting off by telling us what her piece was going to be about. In addition she could leave out phrases like “my favorite part about this was” or “directly after smiling at myself in the mirror”.

    Like

  30. Kevin Diu says

    1. “Once I was done shoveling my breakfast down I grabbed my lunchbox which was filled with snacks and a water bottle and made my way to the infamous minivan where I was to venture off onto my journey in.”

    2. I like how the writer showed her excitement and readiness to go and play softball just by the small detail of “shoveling my breakfast down.”

    3. The story could be better if there were more details involving her actually playing softball.

    Like

  31. Anonymous says

    Ahmael Alexander

    1. ”… the pain- for example, of a toasted marshmellow in your mouth when its interior Is roughly the temperature and consistency of magma.”

    2. It brought me back to the easier times in life when toasted marshmellow brought all the joy in the world whenever you were able to eat them and now they are almost nonexisten and don’t seem as desireable to indulge in. That quote brings out emotion and a very vivid image of a kid who’s trying to get the magma like marshmellow off his tongue and him breathing heavily trying to get as much oxygen as possible to cool off the marshmellow while it feels as if it is burning a hole through his mouth.

    3. This line can be improved by the author giving us a location and a time of day where he had toasted marshmallow in order for the readers to connect a little more to the experience but also maybe it can allow the reader to have a moment to flashback for themselves if they can relate to the moment

    Like

  32. Anonymous says

    1. My favorite line is “I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window”. This line reminds me of summer in general, and takes me back to my own childhood memories of it.
    2. I liked the overall tone of the piece. The writer conveys a very care-free yet joyous vibe, full of the child-like wonder that accompanied the memory. This situation could have easily been described in as tense and stressful, as the narrator is a young child about to try something completely new while presumable being watched by her parents, etc.
    3. Overall I feel like this needed a little more elaboration and imagery, as it feels more like a summary at times rather than successfully immersing you in the story.

    Like

  33. Anonymous says

    1. Once I was done shoveling my breakfast down I grabbed my lunchbox which was filled with snacks and a water bottle.
    2. I liked how the writer’s feelings towards playing youth sports mirrors the feelings i had doing the same. Also the line I highlighted above in particular brought me back to my earlier experiences do to how I did/used the same things.
    3. This Story could be improved by adding more detail in actually playing softball.

    Like

  34. Anonymous says

    1. “One of my favorite parts of riding in the minivan is the fact that we have a television that sits directly in the middle of the van which was always very exciting for me because I adored all movies especially while in the comfort of a vehicle.”

    2. It gives us a vivid description of the van. Furthermore the sentence conveys the excitement and the happiness of the child.

    3. The narrative starts with the idea of first time playing softball. But the story does not involve softball much rather it focuses on her feelings

    Like

  35. Anonymous says

    Ahmael

    1. “One of my favorite parts of riding in the minivan is that we had a television that sits directly in the middle of the van which was always very exciting for me because i adored all 1movies especially while in the front of the vehicle”

    2. It brought me back to a moment when my grandmother would bring me to my first big sporting I felt like I was in the moment with her going to her and I could relate to the the entire situation happening

    3. I felt like the movie that she watched should’ve been told because maybe it was something impactful that helped her to hit the ball off the tea the way she did.

    Like

  36. Hannah S says

    From Hannah S.

    1) “Some mickey mouse shaped pancakes with chocolate chips, a couple pieces of bacon, and a small glass of cold refreshing orange juice.”
    2) There is a lot of details in this story that could be simplified very quickly and concisely.
    3) Maybe the story should be split into paragraphs so the story is not just one block of text. This really strains the eyes and makes it feel like the story is droning on for too long.

    Like

  37. Grace McGinley says

    1. “Next to her was my tee ball bag that had my miniscule bat and glove along with my cleats. I have never felt so much excitement, I had been waiting for this day for what felt like ages!”

    2. “One of my favorite parts of riding in the minivan is the fact that we have a television that sits directly in the middle of the van which was always very exciting for me because I adored all 1movies especially while in the comfort of a vehicle.” This can be cut because it distracts the reader from remembering the point of the story which is the main character on her way to play softball for the first time.

    3. Her actually playing softball could be developed because the story was more about her morning prior to actually playing. Readers do not get to hear much about her performance or experience that day.

    Like

  38. Anonymous says

    1. “Once I make my way to the benches I look up at the sky to see the glimmer coming from the sun and how it reflects off of the batting cages”
    2. Many of the parts that aren’t directly related to the story, such as “As I sat down a little lower in my seat I was quickly mesmerized by an episode of Rocket Power and before I knew it the ride was over and we were on the field.”
    3. Development of the reason why the author wants to play softball and is looking forward to it so much.

    Like

  39. James says

    My favorite line/image was when the character made their way downstairs to a table with breakfast on it. This line hit home for me because i used to eat that exact same breakfast (not mickey mouse shaped but regular shaped)! I also used to play baseball and that’s the kind of meal i’d eat in the morning before games. The description put the image and taste in my head.

    The line, “I was ecstatic for what the day was going to hold and in my haze slowly creaked out of my bed and made my way to the bathroom” can be cut because the lines that follow it also show that the character is happy/excited for the day ahead of them.

    I think that the actual experience of getting to the game could be developed. The main character is rushed to their at-bat in my opinion so the actual lead up to that moment could be developed.

    Like

  40. Mark Truitt says

    1. I liked the last couple lines about her stepping up to bat the most. I felt like that was the point the entire story was leading towards, and the way the story ends on the hit is a great image.

    2. I think a lot of the “transition” scenes could be cut; there’s no real need to hear about getting out of bed, going down the stairs, or the ride to the field because those things are all implied by the fact that she gets to those places.

    3. I feel like the actual baseball-related preparation could’ve been developed more– The majority of the story involves breakfast and the drive over, but it would be considerably more interesting to hear about her practice routines.

    Like

  41. Anonymous says

    1) I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window.

    2) “A scene from my childhood that I hold dearly to me would have to be the first time that I played softball.” could be cut. This gives away the story and makes it less engaging. If this line wasn’t there, I would be more focused on the writer’s images because I would need to figure out what was happening in the story.

    3) I think that the writer should have expanded on the part of the story between when the child was walking from the minivan to the game and when he was actually in the game; it felt like an unnatural jump in time. Also, I think the addition of dialogue would be a smart developmental move to really draw the reader in.

    Like

  42. Michelle says

    The very first line in the scene should be cut because it would be better creatively to have the reader guess what is going on & not have it known what you are about to talk about in your story. My favorite line is when the character goes downstairs & describes their breakfast & their fond/good memory with the infamous mini van. I think what should be develop more is the moment the character plays softball. Everything leading up to softball is amazing but not much of it is being developed in the short scene.

    Like

  43. says

    1. “Waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and cool breeze.”
    2. There is lots of summary in this story. Sentences like “I distinctly remember” and “I loved movies” can be cut.
    3. The narrative voice could be developed. The author has good imagery, but the end is rushed in part because she spends too much time using ‘summarizing sentences’ and fluff, like the quotes I mentioned above.

    Like

  44. Anonymous says

    1. “As I sat down a little lower in my seat I was quickly mesmerized by an episode of Rocket Power and before I knew it the ride was over and we were on the field.”
    2. Some of the moments in the beginning of this story could be cut because every exact detail was written about from the moment the character wakes up. The story is supposed to be about the first time the character plays softball, yet the majority of the story is written about all of the events leading up to the time the character actually plays the first game. Taking out some of the details from the beginning, such as parts from the character’s morning routine that day, can leave more room for the author to write about the experience playing softball.
    3. The ending could be more developed because as readers, all we get is the moment that the character hits the first ball off of the tee but then it ends. I was left wanting to know more about why playing softball was so impactful. There is room for details about the first time the character plays softball, such as did they win? How did that player perform? Why was it so memorable?

    Like

  45. Katie rogers says

    1. Favorite line/image: “I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window.”
    2.The breakfast, though deliciously described, seems a bit irrelevant/distracting to the rest of the story. For example, why is breakfast described in greater detail than the field? Or the uniforms, equipment, players, etc.?
    3. Along those lines, perhaps there could be greater detail and plot development relating to the sport itself. What does the field look like? How does the grass smell? Does the uniform fit? What kind of bat do the players use? Etc.

    Like

  46. says

    Joey B

    1. My favorite imagery from this passage is when you describe the minivan and the television dvd player in the middle of the car. I also had a minivan with personal screens n the back, and it made me identify with this image of the past. I also enjoy how positive the memory is, and how there is almost jangly guitar music playing in the background it sounds so happy.

    2. Every part is describing this idealistic perfect scene, and in the scene where your mom brings you your cleats and tee ball equipment I thought that series of events to be more mundane. Only for a sentence or two. No big deal.

    3. I think you could develop on how the things bring you joy, or why. The current story just answers chronologically the events which were adding to this perfect day. You could talk about how they made you feel specifically.

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  47. Danielle B. says

    1. As I made my way down the stairs step by step I came to the table where I was welcomed by the most delectable looking breakfast
    2. I cannot decide. I am not able to decipher what is unnecessary
    3. I think more of the game could have been developed. The child is pretty descriptive, so it would have been a nice perspective to indulge on what it is like to play the game itself. A lot has brought back feelings, and I think perhaps talking about the wind blowing by on the face, or the way the dirt looks when kicked would have been a nice addition.

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  48. Anonymous says

    1. My favorite line is “I have never felt so much excitement”

    2. I think that the part about watching tv in the minivan could be cut. There could still be a sentence saying that he enjoyed riding in the minivan, but referencing Rocket Power and him being mesmerized by the tv didn’t have much to do with the rest of the story.

    3. I think there should be more description about the boy such as his age, what he looks like, where he lives, etc.

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  49. Anonymous says

    1. My favorite line is “I have never felt so much excitement”

    2. I think that the part about watching tv in the minivan could be cut. There could still be a sentence saying that he enjoyed riding in the minivan, but referencing Rocket Power and him being mesmerized by the tv didn’t have much to do with the rest of the story.

    3. I think there should be more description about the boy such as his age, what he looks like, where he lives, etc.

    Rachel

    Like

  50. Anonymous says

    1) The line that resonates with me the most is “I remember distinctly waking up in the morning to a clear blue sky and a warm breeze coming from my bedroom window.” The wording made it easy to visualize.
    2)If I had to choose a line to cut, it would be minimizing the description of the minivan ride and the breakfast. I think one line about each would suffice.
    3) I would develop the baseball ambiance more instead of mentioning your parents following behind you, I would describe how busy it probably was on and around the field with all of the children.

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