The following notes come from a student
practice session on writing improvement. Includes samples of student
writing and teacher comments (in italics).
road closed due to flooding, flood, mudslide, a shower (is a short
period of rain; it stops sometimes), heavy rain, pouring with rain,
boots, waterproof hat, boots, coat
gumboots, raincoats, Gore-Tex, mackinaw, sou’wester
soaked through, soaked to the skin, drenched, it’s wet, moist, damp
leaks and leaking roofs, hair sticks to your forehead
raining cats and dogs (either a cliché or not used much)
it’s pissing (Canadian slang)
it’s really coming down! it’s Biblical
puddles, small lakes in Surrey, a rooster tail (behind a car)
Narrative Structure (write as a story)
The time (setting); Time: last week, yesterday, today Place: where is it? On Kingsway, in front of my house, in my bedroom,
Who (the characters) the people in the story. Use 2 today.
What: The plot. Something will happen.
Dialogue: People talking in your story.
My mom said, “Why are you so wet!” I answered, “Because it is raining, silly!”
The result: My mother ran a hot bath for me so I could warm up. And, after I got out, she gave me a hot bowl of barley soup.
Student Rainy Days
rains heavily in summer in my hometown. When I was 13 years old, I
lived with my grandfather. He took care all of my living, including
cooking, washing clothes, and cleaning my room.
This is setting above. It gives the time and situation clearly. Say as much as you can with as few words as possible.
always forgot to bring an umbrella with me. One day in the afternoon
when I was having a class in school, the sky turned dark and the rain
was pouring loudly.
Suddenly, I saw the face of my grandfather;
he looked wet and was searching for me. I came out to him. He said,
“You forgot to bring the umbrella so I brought it to you. I need to go
home now and prepare you dinner.”
is told by actions, usually, more strongly than any other way. This
example fully shows us the character of the child and the grandfather
The story is a “memoir” where an adult looks back at the child to see it with new eyes.
hate rainy days. Because of the rain, I can’t enjoy the sunshine. I am
usually more cheerful on sunny days than on rainy days. Yesterday when
I went home after class, I said to my husband, “I’m so tired now.”
My husband asked me, “Why?”
I told him, “I feel uncomfortable in the rainy days.” So yesterday, I went to sleep at 11 p.m.
it started a stormy rain. I was very wet. It was cold and windy. I was
shaking and the leaves where I was were muddy and slippery. I was
alone. The sun was setting. I was stuck there.
short sentence makes a clear statement to us. The details given in such
a way are more emphatic. The feelings of the writer are made clear to
us. The short sentences sound anxious and upset. This is true.
my poor dog did not have a walk. I wanted to give her one, but with all
the rain it just didn’t happen. In the morning, as you may remember, it
was pouring, just pouring!
My daughter had a dentist’s
appointment in the morning on Broadway near Cambie in Vancouver. As I
drove over to get her, the rain had almost stopped. Even though it
wasn’t raining much, big puddles filled the road and the cars splashed
through them noisily. The rain had turned to drizzle by then. Too bad,
my dog was at home sleeping in the basement.
All the time I
waited for her and while we had lunch, too, the rain was almost
stopped. She had bad news. She told me, unhappily, “I have to start
wearing my retainer again all the time!”
I said, “I’m sorry to hear that but it is best for you if you want to keep straight teeth.”
What’s more, she added, “I have to pick up my retainer at 4 o’clock. Can you give me a ride?”
I returned home, the rain had started again. The sky was so dark that
my Christmas lights came on on the photocell. I looked out. Impossible,
I thought, to walk a dog in this weather.
When it was time to go
out to Broadway, the rain had stopped again. My dog slept in the
basement. After dinner, we opened the door to our back porch. The rain
drummed down on the plastic cover. My dog went outside for five minutes
and returned, soaked.
Lucky for me, I have a very philosophical
dog! She slept happily all day (and night) and went for a walk with me
this morning. What a relief!