SOLSC #4: Dear Students

Jack Gantos

Dearest Students,

This morning a generous gift was presented to you. Newbery Award winning author, Jack Gantos, spoke to you about the power of language.

As budding authors, my hope is that you received this gift with gentle hands and gratitude and will handle it with care – appreciating its value until it is worn well with love and care.

Please allow me to open your gift and reveal the splendor of the wise words (paraphrased to a degree) of Jack Gantos…

“READ! As a reader you become 50% of the text. You become the fabric of the book.”

“Reading creates flexibility – you become elastic as you experience the text alongside the characters – it readies you for writing.”

“Language is elastic, manipulate it, twist and stretch it, use it like a yo-yo.”

“You know how you become tired of your writing after 3-4 drafts? Forget about a few drafts, you’re going to revise over a 100 times (This is my personal favorite.)!”

“Focus on the rewrites, they are one of the great joys of writing. You should be able to close your eyes and see the entire story play out in your mind.”

“There are only three things you need to know about writing: content, structure and rewrites. What are you writing about? How are you going to organize your thoughts? How can you make it better?”

“Use dialogue to bring your characters center stage. Dialogue gives your story a 3D effect.”

Accept Mr. Gantos’s gift of wisdom and use it wisely in your writing. I look forward to enveloping myself in the fabric of your writing.

Yours in words,

Mrs. P 🙂


49 thoughts on “SOLSC #4: Dear Students

  1. The imagery and metaphors in this advice is just what I’d like to share with my students. I don’t feel I adequately taught the most recent poetry unit. I wish I had more time. But–I do, I actually do. I’m going to extend the unit to include the advice I read here. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so glad you found it useful. I certainly feel fortunate to have been in the audience to receive these wise words of advice. I look forward to Thursday when my students take part in a workshop.

  2. I am more than a little jealous. I especially like the idea that “Language is elastic, manipulate it, twist and stretch it, use it like a yo-yo.” We spend a lot of time teaching them the rules. We need to give them some time to play, too.

  3. Lucky! I am very jealous that you all got to hear Jack Gantos speak. I love listening to the perspective of a successful author. I’m going to share this list with my class. Even though they are young writers, I think some of this advice with begin some great conversations.

  4. Pingback: Impacts & Opportunities | Curiouser and Curiouser!

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