How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Story Element #8: Patterns (My Big Dog)

The other day my daughter accidentally said a bad word. She had never heard it before. Didn't even know it was a bad word. In her 6 years of life, she probably made it up. We say 'smidgen' a lot, just like Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh. And we say 'pinch' and 'scrunch' too. She was getting a piece of gum and said, "Mama, do you want a little bitch of gum?" Well, we had a sweet little chat and now she's aware. So much for making up words. Oh, and remember to leave a comment to win a market guide! Giveaway ends Feb. 28th! And yes, you can go back to other posts between Feb. 14 and then to leave a comment and gain more entries.

Today's book is...
My Big Dog


Author: Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
Illustrator: Janet Stevens
Publisher: Golden Books Publishing
Year: 1999
Word Count: 724

Summary: This story is about a lovable golden retriever puppy who moves into Merl the Cat's peaceful home and upsets his daily routine.

This book is filled with patterns (and a bit of fun word play). I'll share both. Aren't I nice? Let's get started, shall we?

Spread 1:
Notice the repetition of MY.
Inside my house, my PUR-R-R-R-fect house, everything is MINE!
MY DISH, MY SOFA, MY CHAIR, MY MOUSE, MY BED
Spread 2:
Repetition of word play. Repetition is a way to implement patterns.
YAWN. Ah-h-h-h, so quiet, so nice, so peaceful, so PURR-R-R-R-fect.
CRASH. THUD. WOOF. YIP. YIP. YIP.
Spread 3:
Repetition of three's.

Those are puppy noises! A puppy's in my house. A wiggly, noisy, slurpy, clumsy puppy!
...talking to it in cutesy, smootsey, lovey-dovey baby voices.
Spread 4:
Three's again.
...under the bed. On top of the desk. Inside a drawer.
PANT. PANT. SLURP.
Spread 5:
The pattern of three's continues.
PANT. PANT. SLURP.
...outside. Down the walk. Across the street.
Spread 6:
PANT. PANT. SLURP.
Spread 7:
Each week, it gets bigger...and bigger...And BIGGER.
Spread 8:
no patterns

Spread 9:
Cat decides to leave home. Sees a nice lady.

Spread 10:
Lady not so nice.
SPLASH. WHIRR. POOF.
Spread 11:
Sees a CAT WANTED sign. (for a mouser)
SLAM. SWAT. THUD. (Cat wants to be an inside cat.)
Spread 12:
Finds a third person to try to be with.

Spread 13:
Now just because I'm quoting the repetitious parts here, doesn't mean it wasn't written exactly so. (I've inserted words here to show you where there are words.)
I'm a mess. (I can adverb verb.) I'm sore. [And] I'm very tired.
DRIZZLE. DRIZZLE.
(Oh, word. It's verbing. How I verb verbing adjective.)
MEOW. MEOW. MEOW.
Spread 14:
PANT. PANT. SLURP.
Spread 15:
It misses me. It needs me. It likes me.
And then a partial repeat of spread 1 with my dish, my sofa, etc.

Final Half Spread:
You gotta read the book! (but no patterns...)

TODAY'S LESSON:
Can you use (or add) any patterns of three to your stories? A simple list of three items can be nice once or twice, but overuse gets boring. See spread 13. (Need more? Buy the book! If you love, love, LOVE cats AND dogs, then this book just might be for you.)

TODAY'S QUESTION:
How many cats and dogs do you own? You can go all out and give names and species.

I have zero cats and one dog. She's a Treeing Walker Coon Hound. Her name is Cocoa and she has three legs. But I won't get into that. Keep on keepin' on...

1 comment:

  1. Well, this post really caught my eye because this is one of my all time very favorite books! We always take it to school to read to kids. The story is good and the illustrations are fantastic! And to answer your question - There are 3 dogs at our house - me,Rhythm, Lab - Walker, Lab - Cisco, St Bernard mix. One black girl cat named Mr Alphabet.

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