Or, The Writing Conversations Get Into Your Head
Thomas Newkirk explained that “fluent writers have moves they can make…moves that are crucial for fluency.” But what are the moves student writers can make, especially our EL learners?
When writing personal narratives or realistic fiction, fluent writers notice they can make a movie in their mind and then tell the story, getting it on paper bit by bit. It’s like a video – play. Pause. Write that bit. Play. Pause. Write that bit…
Fluent writers can almost act out a scene as they write it down. And as the scene gets on paper, the writer has conversations like, “What did my character say here?” “How did the other react?”
Fluent story writers ask themselves while they are writing, “How do I want my audience to feel here?” “What does ___ look like?”
When writing essays the writer might think, “What else can I say?” and keep writing to push more thoughts. And Lucy Calkins conversational prompts come to mind here, such as, “Another thought I have…” and “This makes me think…”
In persuasive writing the writer might think, “What would someone who disagrees with me say?” So, Newkirk says that “writing fluency is the ability to prompt myself.”
So, I’ll try one. “Where should I go next?” (I think I’ll go for a concluding summary.)
I think this is the real curriculum in demonstration and example, modeling writing and thinking aloud with a group in a lesson: the writer’s self conversation moves the story or essay along. And the more of these little bits, these conversations we’ve got going in our head, the more our thoughts can flow out onto the page.