Hello everyone! Congratulations on clearing the SA2s! I’m sure many of you are looking forward to the upcoming holiday, which is certainly a good time for you to rest and recharge for the new academic year. However, before that, I am sure you will be receiving your results. For those of you who have not done so well for writing, this upcoming holiday will be a good time to work on it and close up the gap before school begins. Even if you have done well, during this period, don’t be tempted to abandon all your work for play. It will be beneficial to still set aside time to work on your writing.
Many of you would agree with me that writing is a lifelong process. Good writers do not remain contented with what they have and are constantly doing what they can to perfect their craft. There can never be too many interesting plots and captivating language for you to learn. With the additional free time you have now that the SA2 is over, practise the following tips to help you get better at writing.
1. Memorise three new synonyms daily
Synonyms in a writer’s vocabulary are like new hues in a writer’s palette. While primary colours may be sufficient to paint a picture, sometimes, you just want that particular shade to help you make your painting more vivid or bring everything together. As such, the broader your vocabulary is, the more word choices you will have as a writer. The synonyms can be for anything- from common verbs (look, say, run etc.) to feeling words (angry, happy, sad etc.)
Needless to say, the new synonyms you have learnt will also be useful in helping you tackle vocabulary questions. Try starting with the examples above if you don’t know where to begin.
2. Compile and review the feedback given on your writing
Keep all the feedback you have received from your teacher somewhere for reference. As you review them, do you notice a pattern? If you find yourself repeatedly receiving the same feedback, work actively on it. Keep the feedback in mind as you write your next composition and also check your completed writing to ensure that you have avoided making the same mistakes. For instance, if you realise that you tend to mix up your characters (from writing as “John” to “I”), jot down the feedback and form your personalised checklist to writing.
3. Rewrite a scene from a different perspective
Have you ever found yourself writing a story from one point of view only to realise that your story would make more sense or have more room for development if you choose to write from another?
For example, the composition “A Considerate Act” could be written from the perspective of
- the one receiving the considerate act
- the one committing the considerate act
- the one witnessing the considerate act
With the new composition syllabus, you are free to plan and write your story from any perspective. There are many ways to tell a story so experiment with writing from a few of them. You can pick out old composition topics done and choose a different perspective to write from. If your main character was the bystander or third party in your original composition, you can write a scene from the same story with the main character being the one who was caught in the conflict or problem instead.
Alternatively, if you are up for more of a challenge, can you write the scene from the perspective of a non-human character? When you practise telling your story in multiple ways, you are giving yourself an insight into the ways you can improve the story and your writing. With the story being worded in a particular way several times also helps you to master the vocabulary related to that situation better.
Try out these tips during your free time this holiday and let me know what you think! All you need to do is set aside as little as half an hour a day and your diligence will do wonders for your writing style and craft!
About the Author: Ms Delia Siow is a dedicated teacher who is committed to providing an environment where a child can grow and thrive. She enjoys developing strategies to help students learn in a fun and meaningful way. Through her lessons, she hopes to help students lay a sound foundation in grammar and gain independence in their work. She strongly believes that good grammar is essential in students to gain proficiency in the language and finds joy in watching the bricks of their strong grammar foundation take form.