We spent part of last month’s Studio sessions talking about creative theft.

Many agree that this is one of the most important skills that we can teach young writers.

How do we do this, though?

The tool below supports this simple approach: select multiple texts, study them with a very distinct lens, illuminate just this aspect of each text, and capture what you learn about craft. Then, use what you discover to inspire your own writing.

When I distribute tools like this to writers, they typically use them by attaching sticky notes or paper scraps over the empty text boxes. More often though, writers use foam boards or tables to lay out and manipulate the texts they are tearing down and the ones they are creating. Boxes tend to box us in. We like abundant space and tools that let us move a bit and make writing.

I’m wondering how you teach creative theft explicitly and how you might adapt this tool, if tools are helpful to the writers you serve.


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