新东方网>留学>留学考试>SSAT>正文

新东方马睿:SSAT创意写作的 “一叶知秋”

2015-05-12 18:42

来源:新东方北京学校

作者:马睿

  “Creative Writing” (创意写作) 是一项非常好的考察学生创造力和写作能力的方式。在给定文章开头第一句话的前提下 (一般是陈述句,如:When the music stopped, he turned around.) 学生需要发挥自己独特的想象力来写一个尽可能完整且优美的故事。官方指南里对于这项考察任务的要求如下:

  “Creative prompts are designed to spark your imagination and creativity. They will ask you to finish (or start) a story, based on a phrase, such as “I looked into its eyes and suddenly…” This is a chance for you to showcase the unique way you think and write, so don’t worry about getting it perfect.”

  虽然说没有必要写的很完美,只要能彰显出自己独特的思考和写作方式就可以,但是根据我多年的教学经验,很多学生对于这段话或者说对于短篇故事的理解是非常有误区的。很多学生认为自己写作中越异想天开,越奇特越好,于是就创造出大量虎头蛇尾,人物矛盾过于尖锐,或者背景过于庞大的故事,然后发现自己根本写不完。就算能勉强写到最后,也会让读者味同嚼蜡,读起来异常辛苦。正如我经常给学生说的,写作的一个首要的任务,就是要考虑你的读者群是谁。故事写作,特别是这种考试的作文,并不是一个你只要自己写到兴起就可以风生水起的活动,而是一种调动你的读者的兴趣从而让他们能和你一起协同参与到对故事的理解中去的交流。在一个充其量只有400多字的作文里,在短短的25分钟内,学生很多时候很难能写好一个非常庞大的故事,并且这样做很容易让自己的文章成为流水账而没有任何的描写。

  在这个前提下,我建议考生多关注生活中的细节,写现实主义小说,比如自己的个人经历中有没有相似的经历?看到这个题目后,自己脑海中有没有一个具体的画面?然后接下来把一个片段描写好,从而赋予整个故事深度和广度,让读者读完一篇故事之后,自发的去思考或者感悟。比如说下面这个非常短的微小说:

  PENGUIN PIGEON

  企鹅、鸽子

  Steve Cushman

  Driving beneath the flyover I spotted a grey bird and said penguin. My wife laughed and said pigeon, repeating it, pigeon, as if speaking to an idiot. She sighed and turned to the window, staring at something I could not see. I considered saying it was a mistake, a simple slip of the tongue, of course I knew the difference between a penguin and pigeon, but the time for stating my case seemed to have already passed.

  翻译:当我在高架桥下开车的时候我注意到一只灰色的鸟,我说那是企鹅。我的妻子笑了然后说鸽子,重复了一遍,鸽子,就好像她在和傻瓜说话一样。她叹了一口气,然后转向了窗外,看着某个我看不到的东西。我考虑了也许自己说错了,也许这只是一个简单的口误,但是问题是我当然知道企鹅和鸽子的区别了,只是向我妻子解释的时机已经过去了。

  这个小说我一直很喜欢,虽然它只有短短的77字,但是通过它我至少可以推断出两件事:1、这对夫妻的关系。妻子对于丈夫明显持有一种不耐烦的态度,在心理上她瞧不起自己的丈夫。并且妻子望向窗外的动作也是一个提示,表明她和丈夫有着不一样的世界观和价值观,两人的关系可以说是濒临崩溃的边缘或者说是平静湖面下的波涛汹涌。2、到底丈夫看到的是企鹅还是鸽子?你是相信描述人信誓旦旦的“我当然知道区别,但是我没有办法解释了”?还是相信她的妻子呢?你是坚守着自己的常识(高架桥下面怎么会有企鹅)?还是毫不怀疑的相信故事的描述人呢?

  这种对于一个故事的分析,也许在某种意义上的过度分析,恰巧是读故事的乐趣所在。而我们在自己创作故事的时候,对于用词,对于铺垫,最好都要有一定的思考,这样我们写出来的故事才有被一读再读的可能性。当然,在你积累了大量的阅读量的基础上,这种思考的工作也会变得更加容易和可操作。

  另外,这个故事虽然只有一个很小的片段,但是我们却可以“一叶知秋”,推理出更加深远的问题(如夫妻关系,常识与违背常理等),这样的故事无疑是非常成功的。而我们在考试作文SSAT 300-400字的要求下,最好也是可以将一个点,一个细节描写透彻,揭示人物的情感或者感悟,或者让读者在文章中发现和自己的共通点,这样,才更能激发他们的兴趣。

  下面我们用两篇文章来分析一下,具体该如何使用这一点。

  Topic 1:If only the people in the photographs could talk.

  如果照片里的人能说话就好了。(2014年11月考试题目)

  拿到这个题目的时候,很多孩子的脑海中可能会想到哈利波特里那些会说话的照片,把这篇文章写成一篇奇幻的故事。这确实也是一个不错的思路,比如说一个挂满伟人照片的房间,主人公和过去的伟人进行对话。或者也可以写一个恐怖故事,鉴于画面太恐怖我就不多描述了。但是,如果写现实主义的小说(realistic fiction),我觉得这个故事的最大的可能性是看自己亲人,朋友的照片,希望能和照片里的人说话,从而诉说一段难忘的感情。在这个提示下,画面感是很容易建立起来的,而我的画面感是我自己在一个公交车上看着自己去世的亲人的照片,并寄托自己的想念。范文如下:

  “If only the people in the photographs could talk,” Marie thought, gazing through the photos on her portable MP4. Then, she gave out a sigh which had formed a thin cloud of white vapor which blurred the screen as well as her eyes.

  In one of the pictures, her grandma was smiling, her hand holding a scarlet scarf which dangled from an airing rope. Marie had never saw that kind of smile before; in her mind picture, grandma’s smile was always mother-like, tolerant, and encouraging. In this picture, her smile mingled with shyness, and the capacity to see all the things through. Like her grandma was reminiscing in her girlhood, like she was saying, “I wish I could have such a beautiful muffler before.” Or like “I knew one day you will look at this picture and miss me so much.”

  On another, her grandma was casting a surreptitious look at her grandpa at the dinner table, a look full of emotion. They stayed with each other for such a long time and Marie remembered that they barely quarreled. “The secret of keeping a long relationship is love,” her lips seemed moving, “and tolerance, a lot of them.”

  The next, her grandma and grandpa were all staring at her. Marie liked this picture the most, like they were saying, “Marie, are you OK?” Or sometimes, in her vivid memory, “Cheer up, little bunny, we will always love you.”

  Marie scoffed at these far-fetched guessing works, but she couldn’t deny they were her only condolences. When people died, all the memories around them seemed to hurt. And the pain doubled when you lost two of the most precious ones. She still remembered that day, when the cold call came, informing her shortly that her grandma was gone. And the same kind of phone call, which came after two months and 11 days, about her grandpa. Of all the people in the world, they love her the most, in a way incomparable to any kind of love in her heart, in a way we could call it “selfless love”. But it did shatter your heart to pieces when you lost two of them. Time did help in fixing these pieces together, but the cracks would always stay there, like the scratched screen of this old MP4, bought ten years ago, still, one of her favorite possessions, like it had temperature.

  (words: 399)

  这样的描写重要的是抒发内心的某种情感,并且非常好的切合了题目。虽然表面上用的是常用的5段式作文结构,但是却只描写了一个片段,在时间轴上也许5分钟都不到。并且,文章在一开始的时候,铺垫了主人公很冷的这个事实,在文章结尾,用了一个比喻讲了回忆带给人的温度,很好的做到了首尾呼应。

  另外一篇范文的小作者王同学目前已经被十校联盟中的Loomis Chaffee School所录取。从小王同学就热爱阅读,所以她写出来的故事一直有着细腻的描写和张力。针对这个练习的题目He could rule the world (他能统治世界),王同学并没有写比较宏大的侵略和征服的虚幻故事,而是一个普通男孩的白日梦。看一下,也许这个故事里就有你自己的影子呢?

新东方网托福官方微信:新东方托福 (微信号:xdftoefl

最新考试资讯、托福预测、托福解析,请扫一扫二维码,关注我们的官方微信! 

新东方托福辅导专区

班级名称 上课地点 上课时间 费用 详细

焦点推荐

版权及免责声明

凡本网注明"稿件来源:新东方"的所有文字、图片和音视频稿件,版权均属新东方教育科技集团(含本网和新东方网) 所有,任何媒体、网站或个人未经本网协议授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他任何方式复制、发表。已经本网协议授权的媒体、网站,在下载使用时必须注明"稿件来源:新东方",违者本网将依法追究法律责任。

本网未注明"稿件来源:新东方"的文/图等稿件均为转载稿,本网转载仅基于传递更多信息之目的,并不意味着赞同转载稿的观点或证实其内容的真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人从本网下载使用,必须保留本网注明的"稿件来源",并自负版权等法律责任。如擅自篡改为"稿件来源:新东方",本网将依法追究法律责任。

如本网转载稿涉及版权等问题,请作者见稿后在两周内速来电与新东方网联系,电话:010-60908555。