Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Slice of Life Writing





What is a slice of life story?  
A slice of life story is a realistic SHORT story, a slice of your life retold as fiction. It’s just a “snippet” that tells a moment in your everyday life.  That moment is like a snapshot. When you look at it, you remember and write what happened just before, then you describe your snapshot experience with as much realism and details as possible— as if it’s happening right now. 

Write so your reader can feel what you feel, see what you see, do what you do, and think what you do. It is not a list of things you did in one day— it is one moment of time that you capture step by step. It does not contain personal information, just a story. Remember to change the names to protect the innocent and the guilty.

Click here for an annotated example of a slice of life story. Notice all the specific details and descriptions and dialogue -- lots of sights and sounds-- taking you moment by moment through the story. Each word, chosen so carefully, engages the imagination of the reader. This is "word choice."

Remember, your moment is one others can learn from — or laugh or cry because the reader has experienced something similar. Our lives in their everyday moments are special, because it is the journey that is important; let’s share that slice of our days. 

Read another example here.  

Why write a slice of life?
  • You will have readers hearing your voice because you have written using sensory details [sights, sounds, smells, tastes, emotions] and action.
  • You will discover new topics, turn the ordinary into extraordinary, and become better with each slice.
  • You can try out new techniques taught in lessons, and share some of your own.
  • You will begin to notice that stories are everywhere.
  • You will also be a member of a writing community.
  • You will learn how to give positive and constructive feedback.
Enjoy discovering your own and others’ new stories.  I look forward to reading them soon.

Get Started

Open your Google Docs. Name it Slice of Life and your first name.  You can draft all your "slices" on this document each week. Make a list of memories, animal stories, little brother or sister stories, fun times, silly times, etc.  Choose one that's school appropriate. 

  1. Quickly write about that slice for a few minutes, just to get the idea down.
  2. Now, jump down a few spaces, and start over -- this time, write it like it's happening now.  Describe the setting and the feelings just before it happened.  Then describe the event with details, sights, sounds, and dialogue. Let us live it too. Put your voice into it.
  3. End with how you felt, and a question for us.
  4. Edit your spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar.
  5. While editing, think of a good title.
  6. Below your post, share the excellent writing you did. For example:
  • I described the setting:  "The wind blew through the cracks in the window sill of the older home, and the furnace creaked, both keeping me awake the whole night."
  • I included descriptions:
  • Sights: "We built a snowman, rolling and pressing the crisp snow into huge balls. We placed rocks for eyes, nose, and mouth, and stood back to look at our creation, pushing our scarves up over our noses"
  • Sounds: "the furnace creaked"
  • I included details [5WH]: "I ran back to the front door, but it was still locked. A tear welled up in my eye, but I brushed it away. I rocked back and forth from foot to foot to keep the cold from holding onto them. I walked in circles around the house for what seemed like hours."
  • I included dialogue:
"Tag -- you're it!"I caught her right away -- I was a fast kid.Sandy pouted, "Not fair!"
     7. Copy and paste your Slice of Life and writing skills into a new blog post. Give it your title.  Write Slice of Life as a label so you can find all your posts for Tuesdays. Download the orange "Slice of Life" image at the top of this post and upload it to your blog. You can add another Creative Commons or Public Domain image to your blog too. 

Note about Images:
Go here for more information on images: How to find Creative Commons images
Remember to cite the source of your image.
Remember to only use Creative Commons or Public Domain images.
Respect the copyright of others-- -- you wouldn't want someone else to steal your images.

8.  Publish. Here's  Example of a Slice of Life with Writing Strategies blogpost.

9. Copy the URL and reply with a comment below -- on this post -- about your post -- include your link so others can go read it.  Then go read and comment on two of your peers' Slice of Life.  If you want a professional and linked URL, click here to learn how to do this.  Go here to see two comments  one just pasting the URL, and the other using this code.


Next Steps

We will continue to write SLICE posts and reflect on our growth as writers as well as connect with other SLICErs. 

On another day, I will post a reflection piece for you to choose your best SLICE and explain why you think so with explanations of the research and writing strategies you used for your SLICE to make it good.

Look for other classrooms writing for Slice of Life too.  

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