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The Shapes Of Words

Updated on May 25, 2014

“Oh…but this is too long”, complained one of my eighth grade students rejecting to write an answer.

Teaching the importance, beauty and benefits of writing is to challenge time, talent, skills, and a matter of taste. I don’t like to compare, it simply feels sometimes like Chileans say: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.

To write is to use words for many purposes. Writing helps to be better thinkers since it leads us to explore and analyze new experiences. The forms of expressing are based on individuality even when it is for others to read. The best of this is the many shapes our words could take; from the early written symbols based on the pictograph and cuneiform to the different forms now used like:

  1. Personal writing: journal, letters, autobiographical .
  2. Subject writing: biographical, news, about literature.
  3. Creative writing: stories, poetry.
  4. Report writing: observation, summaries, personal research reports.

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Readers and writers

Readers will make our writings into literature; since literature is the writing that has lasting value or interest. Our writing will delight readers with fiction or nonfiction literature. Writers that prefer fiction will be led into their imagination. These writers will stir feelings as they describe moods presented by their stories usually exiting, as the characters are introduced. Fiction can be in the form of novels, plays, poems, or short stories. Nonfiction is writing that provides readers with the facts about a certain subject, such as science or history. Examples of this will be: autobiographies, biographies, diaries, and essays.

Is it true that writing began in Mesopotamia (now Iraq)? Sumerian were inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia. A Sumerian poem that dates from about 2000 B.C. is one of the earliest epics, named The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Reading from others and dipping into their discipline helps us to create, imagine and know that to write is to let flow that “something” inside which you want , need or understand could be shared. Many writers have created their words into different shapes.I will mention some of them below.


The great age of dramatic writing was in 1558-1603, during the reign of England’s Queen Elizabeth I. From this time we read from: William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson.


In the early 1800’s, poetry was an important literary form. For this it is recognize: Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson.


The earliest known novel written comes from Japan. Lady Murasaki Shikibu wrote “The tale of Genji” in the early 11th century. Don Quixote is one of the earliest European novels by the Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes. The first American novel was written by William Hill Brown, The Power of Sympathy. Great novelists from the 1800’s are: Charles Dickens, George Elliot, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Fyodoro Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melvile, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Stephen Crane.

Charles Dickens


Short Stories

Focusing on a single incident, fewer characters and usually between 1,000-20,000 words, great short stories are written. The ancient Greeks and Romans wrote moral stories called fables such as Aesop. Some good writers of short stories are: Anton Chekhov, French Guy, Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry, Flannery O’Connor, and Katherine Anne Porter.


The 1900’s writers had a focus in society’s problems like: John Steinbeck, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin. A movement called Modernism wrote about a world where old certainties such as religion and society no longer existed, such as: James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound.


I am proud to be from Puerto Rico where inspiration is a blessing. We are able to express and communicate freely our feelings giving shape to our words.

We have a long list of famous people which have given us a great legacy; for this I will leave the link for your delight: Famous Puerto Ricans.

Blessings to all!

© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill

Puerto Rican children's literature

© 2012 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill


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    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      7 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      mary615 and Froggy213 I am sorry I didn't say thanks!!! I do appreciate your time.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 

      8 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      It is amazing what words can do. They can give healing and they can destroy. It makes me consider how God made us in His image and He spoke all things into existence.

      Great hub honey--voted up!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      8 years ago from Florida

      This is a very interesting Hub. Thanks.


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