Writing Activity: inspiration from science-based common expressions

There are a lot of science-based ideas expressed in everyday speech. This activity challenges you to identify some of those expressions, think about what they mean, research them to find out the science behind them, and then write about some characters experiencing those phenomena or expressing the emotions they describe. You might literally put a […]

Writing Activity: Using the power of “show, don’t tell”

Writers often hear the advice: “show, don’t tell.” But what does it mean? Read and study a story from the Stone Soup archives to see the power of this technique, and then try it for yourself. Activity Eleven-year-old Ari Rubin’s story, “Lindy,” was first published in Stone Soup magazine in 1993, and it has been […]

Writing Activity: working with dialogue

The most remarkable part of Lena’s story as a demonstration of the power of dialogue is the last quarter, where four characters respond to a traumatic event. This section, beginning with the “No!” spoken by the narrator and continuing to the end, depends heavily on dialogue. It could almost be a play. Notice that, although the lines spoken by Sandy, Carrie, Mom, the narrator, and Mrs. Hall are often very short, we get a clear sense of how each character differs from the others and how they relate to each other as family, friends, and neighbors. This is accomplished through the narrative that accompanies the dialogue.