Dialogue: Tips for Creating Realistic and Engaging Conversations

Dialogue preparation

Achieving realistic dialogue in fictional and narrative writing can be a bit of a challenge. Great dialogue provides your writing with essential qualities, like plot progression and suspense, developing a character by designating voice, or setting the emotion of a chapter. Getting that intensity can be as simple as asking yourself a few questions:

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What is a Coach Conference?

One of the most integral steps of our writing process is the coach conference. With every essay, students complete at least one coach conference, and the feedback they get is invaluable. But, what exactly goes into this conference? What kind of information do students get? How does each conference help students improve? Here is a close look at what the process is all about.

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Are Adverbs Weakening Your Writing?

An adverb is a describing word. However, unlike an adjective (they modify nouns), adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. Sometimes, adverbs get a bad reputation, though. Sometimes, they can bog down your writing, making your reader feel like they have to trudge through each sentence, dragging themselves every step. Other times, though, adverbs can offer emphasis or clarity, which is an awesome tool to have in your back pocket.

But, how can you tell if an adverb is helping or hurting? Here are a few ways you can tell.

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Coach Interview: Stephanie Constantino

Write from the Heart has an amazing staff of coaches who work with the students.  All the coaches are degreed professionals passionate about working with homeschoolers.  Every coach does a lot more at Write from the Heart than grade papers, too—they’re available daily to help students, discuss homework, facilitate literature discussions, and encourage each student individually through the writing process.  Write from the Heart is an interactive class, and a big part of that is the wonderful coaches.  In this series, we hope that you can get to know our staff even better.

Coach Stephanie Mrs. Constantino has such a passion for teaching and writing, which makes her a wonderful coach! She started volunteering in classrooms when she was in high school and never lost her passion for it. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Austin Peay State University, and she worked in just about every kind of classroom out there, from special education to gifted programs, and from preschool kiddos to college students. However, her real passion is helping students gain mastery of the written word. Currently, she teaches the Poetry and Short Story workshops during our Summer Institute, as well as Intermediate Composition in our year-round program.

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Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 3)

Each year, Write from the Heart students enter a contest: The Scholastic Writing Contest. This isn’t your average contest, though; the stakes are high In fact, there are over 300,000 entries from across the U.S. every year. And, of those entries, only the top 10% receive some kind of recognition. Our students consistently place among these amazing writers, joining the ranks of previous Scholastic winners, like Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, and Truman Capote.

This year was no exception! In fact, Write from the Heart had more winners in the 2017 contest than ever before! 18 of our students received a total of 21 awards among them. Continue reading “Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 3)”

Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 2)

Each year, Write from the Heart students enter a contest: The Scholastic Writing Contest. This isn’t your average contest, though; the stakes are high In fact, there are over 300,000 entries from across the U.S. every year. And, of those entries, only the top 10% receive some kind of recognition. Our students consistently place among these amazing writers, joining the ranks of previous Scholastic winners, like Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, and Truman Capote.

This year was no exception! In fact, Write from the Heart had more winners in the 2017 contest than ever before! 18 of our students received a total of 21 awards among them.

Scholastic Art and Writing Contest Logo

Scholastic Silver Key Winners

Those earning a Silver Key earned something like a 2nd place award, meaning they were in the top 5% of the entries. Continue reading “Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 2)”

Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 1)

Each year, Write from the Heart students enter a contest: The Scholastic Writing Contest. This isn’t your average contest, though; the stakes are high In fact, there are over 330,000 entries from across the U.S. every year. And, of those entries, only the top 10% receive some kind of recognition. Our students consistently place among these amazing writers, joining the ranks of previous Scholastic winners, like Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, and Truman Capote.

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Compound Sentences

And Their Arch Nemesis, the Comma Splice

Have you ever had such a great idea that you just couldn’t stop raving about it? The words come pouring out of your mouth, with your voice barely able to keep up with your brain. The excitement bubbles up, and you couldn’t stop the verbal outpour even if you wanted to. Yeah, that’s a good feeling. That’s kind of how compound sentences work. You’ve got this one sentence that’s so great, and you know what would make it even better? Yes! A second sentence!

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Determining an Audience for your Essay

What is an Audience?

An audience is anyone who will read your essay. A target audience is the person or group of people you’d like to read your essay.

Why do I Need to Determine an Audience for my Essay?

You might think to yourself, “Only my parents will read this,” or “My teacher will be the only one who ever looks at this.” Why should you care about identifying an audience? Whether or not you’ve consciously thought about it, you’ve always been speaking and writing for a specific group of people.

Think about this: would you talk the same way in an interview as you would in a text message? Do you speak to your teachers differently from how you’d talk to your siblings? Are you going to speak differently when giving a public speech from just chatting with a neighbor? Chances are, the answer is “yes.” But, what’s the difference?

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