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How to write descriptively - Nalo Hopkinson


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The point of fiction is to cast a spell, a momentary illusion that you are living in the world of the story. But as a writer, how do you suck your readers into your stories in this way? Nalo Hopkinson shares some tips for how to use language to make your fiction really come alive.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Can reading fiction actually build morality and help you grow as an individual? This article from the Boston Globe, "Why fiction is good for you,” might just answer that question. Ohio State also weighs in on the discussion with this report, “Losing Yourself” in A Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life.” Have you ever lost yourself in a book, unable to pull yourself away from it? Which one? Think about what the author did that made the book so special.

Find yourself so immersed in those electronic devices that you fail to read books anymore? Read this article from the New York Times and see what neuroscience has to say. Been a little crabby and not yourself? Pick up some fiction! Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer, might just snap you out of the doldrums! Get to the library or your bookshelf, find a nice comfy spot and get reading! Let a book cast a spell on you!

Why is it so important that children have books to read? Fiction books are especially essential for the development of empathy for others. Scientific American discusses this here: Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy. Want to get smarter? Watch this video and find out how fiction can help: How Fiction Makes Our Brains Better. Finally, take a look at the, Top Ten Reasons to Read Fiction.

This TED-Ed lesson: How fiction can change reality discusses how popular fiction can spark public dialogue and affect culture. Want some more hints on writing fiction? Another TED-Ed lesson might just help: How to build a fictional world.

(Educator headshot by David Findlay, 2011)

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Nalo Hopkinson
  • Director Joyce Stenneke
  • Composer Cem Misirlioglu
  • Narrator Susan Zimmerman

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