Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LTW Journal 10/25

(Part of an ongoing series detailing our Lost Tools of Writing adventures.  Previous posts here.)   

Most controversies would soon be ended, if those engaged in them would first accurately define their terms, and then adhere to their definitions.  --Tryon Edwards

We stayed in Invention today.  First we took turns reading our definitions.  The LTW way of defining a term causes us to look at both generalities and specifics.  We have to keep our focus on the actual issue, too.  At our house we tend to randomly include ALL the possibilities and go off on tangents, but definitions ought to discriminate.

After definitions, the kids turned in their ANI charts.  Aravis was distressed because she only had around eighteen things on each list.  (We were going for thirty.)  She had detailed sentences for most of her points, sometimes several lines long.  I was sure she already had thirty things on each list!  I told her to list only one detail per bullet point.  She was relieved.

On Thursday, we will move into Arrangement and learn about the exordium.  I am excited.  The exordium is the introductory part of the essay.  At our house we have always called it the hook.  This is the part where the writer reels us in and we as readers decide whether we want to stay.

I started this post with an exordium.  I came up with several others, too:

* Three out of five members of our family are learning to write using Lost Tools of Writing.

* There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.  When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"   
He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

* Dare to define! 

 * I first learned about defining terms from Mortimer J. Adler in How to Read a Book.  He said to me, "Reader, you cannot understand where an author is coming from until you know his terms."  (Okay, I am paraphrasing a bit.)

 * Imagine a world where words have no meaning. 

No comments: