Category Archives: Writing activity

Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions – TED talk by John Koenig

John Koenig writes The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. 

Here are some of the words he’s created to express certain emotions:

Morii: the desire to capture a fleeting experience

Zenosyne: The sense that time keeps going faster

Let’s think about complex emotions that don’t have words to express them, and then create words for these emotions.

Here are some emotions identified by John Koenig:

  • a glimpse of what may have been
  • the moment a conversation becomes real and alive
  • feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque
  • the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time
  • the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it
  • the awareness of how little of the world you’ll experience
  • the desire that memory could flow backward
  • the fear that everything has already been done
  • Sometimes it feels like your life is flashing before your eyes, but it’s actually the opposite: you’re thinking forward, to all the things you haven’t done, the places you intend to visit, the goals you’ll get around to…
  • the awareness of the smallness of your perspective
  • a kind of melancholic trance in which you become absorbed in vivid sensory details
  • the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable
  • the realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense any more
  • the desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life, to stop glancing behind you every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone

During our meeting we had a go at creating our own words for different emotions.

Declan Saunders:

  • Aralia: The imprint of a forgotten memory
  • Burrin: The comfort of being alone
  • Droldent: Being cold on the inside even though you are warm on the outside (when you step inside from the cold)

Jenzen Yau, Haotian Yang, Julien Finti:

  • Jeon: Post holiday depression

David Ly:

Fain : The awareness of how little of the world you will experience

Alex Cheriyan and Bernard Tso:

  • Jekus – The feeling of trying to convey a meaning or feeling that does not have a word
  • Valare – The desire to step out of your life for a period of time and have somebody else take over
  • Falatious – The feeling of thinking that nothing you do will have much of an impact in this world
  • Nillatts – The feeling that you think you will die with no one loving you

Edward Jin:

  • Nilia: A state of intense concentration, where you are aware of nothing except for the task at hand

Thanks everyone, for giving this a go. Looks like you enjoyed the challenge – and the doughnuts.

 

Visual writing prompt (short video)

Consider some of these questions:

What’s happening in the picture? How can you tell?

2. Is anything missing from the picture?

3. Does anything look wrong or out of place?

4. What happened five minutes before this scene? Five minutes after?

5. If you could change part of the picture, what would it be and why?

6. Where does the scene take place? What are the details that support your idea?

7. What is the season? Weather? How do you know?

8. What part do you not understand? Take a guess as to what it is. What else could it be?

9. How do the colors make you feel?

10. What is happening just outside, or ‘offstage’, of the image?

I’m a doctor, not a…

Today’s meeting will be about who we are. I thought we’d do this icebreaker using Dr. McCoy’s catch phrase from the original Star Trek. I have prepared name tags for this purpose.

Now try writing about who you are using Docs Demo. Here’s an example of something I did just now.  Have a play with this.

 

Exercises in style piece- Jason Li 10L

The style I tried to use was the onomatopoeia. I feel like I needed a few more onomatopoeias.

Raucous in the dining hall. Zing! A button flies off a blazer too tight but still done up. The possibly year 10 student wearing the blazer is chomping away at a possibly ham and cheese sandwich. Sounds of shoes clapping away as students blabber and enjoy their own sandwiches. Crash! Somebody smashes into the aforementioned student knocking his lunch to the floor. The student gasps and turns to shout but the culprit already zipped away. Squelch, splat, squish, the sandwich is already obliterated under the thundering feet of students rushing to class. “Pfft,” the student swears under his breath. Sighing, he goes over to a friend hoping to get some sympathy.

Two hours later he is daydreaming about defending himself against the events that just happened. The teachers monotone voice calls out his name twice. The second time he groans as he is slapped out of his dream and replies groggily ‘Pardon Sir?’

Writing exercises in style (using Raymond Queneau’s book)

There is a very good book in our library called Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau. It contains the same story written in a wide range of styles. It even includes pig- and dog-latin!

For a writing activity this Friday I’ve pulled out some of the styles and whacked them into a slideshow. I’ve also written a short piece in the ‘notation’ style which is the first one in the book.  The idea is to look through the features styles in the slideshow below – or ask to look through the book (which I am holding onto at the moment) write the ‘notation’ story below in one of the styles. Have fun!

The story (in ‘notation’ style, ie stipped to the bare essentials which means you need to flesh it out, provide details, etc.)

Exercises in style – Raymond Queneau  –  My example for the exercise:

In dining hall, during lunch. A student possibly in year 10 whose blazer is too tight but still done up, the white of his shirt visible between the buttons. He is eating a sandwich, possibly ham and cheese. Students walking around, chatting, eating their lunches. Someone runs past the aforementioned student and bumps him so that his lunch falls to the floor. The student wants to shout out but the running student is gone. He bends to pick up the sandwich but it’s too late; it is squashed under the feet of rushing boys. He swears under his breath. His is unhappy but not used to standing up to others. He sees a friend and goes over to him, hoping to get some sympathy.

Two hours later he is daydreaming in class. In his dream he defends himself against all the unjust bullying and accidents he’s experienced. The teacher calls his name twice. The second time he looks up and says, ‘Pardon, Miss?’