Thursday, January 24, 2013

Please hurt my FEELINGS

Below is a very plain story with lots of “feelings.”  : )

Jan felt like winter was too long. “I want it to be summer," she said. "I feel like walking on the beach. I feel like collecting shells.”
Her brother, Stan, agreed. “I like how the sand feels. And the warm ocean always feels great, too.” 

Jan and Stan felt that the situation was hopeless. They didn’t feel like going outside in the snow, but decided there was nothing else to do.  They slipped on their snowsuits, boots, gloves, and hats, and headed out the door.  

“I feel chilly,” Jan said. “I don’t like the feeling of the wind on my cheeks. It hurts. When winter is over, I will feel better.” She picked up some snow, rolled it into a ball, and felt it forming into a ball. Then she threw it at Stan. 

“Hey!” Stan said. “I felt that!” He rolled a snowball and threw it back. 

Stan and Jan played in the snow. Both felt better. They almost forgot they didn’t like winter. 

Yes, our characters need to have feelings, but let’s not get crazy.  I often see the words:  FEEL and FELT in a story so much that it makes me FEEL dizzy. One way to fix this problem is to use the edit/find tab on your computer and search for these words. Then, ask yourself if you can reword some of the sentences to add better details.

Can you rewrite the story above without using the words FELT or FEELING? Here is my revision: 
“I don’t like winter,” Jan grumbled, staring out the window at the snow. “I want to walk on a warm beach and collect pretty seashells.” 

Her brother nodded, and said,  “I can’t wait to play volleyball on the soft sand. And I want to swim in the ocean and play in the wishy-washy waves.”

Jan and Stan read a few books and played a couple of board games. When they ran out of things to do, they pulled on their snowsuits, boots, scarves, and mittens, and went outside.  

Jan’s cheeks burned from the brisk, chilly wind. She kicked a snow drift. “Hrumph! I can’t wait for winter to be over.” She stooped down and made a snowball. She tossed it to Stan. 

“Ha! You missed! I bet I can get you!” Stan said, rolling a bigger snowball and throwing it in Jan’s direction. 

Jan and Stan had a fun snowball fight for over an hour. When done, they spotted an old sled, so they grabbed it and slid down the hill. At the bottom, they built an icy igloo and pretended to camp out.  

“Winter isn’t so bad,” Stan said, smiling. 

“You're right,” Jan said. “Let’s play outside again tomorrow!"

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