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Write with Ursula in July!


Last month we jiggled, and now get ready to juggle!

When you write a story or a poem or a play or an essay or ANYTHING really, you actually have to do a lot of juggling. Not with balls or skittles like the clown in the circus, but with words, sentences and paragraphs. It’s as though you have to throw them up in the air and see if you can catch them. If you drop them, or they fall on the floor, you have to pick them up and try all over again, until your sentence or your poem or your story sounds just right. (Another word for this is EDITING.)

Some people can do all the juggling in their mind, but I find I have to put the words down on paper in a draft before I can start juggling. Even though I’ve written lots and lots of books, sometimes I have to do DAYS and WEEKS and MONTHS of juggling words and sentences and paragraphs until the story starts to make sense.

Let’s do some juggling now, to show you what I mean. Here is a list of sentences. Write them down on a piece of paper, or type them up and print them out.

Then cut each sentence out and put them down on a table in front of you. Move them around, up and down, back and forth, in any order you like, until you have a story you like the sound of.

If you want, throw another ball or skittle in, here or there – I mean another word or sentence or paragraph that you have thought of by yourself. Or maybe take one or two words or sentences out altogether.

When you’ve finished, write the whole thing out again. Read your stories to each other – I wonder if they will be the same?

The boat tilted up in the air.

“I can see his tonsils! said the guinea pig, delighted, from behind his camera.

“Look!” shouted Maisie, alarmed. “A crocodile!”

Maisie felt the guinea pig slipping out of her grasp!

“No!” screamed Maisie.

Just then the guinea pig slipped.

“Isn’t it wonderful?”

She rushed to the guinea pig and grabbed at his coat.

A large jaw, studded with sharp shiny teeth, rose up out of the water, mouth open wide.

He and his camera began to slide down the deck.

Huggling happy month next till!



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