Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whoo HOO!

Dictionary Definition of ONOMATOPOEIA (Merriam-Webster)

1. the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss)
2. the use of words whose sound suggests the sense

Isn't it fun to include sound words in your writing? They can make your stories come alive. But be careful. If you make up a sound word and write it down, ask somebody to read it back to you. They may pronounce it entirely different than you expected. Better yet...keep this list handy and you'll be all set.
  • argh       
  • achoo
  • ahem
  • bang
  • bash
  • bam
  • bark
  • bawl
  • beep
  • belch
  • blab
  • blare
  • blurt
  • boing
  • boink
  • bonk
  • bong
  • boo
  • boo-hoo
  • boom
  • bow-wow
  • brring
  • bubble
  • bump
  • burp
  • buzz
  • cackle
  • chatter
  • cheep
  • chirp
  • chomp
  • choo-choo
  • chortle
  • clang
  • clash
  • clank
  • clap
  • clatter
  • click
  • clink
  • clip clop
  • cluck
  • clunk
  • cock a doodle doo
  • cough
  • crackle
  • creak
  • croak
  • crunch
  • cuckoo
  • ding
  • ding dong
  • drip
  • fizz
  • flick
  • flip
  • flutter
  • gasp
  • giggle
  • glug
  • groan
  • growl
  • grunt
  • guffaw
  • gurgle
  • hack
  • haha
  • hack
  • hiccup
  • hiss
  • ho ho ho
  • honk
  • hoot
  • howl
  • huh
  • hum
  • jangle
  • ker-ching
  • kerplunk
  • knock
  • meow
  • moan
  • moo
  • mumble
  • munch
  • murmur
  • mutter
  • neigh
  • oink
  • ouch
  • ooze
  • phew
  • ping
  • pitter patter
  • plink
  • plop
  • pluck
  • plunk
  • poof
  • pop
  • poop
  • purr
  • quack
  • rattle
  • ribbit
  • ring
  • rip
  • roar
  • rumble
  • rush
  • rustle
  • screech
  • shuffle
  • shush
  • sizzle
  • slap
  • slash
  • slither
  • slurp
  • smack
  • snap
  • snarl
  • sniff
  • snip
  • snore
  • snort
  • splash
  • splat
  • splatter
  • splish
  • splosh
  • squawk
  • squeak
  • squelch
  • squish
  • swoosh
  • thud
  • thump
  • thwack
  • tic-toc
  • tinkle
  • trickle
  • twang
  • tweet
  • ugh
  • vroom
  • waffle
  • whack
  • whallop
  • wham
  • whimper
  • whip
  • whirr
  • whisper
  • whizz
  • whoop
  • whoosh
  • woof
  • yawn
  • yelp
  • yikes
  • zap
  • zing
  • zip
  • zoom

Monday, November 29, 2010

Are you smarter than your computer?

We type and type, then notice that Microsoft Word has underlined things we are convinced are correct, right? It's enough to make you crazy, right?


You may be smarter than your computer.

Take a peek at the sample below. If I went along with different word choices--choices my computer offered--my sentence might end up terribly wrong.

If ewe think your write, due some pier editing and sea if a fiend finds Miss Takes.

Now, fix the above sentence. PLEASE!
It's making ME crazy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

; ) Funky Punctuation ; )

You've seen semi-colons.
You think they're cute.
You know how to use them in winking emoticons.
; )  ; )  ; )
You think it might be nice to add them to your writing; however, you're not sure how.

Here's a delightfully simple explanation of the ever confusing semi-colon:
How To Use A Semi-Colon

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Veterans Day

STUDENTS:  Can you tell me why we celebrate this day?

TEACHERS:  Click HERE for a great Veterans Day Teacher Resource.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Quick Quiz

I love to take online grammar quizzes, don't you? Wait, you don't? Have you ever tried one?

This quiz will take no time at all, I promise. You'll get your score immediately, and it will never appear on any of your report cards. Big plus, huh?

Click HERE to begin.


Kids, you've got to tell me, please. Why does Bob show up in so many of your stories?

Do you use Bob because you've been brainwashed by Sponge Bob?
Is it because Bob is fun to say?
Is it because Bob is easy to spell?
Do you have a relative named Bob?
Is YOUR name Bob?

What is it about Bob??

You're giggling, aren't you? And that's because you don't have an answer for me, I bet.

I think it's time to let Bob Rest In Peace. He's had his day. Bye-bye, Bob. (By the way, that goes for BillyBob and any other Bob combos, too.)

Try this:  Make a list of Bob-less names you can use in a story.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Perfect characters are BORing

If you are writing fiction, and you want to write about a character who does everything well (because you want to impress your teacher...*heh, heh*)...think again. Give your character a thing or two that he/she is not very good at doing--a flaw. Characters who make mistakes, and eventually learn from them, are interesting. Nobody's perfect, right?

Make a list of five mistakes you've made. Use at least one in a story that you write this week.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

Ok, so maybe it was, and this line feels like the perfect beginning to your story. But think about not depending on those first lines that immediately pop into your head. Try not to use:

Once upon a time...
Once there was...
Hi, my name is...
It all happened when I...
My friend and I...

Come on, kids! You can break the habit.
I challenge YOU to come up with a beginning that is so awesome that EVERYONE ELSE will use for a very long time.

Why can't I remember how to spell these words?

Yes, even writers draw a blank when spelling certain words.
Here's a few of mine that I have to think about twice:


What are some of yours?


The English language is full of words that can make you crazy.
For Example:
THERE - a place
THEIR - shows possession
THEY'RE - contraction for They are

Here's a fun quiz I found online that will help you practice.

Now try this. Write a sentence that contains all three.
Here's mine:
THERE are times when THEIR writing makes me believe THEY'RE in need of a little help.

Good Luck!