WriteTraits: Organization

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<<Characteristics>> <<Organization>> <<Hook Ideas>> <<Lead Samples>> <<Transition Words and Phrases>>

Organization is the skeleton on which we build a clear trail. As writers we use organization as our “blue print” or path. For our readers, organization helps to make sense of what we read.


  • Strong inviting introduction - a strong lead or "hook" makes the reader want more;the reader is hooked from the very first line
  • Thoughful Transitions - weave key ideas & points into a whole
  • Logical Sequence- use the logical sequence for your type of writing; be purposeful; use ideas like stepping stones to add more information to the main idea or story;the reader can follow along without getting lost; sometimes the reader can predict where we are going; sometimes the reader is surprised
  • Effective Pacing - think "wide angle to pan the field" and "slow-motion under the microscope"
  • Resolution- wrap it up but perhaps leave your reader thinking;the story didn't just STOP

Organizing a Narrative

  • Set the mood or tone
  • Plot - What is the problem? How is it solved?
    • What events led to the climax and resolution (remember order)?
    • Get rid of any deadwood - events that do not matter.
  • Find the MOST SIGNIFICANT moment - the turning point. BEGIN CLOSE TO THIS POINT!
  • Write the beginning: Introduce the setting (place/time), character(s), problem
    • create the "hook" - Action/Reaction
  • Write the Body - include "thoughts and feelings"; actions; rising action
  • Write the End: Where it wraps up


Hook Ideas

Simple Narrative Leads

Lead Samples

Action: A Main Character Doing Something

I gulped down the last bite of my cheese burger, grabbed my trash, and pushed away from the booth. Throwing the trash into the garbage bin, I bolted out of the restaurant letting the broken door slam behind me. I raced to the car as fast as my legs could carry me, my feet pounded on the pavement and then my body slamming into the empty car with a loud thud. "Shotgun!" I yelled as I heard someone running up behind me."
No way!" my sister argued, "It's my turn to sit in the front seat." Then sticking her tongue out at me she yelled, "Mom, Justin is being mean to me again."

Reaction: A Character Thinking

Just as I settled into my secret reading place I heard my mom calling my name. Not again. Why is she calling me? Has my sister told her that I was hiding from her? Did my mom find the clothes I had stuffed under the bed just before I ran out the door? Should I keep hiding or should I answer? Before I could make a decision I saw my mother’s head peek into my hiding place. “I thought you would like some hot chocolate chip cookies to nibble on while you read.”


Transitional Words and Phrases


Adapted from WriteTrait online resources