Writer’s Technique Checklist

Standard

Identify how and why these techniques have been used in the Writer’s Effect question and use these techniques in your own narrative writing.

Adjectives
These are words that describe nouns e.g. ‘harsh’, ‘excruciating, ‘noble’. Writers use them to create a specific picture in the readers mind.
Why has the writer used these adjectives? What picture does it create?

Adverbs
These are words that describe verbs. e.g. ‘carefully’, ‘quietly’, ‘quickly’. These can be used to add more detail to an action so that the reader can picture what is going on and how.
Why has the writer added detail to this action? What picture does it create?

Alliteration
Repetition of a sound at the beginning of words, e.g. ‘Cruel Catherine…’ It is used to stress certain words or phrases or to make a point to the reader.
Why has the writer stressed these words? What point are they trying to make?

Colour
Using colour words like ‘red’ , ‘blue’ or ‘yellow’. Colour creates images in the readers mind and can affect atmosphere through connections the reader makes with that colour e.g. red associates with ‘danger’ ‘anger’ or ‘love.’
What image has been created with the use of colour? How has it affected the atmosphere?

Contrasts
Strong differences between two things. A writer might write a paragraph about a beautiful place and follow it with a paragraph describing a run-down place to show the differences between the ways in which two groups of people live.
Why has the writer chosen to show these two things? What difference is being highlighted and why?

Exclamations
Show anger, shock, horror, surprise and joy, e.g. ‘I won!’. They are used to portray emotion and show how a character reacts or is feeling.
Why has the writer chosen to put the exclamation there? What emotion or reaction are they portraying? Why?

Humour
Making a character or situation appear in a funny way can be used to mock the character or the place, or it could show that a character is humorous.
Why has the writer made this situation or character humorous? How does it affect the mood?

Imagery
(including similes, metaphors, colour and use of the 5 senses- sight, sound, touch, taste and smell)
The words allow the reader to create an image in their and involve the reader in the moment being described.
What image has been created? What is the effect of involving the reader in the moment?

Juxtaposition
The positioning of two words, phrases or ideas next to, or near, each other. This highlights a contrast between two words, phrases or ideas, e.g. ‘The two friends were known as clever Carole and stupid Steven.’
Why has the writer chosen to position these two things together? What contrast is being highlighted and why?

Metaphor
A image created by referring to something as something else, e.g. ‘storm of controversy.’ This shows meaning by directly comparing something to something else.
Why is the word being compared to something else? What element of the thing that it is being compared to is being highlighted in the word.

Negative diction
Words that are negative, e.g. ‘cruel’, ‘evil’, ‘dark’. This gives a negative tone and can portray negative feelings towards a character or situation.
Why has the writer created negative tone? What effect do these negative feelings have on the representation of the character or the atmosphere?

Onomatopoeia
Words that sound like what the describe, e.g. ‘The clash of the symbols startled John.’ The reader can almost hear the sound for themselves.
Why does the writer want the reader to hear the sound? What is the effect on the atmosphere?

Personification
Making an object/ animal sound like a person, giving it human characteristics, e.g. ‘the fingers of the tree grabbed at my hair as I passed.’
Why has the object/ animal been given human characteristics? How does it affect the mood?

Positive diction
Words that are positive, e.g. ‘happy’, ‘joyous’ They give a positive tone or portray positive feelings towards a character or situation.
Why has the writer created a positive tone? What effect do these positive feelings have on the representation of the character or the atmosphere?

Sentence Length.
Short sentences are just a few words long, without detail. ‘I wondered if he knew what he was doing to me. It hurt. A lot.’ Short sentences affect the speed the piece is read and grabs attention.
Why has the writer used a short sentence? How does it affect the speed and tension?

Simile
A comparison between two things that includes the words ‘as’ or ‘like’, e.g. ‘Her voice cut through him like a knife.’ This shows meaning by comparing something to something else
Why has the word been compared to something else? What element of the thing that it is being compared to has been highlighted in the word.

Verbs
Action words such as ‘scrambled’, ‘sprinted’, ‘leaped’. The writer uses these to add action to the writing.
Why has the writer used these verbs? What mood has been created?

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