The Pencil Sharpener

Veronica Grönte

Lund, Sweden

A book in Swedish by Veronica Grönte

Pennvässaren [The Pencil Sharpener]: Dramaturgin som verktyg till bra berättelser, by Veronica Grönte. Argument / Studentlitteratur: Lund, Sweden, 2001. ISBN 91-973227-8-4.

The Pencil Sharpener, written in Swedish, is a guide to storytelling and creative writing which includes demonstrations of how OH, SAGA, HABITAT, and PERSONA Cards can be used to teach those topics. The exercises in are intended for age groups from kindergarten to adults.

One of the most important tasks for schools today is creating the necessary conditions for linguistic development. When we encourage students with storytelling and creative writing, we draw on an indwelling capacity each student already possesses. But this is, at times, a complicated process. Teachers wonder what tricks might be used to make writing a pleasure and to inspire even unmotivated to take up the pen.

The Pencil Sharpener aims to support the role of the teacher as an instructor of creative writing by offering the following:

  • Foundations of rhetoric and dramaturgy – the grammar of stories;
  • Tools adapted to the building of stories, both simple and advanced;
  • Methods that really work for inciting motivation in students;
  • Concepts for understanding various qualities of text;
  • Strategies that simplify the exchange of direct and personal responses;
  • Ideas that inspire new methods of teaching.

The Pencil Sharpener links the logic of dramaturgy and the faculty of fantasy by guiding readers in the use of OH, SAGA, HABITAT, and PERSONA Cards, which invite us to take a step beyond our borders.

Here’s a translation from Swedish of the book’s description on the publisher’s website:
The Pencil Sharpener contains the most basic materials you can find to deepen students’ ability to write stories.
Have you ever noticed that a story is like an obstacle course? The main character is the runner who wants to get from start to finish and on the way he meets many obstacles. The audience waits breathlessly. Will the runner reach the finish line? How does he overcomes the obstacles?
Writing stories that captivate the audience is not difficult for those who learn some tricks. And this is the goald of The Pencil Sharpener – to allow all students to feel pride and joy over what they’ve written. Dramaturgy elements make it possible for anyone to build a good story from beginning to end.
There are many aids. Using character charts, you get to know your characters before you begin to tell about them. Playing fields and flashcards trigger the imagination. Exercises show the different possibilities for dramaturgical development.
The Pencil Sharpener contains a basic course and an advanced course in dramaturgy and includes over 90 exercises that are easy to use and may be varied to suit all ages.