Writing Trick 1: OSM

Man holding book

Often I get asked, “Oi, mister! How do I stop people falling asleep when their reading my writing?”
And I reply, “My name’s not Oi Mister.” Then I tell them about Writing Tricks. I’m going to introduce a few of them here.

1) Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the sound things make. It’s how a writer lets reader know what a sound is exactly like. Common ones are things like: crash! bang! wallop!
But the real fun happens when you make some up of your own, such as Splurrgting!
That’s not all. You can play around with how they look on the page and so how the sound was made:

splurrgtingsmalltobig
Here the sound is going from quiet to loud as if someone is getting more and more annoyed

splurrgtingbigtosmall
and here it is like they were being noisy and were then told to quieten down. Both great fun and when a writer is having fun so is their reader.

2) Simile. Similes help a writer describe what something is like to a reader by describing something it is similar to with regards shape, colour, smell, size, behaviour, texture…Basically saying one thing is like something else.
You use the word like or as in a simile.
The best similes often match the genre or book type you are writing in. For example, these wouldn’t be out of place in a horror:

the ghost was as white as a bag of bones

the spirit’s face was pale  like bone

Although you can have fun writing unexpected similes:

The princess flicked her golden hair around her face as beautiful as a slug.

3) Metaphors. Metaphors are very similar to similes in that they help a writer decribe something to make it clearer to the reader. The key difference here is you are not saying something is like something else but it is something else.

A simple example is this:
the man ate like a pig  (Simile)
the man was a pig eating (Metaphor)

More complicated:
his eyes burned like flame (Simile)
his grin with eyes of flame 
(Metaphor)

So next time you are writing, why not try some of these tricks out but remember the most important thing: have fun with your writing and your reader will too.

 

POEM: Beauty is…

Beauty

 

Beauty is a warm summer’s day
Beauty is a baby’s first smile
Beauty is a kiss from a mother
Beauty is the symmetry of a square
Beauty is the taste of hot chocolate
Beauty is the laughter of children
Beauty is the red of a scented rose
Beauty is the heart of my love

 

I should explain a little bit about this poem. It was written to help teach a group of Year 3 about metaphor and provide a simple stylistic model for their own poem. It also can provide a stimulus for Philosophy4Children (another interest of mine).