One of my friends as part of his English class had to write an original story of quite a long length (for GCSE stuff) in the theme of scary stories. He's not into reading or writing in the way that I am, but he actually came up with quite a neat little ghost story around a haunted mansion, of about the shorter end of the Novella spectrum. He actually managed to score an A on it, and let me read it. (we're at College but he's retaking GCSE English in particular) What struck me though was a lot of techniques in the writing that I tend to hear from more experienced writers as being bad writing, that were being marked as excellent by his Teacher. For example, replacing "said" with all kinds of adverbs. I had a discussion with my friend about this (because he seemed to be getting in to English a little bit) and he told me that he had to remove "show"-type writing in favour of "tell"-type writing in some instances as well to please his teacher. All in all though I was still impressed, seeing as he usually openly dismisses writing/reading and probably has never written anything creative before. But I can remember it too, the times when my teacher would impress upon us to use as big a words as we could come up with in our writing ("he said tentatively" got me a gold sticker in Primary School ), yet so much of if would be dismissed as poor by a publisher or other seriously writers. I haven't taken English as an A-level because I see it as more of a hobby and something more independent (I still aspire to be a writer though), and my academic life lies more in Science. But for those of you that have, are you taught to unlearn poor techniques lifted from GCSE or Primary School level as you move up? Why is it worth them teaching you it in the first place at lower levels if it's ultimately poor?