Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WIP Wednesday: The Inferential Power of Hint Fiction

Yes, I was one of those who received my pre-order of this:

...before the official release date. I shared a story, Joe R. Lansdale's "The Return" with students and had them riff on it during a quick, three-minute writing session. My favorite (I haven't edited a word, but I want to):

They buried him deep again. The morning before we buried that old man six feet deep and covered him good. But last night, we found his open coffin with no one in it. The town was quiet. No one told their children. Our arrogant sheriff said it was rain that washed him up, but it was hardly a storm.

I love the last line, especially the well placed use of the word arrogant. Sometimes, I feel like the students are "getting it". (I reprinted that little snippet with permission, of course.)

The other magic I've found in the pages of Hint Fiction is how each tiny story encourages inference.

From the Kansas State Reading Standards:

1.4.5 - uses information from the text to make inferences and draw conclusions.

This is hint fiction--it's all inferences and unsaid conclusions. Many of the stories, even in the life & death section, are quite funny.

Nice work, authors. Nice work, Mr. Robert Swartwood. Thank you for helping me reach my students.

In WIP news, I'm looking over edits for Loathsome, Dark and Deep. If you haven't checked out the novel's web site, here it is. I smell a contest coming...

Oh, and buy a copy of Hint Fiction, okay?


K.C. Shaw said...

Nice little story your student wrote! If I was still teaching, and if I was teaching kids old enough to get the concept of inference (not a concept third graders can quite grasp), I'd be working up lesson plans like a fiend! Excellent resource, and it sounds like a fun book too.

Aaron Polson said...

KC - Half of my HS students just stare blankly. C'mon, folks! This is FUNNY.

And I wonder why they can't understand Shakespeare.

Robert said...

Thanks, Aaron! When I was student teaching I used the Hemingway piece to teach inference. It was great. Hopefully these will work too. You're the best!

Natalie L. Sin said...

Wonderful story! Nice creepy vibe, all the way through.

Aaron Polson said...

Robert - Thank you for helping to stretch the idea of story.

Natalie - I was proud. Maybe she (the author) will grow up to be a horror writer.

Demon Hunter said...

Really liked your student's story. Good job. :-D

Hint Fiction is definitely on my list. :-D I have a few friends in it. ;-)

Akasha Savage. said...

I liked your students little tale...what a great longer story that could become!

From tiny acorns oak trees grow.

Cate Gardner said...

Keep on inspiring those kids, Aaron. And that is a mighty fine piece of hint fiction.

Katey said...

I love stories like that about your students. It makes me despair less for the future of the United States. I mean, I still despair, but yeah. Less.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

Wait for it:

"But Mr. Polson, when you said write a 2000 word story about an ancient culture, I thought that my story could best be expressed in 14 words. But, like, really good words."