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英语记叙文的写作方法

2006-07-29 14:37

  要写好英语记叙文,光了解其语言特点还是不够的。同描述文、说明文、议论文等其他文体相比,英语记叙文有其特殊的写作方法与技巧。掌握了这些写作方法和技巧,往往能获得事半功倍的效果。从中学生写英语作文的实际出发,下面介绍一些基本的英语记叙文的写作方法和技巧。

  1.明确五个“W”和一个“H”

  要写好记叙文,首先必须确定写些什么,然后懂得如何收集、选取素材,而不能提笔就写,写到哪里算哪里。这里,我们可以借用新闻英语写作中经常用到的五个“W”和一个“H”的概念。即:What(什么事),Who(什么人), When (什么时候),Where(什么地点),Why(什么原因),How (怎么样)。尽管不是每篇英语记叙文都一定要将这些W和H包括进去,但是,一方面,确定写作内容、收集写作素材必定要围绕这五个W和一个H进行;另一方面,一篇好的英语记叙文读后不应让读者还存有上述疑问。请读下面这篇简短的习作:

  Last week I took part in the final piano contest at the school. On that night, I was so nervous(紧张)that I could hardly move my fingers. As I waited for my turn to appear on the stage, I was sure I had forgotten the opening notes of my piece of music. I began thinking of ways to run away; maybe I could faint(晕倒) or pretend(假装)to be very much ill. But then at the last minute my piano teacher came by to wish me luck and said something that suddenly changed everything. When my turn came, I played with ease and confidence(信心)。 Although the results of the contest were disappointing(失望), I was pleased that I had conquered(征服)one of my major enemies——stage fright(怯场)。

  文中黑体部分读后让人留下了两个疑问:1)老师究竟说了些什么(What)使得一切突然发生了变化; 2)既然“轻松自信地”进行了演奏,为何(Why)结果会令人失望。由于文章没有很好地处理这两个W,所以尽管文笔不错,还是一篇没有写好的记叙文。

  2.确定以第几人称以及何种顺序展开记叙

  一般来说,英语记叙文展开记叙的视角有两个:第一人称和第三人称。第一人称是从“参与者”的角度进行记叙;第三人称是以“观察者”的身份展开叙述,要根据具体情况合理选用。

  在用第一人称的记叙文中,不要过多地使用“I…”,“We…”这样的句型,以免给人单调乏味的感觉。在以第三人称进行记叙时,要避免过多的评论,以至失去记叙文的客观性。另一方面,确定了记叙视角后,不可再随意变来变去,以免破坏文章的连贯性以及打乱读者的思路。

  在确定了记叙的视角后,还要确定以何种顺序展开记叙。在英语记叙文中,最常用的是按事情发生的时间顺序进行记叙。尽管有时采用不按时间顺序的倒叙、插叙等方法可以产生某种特定的效果,但就目前中学生的实际英语水平而言,最值得练习的还是以时间顺序展开的记叙方法;因为这种记叙顺序无论从时态,还是连接词、过渡词等方面都比较容易掌握。

  下面是从第一人称角度,按事情发生顺序所写的一篇较好的习作:

  An Unusual Autumn Night

  It was a cool autumn night. Many people were already deep in sleep, but I was still reading an interesting novel. Suddenly I smelt something burning. I looked out of the window. Oh, my god! A fire had broken out! A house on the opposite side was on fire. It was my classmate, Lily's house. Flames were shooting out of the kitchen windows. Smoke was everywhere. “Fire! Fire! Help! Help!”I cried out at the top of my voice. Then I called the fire brigade. By this time, many neighbours had been worken up and were running out. I took a pail and joined the people in putting out the fire. Luckily, Lily and her parents came out in time. They were so frightened and nervous that they could do nothing but cry. I was about to go to comfort them when suddenly I thought of the big colour TV set in their living room. It would explode and cause more damage if the fire reached it. I rushed into the house without much thinking. I found the TV set quickly, but couldn't move it. The flames were coming. I tried all I could to push out the table on which the TV set was placed. The table suddenly moved and I fell,  my leg hurt. Just at that time, two firefighters appeared.  One carried me out and the other carried out the TV set.

  About half an hour later, the fire was put out. Fortunately, it didn't destroy many things. Of course it didn't spread to other houses either.  Lily's parents were so thankful that they couldn't say a word. My neighbours and the firefighters said I was a brave girl.

  Later that night, I didn't sleep a wink,  not that my injured leg hurt much but that I was excited. I thought a lot. In this world, there are still bad things—— theft, robbery, wars,  but there are more good-natured people.  If everyone does a bit for others, the world will become much better.

  江苏  宋丽芳

  3.在塑造人物、展开情节上下功夫

  像写汉语记叙文一样,要写好英语记叙文也必须在塑造人物、展开情节上下功夫。我们记叙的任何事情都是要由人来进行的,人物塑造的好坏是衡量记叙文好坏的一个重要标准。因此,人物,特别是主要人物的动作、言语如何记叙表达都应该仔细推敲。另外,所述事情的情节展开也不能面面俱到地“报流水账”,而要突出重点,详略有致。还应该有意识地采用类似“设置悬念”、“前后呼应”等的写作手法,以吸引读者的兴趣。

  请读下面这篇摘自人民教育出版社出版的高一英语教科书中的一篇短文:

  My friend Paul will never forget his first chemistry teacher. He was a little man with thick glasses, but he had a strange way of making his classes lively and interesting. And his lessons were not easily forgotten.

  Paul remembers one of his first lessons from this teacher. After the students were all in the chemistry lab, the teacher brought out three bottles. One was filled with petrol(汽油), one with castor oil(蓖麻油)and one with vinegar(醋)。 “Now watch carefully,”said the teacher.

  He then filled a cup with some of the petrol, some of the castor oil and some of the vinegar. As the students watched him quietly, he mixed the three together. After that, he held up one of his fingers and showed it to the class. He then dipped it into the cup. After a few seconds he took his finger out. “Now watch,”he said. “Remember, you must do everything as I do. ”

  He put a finger in his mouth, tasted it and smiled, looking rather pleased. Then he handed the cup around the class of students. Each student dipped a finger into the mixture and sucked (吮吸)it. Instead of smiling, each of them made a face. The mixture tasted terrible.

  When the cup was at last returned to the teacher, he said sadly,“I'm sorry, none of you watched carefully enough. Yes, I sucked a finger, but the finger I put into my mouth was not the one I had dipped into the cup.”

  It was Paul's first important lesson as a student of chemistry and he never forgot it.

  全文重点突出,抓住化学课上老师让学生尝试混合液体这一细节来详细叙述,而不赘述化学课的其他环节。同时,通过着重描写尝试混合液体的过程以及相应的反应,特别是用直接引语客观表述老师的说明,令人信服地塑造了一个让人难以忘怀的教师形象。

  总之,写好英语记叙文的基本方法是:首先明确所要记叙的要素,即上面所述的五个W和一个H;然后,确定以第几人称的视角以及何种顺序展开记叙,以保证记叙的条理性;最后,多在塑造人物、展开情节上下功夫,使文章能引人入胜。

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