professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Novelty, Identity, Fluency

I was reading an article the other day with a link to this post about making writing more shareable: Note the opening paragraph: "I often write for the sheer love of it. But when I publish my writing, I'm hoping for more. I'm want people to see it. Read it. Talk about it." I feel this way, and I suspect many if not all of you do as well. I would post to this blog even if folks did not read it. It is therapeutic for me. The writing helps me think; it clarifies and defines. But when I know someone else has read it, that is joyful. I love to see folks agree with me, of course, but even a disagreement means someone is thinking along with me.

The post goes on to identify three "secrets" to making writing shareable.: novelty, identity, and fluency. We might call these by different labels in a classroom, but when we are adding to our collections and class libraries, I think many of us have these three things in the forefront of our minds.

NOVELTY: "At the end of the day, novelty is what causes us to pay attention to and/or spread messages. Our brains are built to notice and remember things that are new, and great writers harness that biological impulse to craft stories that people can't help but talk about." Think of all the ways this concept of novelty enters into literature for children, tweens, and teens. My mind immediately snaps to the graphic novel format, but we could just as easily think of metafiction in picture books, the unreliable narrator, and novels in verse to name a few aspects of "novelty."

IDENTITY: "People connect with stories that they can personally relate to in some way." This is one of the greatest strengths of contemporary literature. The themes, and characters are things to which readers can relate. This does not rule out classic literature, by the way. However, it does remind us that ALL readers need to relate in some way.

FLUENCY: "One of my favorite editors used to always say, 'Great writing speeds you along.'" How often do I open a book intending to read a few pages and then head off to another task or to bed. Hours later, I emerge bleary-eyed after reading the entire book. It happened just last week with Kenneth Oppel's THE NEST, but I can remember sitting up all night to read the final Harry Potter book, too, despite having a presentation the following day.

I love these terms from the writer's perspective because I think they respect the reader as well Imagine using these are sort of a mental checklist when we are considering which books to add to the library.
Tags: fluency, identity, novelty

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