What I was Reading:
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon has many craft moves for writers to try. The narration and the way the novel is written is so unique and serves as a great mentor text for personal or instructional writing. The story is told from the perspective of Christopher, a neuro-diverse narrator who finds himself in the middle of a mystery he is determined to solve. While he brings the reader along on his quest, he spends a lot of time describing his unique feelings, beliefs, and quirks to us. In one section, he explains how he determines whether or not he will have a good day, while using a variety of techniques.
What Moves I Notice the Writer Making:
- He writes his labels for his days in bolded type, so when he references them again it’s easier for the reader to remember his definition.
- He integrates his definitions into a paragraph in an organized way.
- He writes dialogue without using any quotation marks.
- He uses longer sentences with minimal commas so that his writing sounds like how the narrator would speak.
- He creates a comparison between his own superstitions and others’/his own father’s superstitions.
Possibilities for Writers:
- Think about what constitutes a Good Day, Black Day, etc. in your own life and write about it, using this text and Haddon’s labels as inspiration.
- Use the technique of bolding labels in your own writing.
- Describe superstitions you have encountered in your own life and consider why you believe in them (or why you do not).
Guest writer Kristin Estabrooks is a Mount Allison University graduate, and is currently a student teacher studying for her Bachelor of Education at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She is an avid reader who is now learning to read like a teacher of writing, and is looking forward to passing what she has learned on to her students.