Best Tip Ever for Teaching Writers
Every writing teacher in the world knows how to spot errors. The experienced ones zero in on them like heat-seeking missiles and leave puddles of red ink behind. That’s fine. You can’t help a young writer without pointing out where he’s gone wrong. And young writers typically go wrong often.
But, honestly, finding writing mistakes is easy. What’s more difficult–what only the really excellent writing coaches do with excellence and consistency–is finding what the students have done well.
Doesn’t it make sense to point those things out too? Don’t assume a student knows that that phrase has a nice ring, or that verb captures the idea just right. Pointing out what works can be just as helpful as pointing out what doesn’t.
And it’s certainly more pleasant.